Review by Snow Dragon

Reviewed: 04/07/02 | Updated: 04/07/02

Even cornier than an actual Bond movie

Of course, there's no one better to handle dangerous missions related to saving the world and have steamy liaisons with women who have suggestive names than the one and only James Bond. He's here to do just that in Agent Under Fire, the newest Bond game that is not based on one of the movies. Bond is slick and suave as usual, but in this game, there's an unexpected corny element to his usually urbane character.

First off, let me just say that Bond has never had a better time on any system. Everything runs and works great. Most things are very realistic, like your nice souped-up cars actually getting huge dents when you hit trees or oncoming drivers. Though everything runs smoothly on the Xbox hard drive, the characters all look oddly blocky - the only way to describe it is to say they look like the wrestlers on an old PlayStation wrestling game. At least their mouths move. Bottom line here: moves smooth, looks ugly.

I would like to state here that there is a big difference between sound and music. Why I say that is that this game has good, true-to-Bond music: quiet, sneaky tunes for museums and upscale establishments, and adrenaline pumpers for those times when you're trying to shoot and drive at the same time without killing pedestrians with your license to kill. Music is no problem - it's just the stupid sound! Every time you do something integral to the game's progress, you hear that familiar ''duh-duh-DA-duuuuuh, da-da-duuuuuuuuh!'' This begins to grate on one's nerves with remarkable speed not only because it happens so often, but because the music is played at what seems like the most inappropriate times. You'll hear it a lot, and you'll never want to hear it again, not even in a movie. The dialogue is also especially cliched and boring, even though you need to hear it at times.

As per the usual, Bond's got a lot of cool gadgets like his one-hit-kill Golden Gun and all the other ammo he manages to steal from helpless cadavers. But it looks like Q is still making them despite the incredible handicap of being dead! Legends never die, I suppose. That's not Desmond Llewellyn playing his voice, I'll tell you that. Multiplayer mode is decent, and even a little better than in the other older games because of the great new enhanced graphics and advanced sneaking ability. The whole game, however, seems to have loose threads of continuity, most notably in areas of characters, voices, and demeanor. Everyone is boring, and their voices aren't quite right: you want to think that that's actually Judi Dench playing M, but amazingly, you cannot. Nor can you be 100% sure that that is Pierce Brosnan assuming the role of 007 for another adventure of intrigue and danger. Sadly, that is the way of this adventure, and it is a shame that it is not better.

I'd like to be able to say that this is a whizzbang adventure with all the allure of an actual Bond flick (or the N64 Goldeneye, for that matter), but I can't. It's just too goofy without James Bond being cool enough to cancel it out, and there's not enough to keep a person coming back for more. Desmond Llewellyn should be rolling in his grave right now.

Score: 5

Rating:   2.5 - Playable

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