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007: Nightfire (PlayStation 2)

77
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.5
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  phlux (4143)
Written on  :  Dec 09, 2002
Platform  :  PlayStation 2
Rating  :  4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars

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Summary

The game is Bond - James Bond.

The Good

I am a die-hard James Bond fan and so my expectations on this game were high. You can't imagine my joy when I booted this game up and it started right with the Bond eye sequence and then ofcourse the introductory "5 minutes warmup" scene every Bond movie has to have. This scene consists of full motion video sequences (very cool looking!) and player interactivity - first, you need to shoot some enemies from a helicopter and then you need to take over the steering wheel and drive a lady home safe ;) After the intro scene was done, well, what to expect? Yes - there is no Bond movie without the colorful and often weird "women-dancing-with-guns" sequence where the credits are displayed. Sure enough the game sports this and with an original song too!

After user creation, you'll be dropped right into the action. The game consists of three gameplay modes: first person shooter, rail shooter and driving. In the first mission, you need to get into a castle in Austria and steal some chip from the safe, then escape with your fellow woman spy. It's almost dark outside, snow is falling, and the guards are on alert. Here you can use your Bond gear and weapons. You start with the Walther PPK but you'll get a sniper rifle and submachine gun quickly. In this mission, you'll also need to use your watch laser to open a safe and cut some wires (beware: cutting the wrong wires like I did results in alert).

After some shootouts, you'll escape with the female spy in a gondola down the mountain where you'll be attacked by a bad guy in a helicopter. You will need to shoot it down with your rocket launcher ;)

Next on is a railshooter segment where the lady spy is driving a snow mobile down the mountain and James is at the gun, shooting everything that moves. These are very well designed sequences with lots of speed and great full motion video - you feel like you're watching a Bond movie.

The third mode was imported straight from the EA game "Need for Speed" - you need to drive the Bond car and accomplish the given mission.

Most of the sequences will be shooting scenes, but they will be alternated with railshooter and driving scenes so it doesn't get boring. There is always action on the screen, be it hard shooting stuff or tense sneaky intruding into buildings. There also are 10 different locations in various countries.

All movie sequences, be it in game or full motion video, are very nice modelled and of course with full speech. James Bond himself is spoken by the current movie actor Pierce Brosnan.

Ok, so now after all this gibberish I need to tell you what I liked ... well, I liked that it's like a Bond movie. EA didn't do the mistake and waste this license on some stupid shooting game without a proper story, they really put effort into it, wrote a story which is like a typical Bond movie story (crazy dude wants atomic war etc.). They made great movie sequences, used the original actor to speak Bond, created interesting missions with pretty graphics, let you use new and classic gadgets... well - it's a Bond movie! They even designed a sidekick to the bad guy who really looks and talks like Oddjob or his likes, and pretty (!) girls. Even the dialogue is really typical Bond style - on the party in the first mission, the bad sidekick approaches Bond, grinning like a shark, and asks with a threatening voice: "Do you enjoy the party, Sir?" :)

Yes, thank you - I did!

The Bad

The controls are a bit unprecise and the speech is too low - you often can't hear a thing (but there are subtitles). I also found the guards in the first mission were way too dumb - they never even walked around a corner (in later missions they get better though). Also, the sound the guards make are not well positioned - it always sounds like they stand next to you, but they often enough are far away.

The Bottom Line

If you like James Bond movies and action games, it's the one for you! There never was anything more authentic to the original movies than James Bond Nightfire. Hell, there was never a better movie licensed game (apart from Die Hard Nakatomi Plaza, but that was for the PC only I think).