may not seem like it, but it's been seven years since
Rare's GoldenEye rocked everyone's world. GoldenEye's
significance in the gaming world cannot be ignored
- it was and still is one of the benchmarks of a licensed
game in which others are judged. While EA's recent
007 games have come close, the first person perspective
was a constant reminder of the golden days of Bond
on the N64 and perhaps it's the switch to the third
person perspective which has made the difference here.
It could be that or it could simply be that this is
one of the best action games to be released in a long
while, with or without the Bond license, Hollywood
likenesses and voice talent along for the ride. Everything
or Nothing is a fantastic, big budget title that just
took licensed games to an all new level.
fans smitten with his FPS adventures will either have
to adjust their thinking or perhaps erase the bitter
aftertaste of EA's PSone debacle, Tomorrow Never Dies.
EoN goes to lengths to separate itself from any Bond
game before it, and it succeeds time and time again.
The production values are second to none thanks to
Brosnan and company lending their voices and likenesses
to the game, which along with the insane driving sequences,
Bond Moments (more on that in a moment) and intense
action make EoN by far the most immersive Bond game
ever. No really. EVER. Hell, you might as well say
it's the best Bond too while you're at it.
gameplay is separated into action and driving sequences,
much like the previous games Agent Under Fire and
Nightfire. Where the differences end is the third
person perspective. I like seeing Bond and I much
prefer this perspective when playing an action game.
Nothing against FPS which I enjoy, but I hate playing
as someone's arm when I'm trying to identify with
that particular character. EoN goes that extra mile
to immerse you into the world of international intrigue
and suspense by giving you over the top megalomaniacs
and mindblowing gadgets to help you defeat evil.
game's overall success can be directly tied to the
feeling that not only are outnumbered, not only is
everything blowing up around you but for whatever
reason, you think the odds are in your favor. You
have to love a game that makes you feel like a hero
without punishing you for trying inventive new tactics
and brazen heroics. EoN allows you the freedom to
save the world as you see fit - there is usually a
few different ways to arrive at the same end result
and it's this level of openess that is intoxicating
the first time you play the game through. Actually
it never gets old throughout the game. You'll probably
WANT to die just to try something completely cool.
I know I did more than a few times and more often
than not I was justly rewarded for thinking outside
the box. Perhaps it was the cool secret weapon I located
or the satisfaction of knowing I found a way to take
out 5 guys without breaking a sweat; in any event
EoN is a blast because it holds a secret formula that
some games just don't have. That secret formula? It's
filled with sequences and events that make you love
playing games in the first place.
in previous games budding MI agents can select their
level of difficulty. Once you finish a level, you'll
have the opportunity to continue on or replay the
level, trying to improve upon your score or by selecting
a higher level of difficulty. Playing on the 00 Agent
is pretty intense due to harder enemies, more damage
etc. However the rewards are great for those who wish
to take it up a notch and succeed in opening up the
Platinum objective. The objectives can range anywhere
from not taking any damage to completing a level under
a certain time limit. Once completed, you will be
rewarded with a push button cheat code that can be
entered on the pause menu. It should be noted that
you cannot just enter these codes off the net; you'll
have to earn them in the game yourself otherwise they
won't work (see our cheat section for details). Those
looking for a challenge will delight in the Platinum
Objectives. Some of them are as brutal as unlocking
the cheats in GoldenEye.
Bond has almost never been better. Aside from a camera
that tends to force you into looking at Bond most
of the time (must be in Brosnan's contract) control
is pretty tight and intuitive. Bond can fight with
his fists, throw, disarm and counter, crouch, duck
for cover and shoot, roll, jump and hug walls. The
grapple hook is also a useful tool allowing for movement
up and down walls and he can also shoot while connected
to his grapple. Q (John Cleese) also pops up now and
then and throws Bond a technological bone such as
the Q Spiders that are used as offensive and defensive
devices - they can crawl through tightspots, survey
the situation and even blow things up. Handy. The
driving sequences (Triumph motorcycle, Vanquish, Porsche
SUV) are equally excellent and in keeping with the
design of the on foot missions allow numerous ways
to complete your objectives or at the very least,
allow you to experiment and try different routes.
EoN is pretty fantastic. While I love the PS2 controller,
graphically EoN shines on the Xbox. I haven't cracked
into the GC version yet, but I have seen it in action
and it looks glossier than the PS2 version but not
quite as ploished as the Xbox. All in all though,
no matter which system you own, you won't be disappointed
and those with a PS2 will obviously get to have some
online loving, so no complaining from that sector
of the audience.
cinematics, storyline, voiceacting and general presentation
of EoN is really second to none. It IS the closest
thing to a movie that I have played. Unlike Rare who
only had the Bond License for GoldenEye, EA has a
few more years tied in with MGM so expect a few sequels
once this one sells like hotcakes. And believe me,
it will. It's one of those games where you had better
cash in birthday or Christmas presents NOW. Yeah,
I know it's only February but you're parents are getting
old, right? Maybe come Decemeber they'll forget that
they bought you EoN as your 2004 Christmas present...
mentioned, the PS2 version boasts online play which
I wasn't able to get into before deadline of this
review. The multiplayer Co-op mode is definitely cool,
but if you know me, you know I've never been a big
fan of split screen. The PS2 version is the only game
that features online play, which really sucks. Why
does EA have to be so tight with Sony?
you've got here is your basic Must Have title and
I say that to ALL action fans, not just Bond fanboys.
Not only is it dripping with production values, not
only are the action sequences intense and the control
spot on, but it NEVER stops being fun. With the hefty
amount of challenge and unlockables, replay value
is also extremely high. I know it's only February,
but this one is poised to take one of our best games
of 2004. Buy it.