Review by da maphier man

"007...You have 1 objective: READ THIS NOW!"

Electronic Arts’ first attempt at bringing Ian Fleming’s action hero to life on Playstation 2 is their winter 2001 release James Bond 007 in… Agent Under Fire. This First Person Shoot ‘em up owes a lot to its predecessors, namely EA’s own The World is Not Enough (PSOne and N64) and Rare’s universally acclaimed, multi-award winning 1997 release Goldeneye (exclusive to N64 and the benchmark for future Bond console based games). So ‘is Agent Under Fire as good as or indeed better than Goldeneye?’ I hear you all scream…Well, the simple answer is: [sadly and with much pathos] ‘No’. The main reasons for this are not gameplay or graphics related (both are superbly executed by EA) but instead the issue concerned is that of lastability/longevity/lifespan/replayability/call it what you will. Here lies the tragic flaw in this beautifully crafted game: There are only 12 missions and to put it bluntly, ‘it ain’t enough’. I remember Goldeneye having 20 levels (all of which were rock hard on OOAgent setting – remember Control and how Natalya ALWAYS died before she could finish her I.T Key Skill on Boris Grishenko’s PC – oh, how I nearly smashed my beautiful Miyamoto designed controller through the TV screen on many an occasion!) So, you see my point? Goldeneye had a huge lifespan: it took me about a year and a half to complete it whereas Agent Under Fire was purchased along with my PS2 on December 21st 2001, promptly played to death over the festive period and completed within two short weeks. Agent Under Fire, then, (like Timothy Dalton’s truly great but short lived reign as Bond in only two films) is simply not long enough…Had EA added a few more levels (did anyone fancy two or three more driving sections in this game?), cranked up the learning curve and difficulty and improved the lacklustre and rather slow multiplayer mode then I think we would have been on to a winner – something worthy of taking over the mantle as ‘Greatest Bond inspired Game Ever’ from Goldeneye.
Lets move on to the positives of this game:

The story is Great! (EA do an Ian Flemming for the day as they become Bondian storytellers. Incidentally, they address the important and highly controversial issue of cloning for the ethically minded amongst us)

The graphics are superb – pure eye candy from start to finish! (Some of the best seen yet on PS2 – GUARANTEED)

The driving sections are gaming gold!

There are some great one liners and set pieces (Cubby would be proud!)

The Rail Shooter levels are fun

Vehicles/Set Pieces/Locations/Gadgets/Weapons that are inspired by or are indeed in classic Bond films have made it into this game: e.g. The tank chase in the streets of St. Petersburg from Goldeneye: See the Rail Shooter section in the second part of the streets of Bucharest level/’The Most Famous Car In The World’ - Aston Martin DB5 – originally from Goldfinger: See the streets of Bucharest level /BMW Z8 from The World Is Not Enough: See the third level/Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Love Me: Unlock this secret car by getting gold on the aforementioned Bucharest level/The submarine pen in Stromberg’s supertanker the Liparus in The Spy Who Loved Me: See the end of the very first level/The Bell Jet Pack from Thunderball: See the levels in which the Q-Jet is available/Blofeld’s HQ: Piz Gloria – located in the Swiss Alps in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service: See the final level, Evil Summit.

Overall:

8/10…..Bond fans rejoice…Buy this Now! Everyonelse: Rent it before you part with your hard earned cash.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 02/07/02, Updated 02/07/02


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