Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, etc etc. everyone! Last week, I wrote about a trip into the mind of a writer.
Today, I look back at a game that's a bit more simple story-wise, but probably a bit more fun.
007: Everything or Nothing was developed and published by EA, by the branch that would later become Visceral Games (of Dead Space fame). You step into the shoes of the one and only James Bond, as MI6's top agent is assigned to stop a terrorist named Nikolai Diavolo, who plans to...
Ah, you know the drill. Chances are, if you're a breathing human being, you're at least familiar with James Bond. Nanotechnology plays a large role in the plot, as Diavolo has nanobots that can eat through metal, but otherwise, the plot is: there's a big bad guy, and Bond has to stop him.
Right from the get-go, you'll notice you're playing as Pierce Brosnan's 007. Some people are fans of his portrayal; others aren't. Regardless, the fact that the Bond you play as looks and sounds like the one on the big screen goes a long way towards authenticity. EON also uses the voices and likenesses of Willem Dafoe, who plays Diavolo, along with John Cleese, Judi Dench, Heidi Klum, and so on. It gives you the immediate feeling that you're playing a Bond movie.
And you're just as capable as Bond in-game. EON is largely a cover-shooter, implementing a solid cover system almost exactly two years before Gears of War made it famous. From cover, Bond can aim via a hybrid lock-on/free aim system. Admittedly, this makes the game a little easy in spots, since you can line up headshots while staying in cover. Blerg.
The game's trump card, as far as I'm concerned, is "Bond Moments" which is a fancy way of saying "blow stuff up." Essentially, a Bond Moment is when Bond uses his ingenuity and cunning to dispatch his attackers in an ideally awesome way. Sometimes, this amounts to little more than shooting a conspicuous red barrel, blowing away a room of enemies, but other times, you get a cool one, like using a missile to take down enemies, or making a death-defying leap on a motorcycle.
Facilitating these moments is "Bond Vision," which slows down time to a crawl, and highlights things like explosives you can shoot. It's all very fun to do, and again, it makes you feel like Bond, working out a convenient and cool solution to a room full of bad guys.
Throughout the adventure are vehicle segments to round out the gameplay. You drive Bond's Aston Martin V12 Vanquish from Die Another Day (yes, the worst of the Brosnan films) and you get an impossibly armed motorcycle as well. The motorcycle segment late in the game, taking place on an extremely long bridge, is pretty cool.
The game has actually aged pretty well, in my opinion. It looks great, though you won't confuse it with The Last Of Us or anything. It plays very well, too. Bond does what you want him to do when you want him to do it. There's some stiffness in the controls, but it's not game-breaking.
It's the best Bond game out there, in my opinion. I know you're reading this and screaming "GOLDENEYE!" at the top of your lungs, but here me out. While I love Goldeneye (I spent hours in that game. Hours. More than needed to beat the game, and then there's the multiplayer) I rarely felt like I was playing as James Bond. There's moments, sure, but let's face it, you're playing more as Duke Nukem. Which, again, is not a slight to Goldeneye. Because it's a legend. It's one of the best shooters of all time.
But Everything or Nothing is the best Bond game around. You really get to be 007 (at least during the action scenes) and there's even a slow moving, easily escapeable deathtrap that the villain seems content with not watching. The game put you in the movies you so desperately want to be in. Even seeing the actors lend their likenesses as well as their voice gave the game a "movie" feel.
And it's better than the recent Blood Stone. That game just sucked. Don't play that one. Play this one.
Thanks to Wikipedia and IGN for the images.
Comments, questions, drink recipes, and suggestions for future Games of The Week are welcome!
Next week brings us more slow motion and heavy handed narration.