Review by Gruel
"Electronic Arts' goes out with a bang for N64 with this great Perfect Dark killer....."
It's been 3 and a half years since we last saw Bond on the N64. Rare left us with high expectations after delivering one of the most surprise hits of 1997. It decided not to do any more Bond games (except for a fairly good Game Boy Bond game in early 1998) so it can move on to it's other projects, and so MGA Interactive then decided to make the next Bond Movie-to-Game translation, Tomorrow Never Dies, an exclusive Playstation title, but the game well, pretty much sucked. Then developer, Eurocom picked up rights for the game and started to develop the newest Bond game, The World is not Enough, and decided to make it a first person shooter just like Goldeneye did. Will it succeed with the same formula? Let's get onto the review and find out.
This game is translated right from the movie so you get the exact same plot, in case you don't remember it, Bond's out trying to save a couple of new chicks after former Soviet's murdered an M-16 agent. The only man containing info about this info, is a friend of Q headquarters who accidentally purchased this classified info. You solve the clues and move along at the same pace of the movie. The game has excellent cinematic's with actual voices of the real actors from the movie. Great experience.
The character models, are definitely a step up from the one's from Goldeneye, and about equal to the one's in Perfect Dark. The models look a lot more polished off and detailed, and look like they came right out of the movie. The guns all look great, and you can choose the amount of detail you want on them in multi player mode. All of them have there own little animations for reloading which look great. The thing that astonishes me the most here is how great the cinematic's run. They look, and feel, ten times better then Perfect Dark's, this is probably cause of the use of actual voices from the real actors from the movies. This also makes the single player missions run at a surprisingly realistic rate, and I actually think these game's single player missions run at a far better rate than Perfect Dark's and Goldeneye's. To make things look even better, this game is (and the only EA game) compatible with the Expansion Pak to make everything run at a better rate and polish off the graphics a little bit more.
Some things aren't so good about the visuals in this game though. Like the environment textures look very, jaggy, but that's without the expansion pak, if you do have it installed in your N64, there still there, but a lot less distracting and noticeable. Opposite from the game's single player missions, the game's multi player mode seems to run a little bit on the slow side. I was just a tad disappointed that there wasn't a tad of a gore in the game, I know the game's rated T and all, but Goldeneye was also T rated and there were ''stains'' of blood, but no gore found here whatsoever. Oh, and one other thing that wasn't a must, but sure did spice up Perfect Dark, was the actual body shot reactions in single player mode (like the computer shaking there hands after getting shot in the hand). But other than that, just about everything else seems fine with the game's graphics.
The audio is another part of this game that was pulled off nicely. The music has that kind of Bond feel to it and is faded out just right so it's easy on the ears, but the classic Bond theme isn't in here (or I didn't come across it yet). The sound effects are appropriate, like all the guns have there own little type of firing sound, plus you can easily tell the difference by the sound if the gun is a single shot type gun, or burst/auto firing weapon. The best part of the sound is the use of voice from the real actors from the movie, I don't know if these were pre-recorded at studios, are dubbed in from the movie itself, but they sound perfect, and really give you a sense of watching the movie after seeing those cinematic's. Characters and guards also talk to you during the game when you walk up to them.
The game's default controls is identical to Perfect Dark and Goldeneye's with a couple of substitutions. The top and bottom C buttons don't look up or down, they instead act as jumping and kneeling down. If you don't like the game's default controls, you can pick from a set of preset controls, or customize your own. If you've played any other console first person shooter before on the N64, these controls should become second nature to you in no time.
The game's missions play out just like in Rare's shooters. Where you're suppose to complete the mission's objectives in order to proceed. And just like in Goldeneye, you get complete mission briefings also. But the mission's are much more interactive than in Rare's games, just about every level has more objectives later to come as you progress so they don't seem like a breeze to pass by, resulting in a much more better experience for the gamer. There's plenty of gadgets and guns here for your time being. Most of Bond's old gadgets are here like his watch laser, keypad decoder, X-ray scrambler, modems, and the list goes on, and on. Lots of guns are here, and you got a nice variety like single shot and burst fire guns, and even some great auto firing ones also. And there's plenty of explosives to monkey around in here too, including several types of grenades, which have features similar to the mine's in Rare's games.
The multi player experience is somewhat of a mixed bag, to me it seems like a mixed combination of the multi player modes of Perfect Dark & Duke Nukem 64. It borrows a page out of DN's book by allowing computer opponents play, but only replacing absent human gamers, like 3 CPU's and 1 human, or 2 CPU's and 2 humans. So only 4 people can play at max. A little bit disappointing after playing with loads of sim's in Perfect Dark, but I adapted. Also you won't find all the customization here like you did in Perfect Dark. You can name characters, but can't save stat profiles, your own game settings, or even create weapon sets. In a Goldeneye like style, you can choose from a preset of certain weapons like explosives or close combat, and a type of arena to play in. There are lots of arenas to choose from a total of 14 in all. The game runs at slightly slower rate than Rare's games, not in frame rate, but speed wise, I mean the characters seem to just walk around, and the CPU opponents are really tough, no matter what you set their handicap at, they are really hard to kill off. And for some odd reason, you always start off with a gun. I didn't like the feature at all, because here, I just killed the CPU, and then they regenerate right behind me, and kill me before I even turn around. Despite all these shortcomings, I somehow found myself unusually hooked to the multi player (funny how the Playstation version of The World is not Enough didn't even have a multi player mode), probably because I love these weapons so much.
It'll take you a good amount of time to beat the game's 14 missions on 3 difficulties. So expect lots of hours of game play trying to accomplish that task. And your friends can go at it with you in the multi player mode, or you can go by yourself in the multi player mode with CPU players.
+: The best cinematic's I've ever seen on the N64, superb voice acting, single player missions are better than those in Rare's games!
-: The multi player mode is really disappointing, the game's environments have a jaggy feel, and no gore!
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 8.4
Replay Value: 8.1
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 9
I really didn't expect this game to be that good. The game's single players missions really astonished me. And even though the multi player mode is disappointing, at least the effort was there to include it, and it can be enjoyable to a certain extent. Any Bond fan should get this game, or at least give this a rent. This is one of EA's last N64 games, and EA decides to go out of N64 publishing with their best non-sports game yet!
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/01/01, Updated 01/01/01
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