Review by TerranRedneck

"Nothing too revolutionary but still a damn fun game"

Ever since Atari 2600 there have been more than enough James Bond games out there. Titles like GoldenEye are viewed as classics that still hold their own in the modern console world, whilst EA's last contribution TWINE is more of a toned down lackluster excuse to cash in on the success of the franchise. EA is back again with a new 007 game and this time on the PS2, and the question is ''What did they learn from their past mistakes?'' Read on to get my opinion.

Story - 6/10 Nothing too special here really. I've given it a somewhat lower score than expected just due to the fact that I am not really a Bond fan at all. Something just pisses me off about the world's best super spy not being American I guess. Any how, on the plus side it is a totally original 007 storyline made up specially for the game. This lets the game have continuity and not seem like a hacked up version of the movie edited up and molested to fit into a FPS format. Typical spy stuff but well executed and really helps drive the story along.

Single Player Gameplay - 7/10 - Again the gameplay is nothing spectacularly original. It is a first person shooter. If you don't know what a FPS is think ''Doom''. You don't really do much you haven't done in GoldenEye or Perfect Dark. Pretty much get from point A to point B and kill everything in between. Some levels emphasize stealth over brute force and many gadgets aid you in your quest. One of the big perks of this game are the non FPS walking levels. You can drive 007s beamer around the busy city streets in a Twisted Metal style rampage. Machineguns, rockets, smoke screen, the whole nine yards. It is a nice change of pace and is graphically impressive. You can also play a hybrid of the FPS and the driving game. In this scenario you are popping out of the sunroof of a car being driven by the computer. From this FP view you just concentrate on out gunning your enemies who persue you in armored vans, limos, and helicopters. All of which have enemies popping out with machine guns and rocket launchers. You can rely on brute force to get them off your tail, or be a little more Bondcore and shoot out tires or snipe the drivers. It is really quite fun and you'll have your friends begging for a chance at the controller. In addition to many modes of play you also have medals you can win for high ''scores'', unlockable weapons with secondary functions , secrets, and the new ''Bond Moves'' in which you gain extra points for doing stuff the super spy way. And example of a bond move would be to whip out your Q-Claw and grappling hook your way up to the roof top, this would net more points than simply walking up the staircase. Nothing too original here but some great weapons and modes make it worth playing despite a bit of a learning curve on the controls.

MultiPlayer Gameplay - 9/10 - Boy, I'm tempted to say this as fun as GoldenEye/Perfect Dark but I won't go quite that far. Multiplayer is really great though, and I'm really impressed on how much EA cleaned up thier act. It has a decent amount of options and that is what most users look for, the ability to customize. The better you do in 1 player the more fun you have in multiplayer. There is a large selection of different but fair weapons. I played many many hours of 4 player using the multitap and still wasn't sick of it at all. There are some really brilliant levels and the default settings are always right on the money. 4 player escort missions with the sniper rifle? Thats what I call fun. Or to add to the mayhem you can flip on the low gravity option and give everyone heat seeking rocket launchers and jetpacks. Speed is adjustable as are numerous other options usually left out of a console FPS. Turn on the Q-Claw grappling hook for all players and it turns more into Spider-Man with an Uzi game then a typical run-n-gun. Throw in some proxy mines, a new ''random weapon pickup'' option, and cloaking/bionics/armor upgrade and you have a well rounded multi player fragfest. I could really go on for a bit about how surprised I was at EA doing such a good job on such a tired subject.

Audio/Video - 8/10 - Graphics are clean and smooth and has a nice attention to some of the details. The environments aren't really as interactive as I like them to be but not all developers have the time to make every single coffee pot in the game shatter realistically when shot. Lighting effects are well done and the cars look great. The cinemas have good voice acting and add to the character development. One thing I really noticed was the facial animations on the characters in the cut scenes and cinemas. You know the graphics are very well done when you can tell just by the look on Bond's face that he just got it on with one of the hotties. Menus are animated, yet functional and there are some classic Bond themes inserted throughout the game. Audio takes a back seat and could be a bit more useful in stereo as in it was for hearing footsteps in PD. It is nice to hear a super loud clip of blasting Bond music after you pull a particularly insane stunt. Nothing incredibly outstanding in the audio/video department but also no glaring screw ups.

Overall - 7/10 - Maybe even an 8 if I had drank a bit more coffee today. Overall a nice little game with some single player replayability due to high scores, multiple difficulty levels and unlockables. Definitely high replayability for the multiplayer aspect due to the variety of play modes and some really fun/gimmicky extras. The 25 copies for rent were out at Blockbuster so I picked it up on a whim at Wal*Mart for 40 bucks and was glad I did. If you want it for Single player I'd recommend a rental, you'll get the general idea of what it has to offer and see if it is something you'd want to own. If you liked the multiplayer games like TimeSplitters and Perfect Dark and have a multitap and a few friends then you can have some real fun with this game. Either way it is worth a go if you like the FPS genre.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 11/26/01, Updated 11/26/01

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