Review by JFinlay
"007's PS2 debut is one I'm very "Bond" of..."
James Bond is a worldwide cultural phenomenon. But you knew that already, so let's cut to the chase. James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire is the first James Bond game to make it onto the PS2. It was originally called The World Is Not Enough and was set to be a next-gen remake of the PSone game. However, the producers changed their minds, and TWINE became Agent Under Fire, or AUF.
I stumbled across it for the first time when playing it at a friend’s house. It was the first James Bond game I had ever played. I was impressed, but unfortunately my friend didn’t have a memory card, so we never saw much past the first five levels. But a few years later, I was on the lookout for a bargain for my PS2 at my local Game. Unable to find anything cheap enough in the “proper” section, I turned to the Preowned bit and I found AUF. So I thought, “What the hell?” and bought it. (It wasn’t Platinum but it was still cheap enough since it was preowned.)
The gameplay of AUF is very standard of PS2 FPS (First-Person Shooter) action games. You walk in, blast a bit, perhaps gain some evidence or save someone, then walk out. With the Bond games, of course, you have the added bonus of cool Q-Lab gadgets, most of which are contained in a mobile phone. You get to use these loads more this time. It's also a lot stealthier than previous Bonds - the fourth mission involves you infiltrating the British Embassy in Romania and using a tranquiliser dart gun to put the guards to sleep. Overall, very good.
Unlike previous Bond games (except ye olde ones like The Stealth Affair :)) they [the makers] have created an entirely new plotline. In the first mission you have to rescue Zoe Nightshade, a CIA agent who was captured trying to get a hold of some vials being transported by Identicon, a company headed up by Nigel Bloch. The vials turn out to have some truly weird contents. I won’t go in any further – you’ll just have to find out for yourself. What I will say however is that you might lose track of the plot the first time round at least. M’s briefings are sometimes a little too complicated.
The graphics are far more smooth and polished than TWINE. Obviously the series gets to make use of the PS2, GameCube and later the Xbox's graphics capability. Sound quality is also improved, to coincide with the much more elegant (!) character models. James Bond himself looks like a cross between Pierce Brosnan and Roger Moore and sounds the part as well. I think they did that on purpose to try and create a more general-looking Bond, and they pretty much succeeded (however it IS the James Bond of the movies, and not the books).
PLAY TIME/REPLAYABILITY 8/10
The game gets to go on for quite a while, and replay is brilliant since there are four kinds of medal to unlock - the first two, Bronze and Silver, don't earn you anything, but Gold does. Then you have to replay a level collecting all the ''007'' tokens and getting a Gold score to get a Platinum medal, which usually unlocks multiplayer goodies. These however are tough to get, so it’s just as well the game is good to replay.
This is a great game. Not as good as Nightfire or Everything or Nothing but still a great game. If you are looking for a PS2 action game with lots of cool guns, girls and gadgets, then look no further than James Bond 007 in... Agent Under Fire.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.0 - Great
Originally Posted: 04/24/04, Updated 04/25/04
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