Written by  :  MasterMegid (902)
Written on  :  Aug 24, 2006
Rating  :  3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars3.43 Stars

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No One Lives Forever 2 Minus Cate Archer And The Charm.

The Good

The prequel to the excellent “No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In Harms Way”. “Contract J.A.C.K. shows gamers a darker version of the NOLF universe. Instead of playing as the super spy Cate Archer, we get to play as John Jack, a hitman, and the jack of the title.

In “Contract J.A.C.K.”, you take on the crime syndicate, Danger! Danger! While working for H.A.R.M. The games seven missions take you from Italy, to the Moon! The plot is not as well done as in NOLF 2. Nor is Jack’s adventure as long as either of Cate’s. Yet you manage to kill more people than in both NOLFS combined. But then again you are a contract killer.

There are no gadgets in J.A.C.K. But there are new weapons, including some that have returned from NOLF 1 and were not in it’s sequel. So I guess the amount of guns is supposed to make up for the lack of gadgets. Thankfully vehicle segments return. There are even more than there were in NOLF 2. And this time around the vehicles come equipped with a gun.

Most of the humor of previous games is gone. There are still some funny moments. But the jokes tend to be darker. For some reason there is a lot of explicit language in this one unlike the other games. The game also seems more violent, but I guess this is to be expected.

The Graphics are stunning. Once again thanks to the Jupiter engine. Monolith still uses this engine in it’s games, showing just how awesome it is. Like NOLF 2 this game looks great even on the lowest setting. The weapons and characters are look amazing. And the real time lighting effects have to be seen to be believed. The flash of light when you fire your gun is so sweet!

There is even less music in this than NOLF 2. But it is quality over quantity. The voice overs are good except for Jack, who has too much of a gruff voice. Which makes him sound odd. Some of the weapons sound different and more realistic.

J.A.C.K. plays more like Serious Sam than No One Lives Forever. This of course was disappointing to NOLF fans. As the NOLF series is known for successfully blending stealth and action segments.

The Bad

This game is way too short. You can finish it in one sitting. So it only has about four hours of gameplay. The difficulty settings are ridiculous. On easy it is way too easy. On Normal it is about ten times more difficult. The A.I. is not as good as we would expect, often enemies run right into to harms way.(No pun intended.) For some reason the box claims that there are ten missions. I have no idea where they got that number, as there are only seven missions. Three less than stated on the box.

The Bottom Line

Overall Contract J.A.C.K. is an average game. That while it does not live up the NOLF series, there is some fun to be had if you can get over it’s dissimilarities to NOLF. Do not pay full price for this game as it is too short, in fact I would not pay over $20. I got my copy on Amazon for about $6.00.