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James Bond 007: Nightfire

Review By:  Andrew Joy

Developer:  Eurocom
Publisher:  EA
# of Players:  1-4
Genre:  FPS
ESRB:  Teen
Online:  No
Accessories:  Memory Card
Date Posted:  2-12-03

Yet another game to add to the list of already existing 007 titles, this Bond some how falls short on many ways to other games in its library.  Not to at all deny that the game is good and at least worth trying, anyone but a true James Bond fan may have trouble deciding to purchase 007 Nightfire.  Despite its triumphs, most of Nightfire's faults were just too strong to let this title compete with a classic 007 game like Goldeneye.


To just assure you that the title was not a complete failure and, in fact, quite good in many ways, I will start with 007 Nightfire's merits.  Truly, as can be said with any of the games like it, you would probably pick up this game to have some fun with a wide array of both weapons and gadgets.  True to the series, this game is no failure in that aspect and the delightful amalgam (of both the weapons and gadgets) ensures that even after you beat the game you will still be playing with it.  Most of the weapons within Nightfire stay within the fairly realistic realm (as compared to some of the outlandish, but still fun, weapons of Perfect Dark).  However, with
the gadgets, you will only be facing believable physics of his Q-Branch supply if you remember that this is Bond, James Bond (couldn't resist), and nothing short of the spectacularly-unbelievable-but-fun and useful-all-the-same ethic can be expected.

Aside from just the weapons and gadgets within the game, Nightfire also lets its players experience the wonderful vehicles of the spy and pseudo-military world.  A variety of vehicles are outfitted with every sort of weapon and computer system imaginable and, once you remember all the controls (since there is generally no refresher when you suddenly jump to a mobile mission), can be quite fun and exciting.  Though, aside from the visible lack of any true luxury like a radio, you may notice that some of the first-person vehicle cameras (the default car view is a third person view) fall horribly short of any amazing interior detail, if they have any at all.

Once the game is beaten, which should take the average FPS-pro no time at all, the game features one heck of a multiplayer mode, one not to be missed in fact.  Aside from being able to choose from a variety of levels, characters, and weapons to begin with, there is a whole arsenal of each also waiting to be unlocked.  Aside from the droves of hidden extras, players can also get a taste of close combat fighting, assorted sniping with a multitude of scoped weapons, and even a chance to chase down their opponent with drone weapons, such as mine and remote vehicles, like miniature tanks and helicopters.

Also equally magnificent, even if only believable in a hey-this-is-just-a-James-Bond-game sort of way, is the story of Nightfire.  Many of the sequences put you in a position to take control of the game, choosing a style that best personifies you.  People who enjoy a little
gunplay can take a straightforward approach of shoot anything that breathes and grab its ammo.  And for the others, who enjoy the mystery and cunning of the spy world, there is always the road less traveled that may in part be because few people decide they want to scale the outside of an icy castle wall.  But, whatever your preference be, the game perfectly provides ample opportunity for both to be explored, sometimes pitting you against a room full of armed opponents or, at other times, forcing you to sneak past the cameras and sensors in a room.  However, once the initial awe wears off, you see right through to many of the game's downfalls.  For instance, one key point as that the adventure, in retrospect, the entire game has much too short of a story.  The game had the potential to have a much longer story at
hand, even if it did further promote some of the game's faults a tad more.


Another downfall in the game, again in part with the minute length of the game, is the fact that most of the entire game makes Bond's quest feel more like an over-extended goose chase.  Sometimes, defeating the odds in one area rewards little more than learning your entire escapade was all for not and you are yet again set into the lions den.  Filled with typical Bond
antics, as well, the games seems like it had a variety of pieces taken right out of the movies.  Speaking of which, that brings me to the next, and perhaps the most painful, flaw of 007 Nightfire.

You may notice, in fact it seems hard to not notice, that Nightfire is simply chucked full of animated cut-scenes.  And, while this may be
entertaining and informative at times, this game simply has too many.  In the first level itself, and perhaps on a more acceptable note, a tutorial
mode is set up where you complete the level with more than half of it being a long video.  While this does thin out in the later levels, it is still quite full and at time you feel more like you are watching a movie instead of playing a game.  The limited amount of actual gaming before yet another video often makes you feel as if you are simply pressing play on your VCR or DVD player, even though you have to jump through a few hoops just to do so.

Highs:

  • A literal arsenal of weapons/gadgets and an army of characters.
  • A variety of ways to complete each mission opens the playing field to all players.
  • A multiplayer mode that justifies multiple rentals.
  • Relatively entertaining story, if not stretched out with the Bond license.

Lows:

  • Feels more like watching a movie than playing a game.
  • Thin story makes the game way too short.
  • A seemingly endless goose-chase drags on the already thin plot.
  • Bond license may have been stretched a bit far in this adventure.

Final Verdict:

Too thin a story and too short of a game, 007 Nightfire is definitely not a game to purchase, however the killer multiplayer and versatile gameplay can easily justify multiple rentals.

Where game developers strive for graphics that make you feel like you're in the movie, Nightfire somehow achieves that in the gameplay, making you feel more like your pressing play than playing a game.

Overall Score: 7.0

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