James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing
Bond returned and became bombastically better than before. This game has it all: car-racing, stealth-action missions, dodging traffic on a sophisticated motorbike, jumping off cliffs and buildings, driving tanks and much, much more. All that action is combined in one game and of course everything has the typical Bond-flavour to it. Also every possible Bond element is present: the cars and gadgets, the girls, the story, the humour and the villain.
The story has all that a Bond-adventure must have and I won’t go in on the details because everybody knows what Bond-movies are like (this game could be considered as a movie) and I don’t like giving things away. Be like me, naïve before you start playing and read and talk about it later.
When starting the game for the first time, you’ll play a teaser and it is just as promising and spectacular as the one from the movies. It adds that little extra to it, not starting the game from a menu like every other game, just booting and the experience starts. Of course this teaser is not difficult to finish as it is just an appetiser, but it immediately shows the quality of the graphics and cut scenes while giving you a little taste of what the gameplay is going to be like.
There is a lot to say about the gameplay because there have been a lot of changes and it features a variety that has never been seen before. For this sequel the perspective changed from first to third person which I think is a daring move, but EA managed to do a terrific job and created a lot of possibilities by doing so.
Now, they had to find a new way of fighting and so they did. The best technique ever used for console shooting: you can select a target with L1 and shoot with R1, but sometimes you will still have to adjust with the right analog stick in the selected area. The major advantage from this system is that you will still have to make an effort to aim and hit (or so it feels) as it is no ordinary lame auto-aim option like you could use in “Nightfire” and the difficulty of aiming in fps-wise environment with a controller is gone. It might feel a little strange in the beginning, but once you’ve past the original and amusing MI6 training you won’t give it up for all the gold in the Fort Knox. You can also lean against walls or aim around corners and the levels are built in such a way that you will need to use this feature. Rushing is no longer an option.
The good thing is that the camera following the third person view fulfills its role perfectly and in the total chaos and action it has not even let me down once. However, I must add that sometimes I had to change the inverse horizontal/vertical option because it was annoying not to have it on while playing with Bond and it felt unnatural while controlling the helicopter (why would it be the first option to choose from if it was not important).
There are also improvements to the vehicle-driving, which feels slightly less arcade-easy and that is because there are other factors like time, enemies or paths that are far from easy. Then there are the so called boss-levels, which are perfectly integrated in the story and need you to be just as inventive as 007 himself.
I won’t spoil your adventure by telling you more about the different actions you will have to use, all I can say is that they are as never seen before, not frustrating but still challenging, very original and extremely fun and every time again it is a pleasant surprise.
The soundtrack and most of the other music and sound-effects are written and performed by Mya and it is a shame that the game doesn’t include an audio-disc with all the music on it because the tune is catching and the background music in the levels takes the tention to another level. The voices couldn’t be better as they are all from original Bond-actors as Judi Dench(M), Willem Dafoe(Nikolai Diavolo), Richard Kiel(Jaws), … They are even mentioned on “imdb” for it.
Graphics are truly stunning. In one of the first levels you will have to descend from a skyscraper and believe me when I say that the view is magnificent. The greatest improvement is probably that the levels feel alive and there is much more interaction than there was in “Nightfire”. You can shoot crates or cupboards, which will sometimes hide extra ammo or armour, there will be steam and smoke raising from the floor, little fires everywhere, fire-extinguishers putting them out and so on. What surprises me is that this doesn’t have an effect on the loading times. That is to say a negative effect, because loading happens incredibly fast (no time to grasp a cookie there).
I got this game mailed to me on a Monday morning and the first thing I did was take a day off and start playing continuously (except for the two vegetale pizza’s from “Dr. Oetker” I ate) and I finished the singleplayer somewhere around eleven o’ clock. I know that is only one day, but let me explain. First of all, that day was like a incredible journey and seemed as if I went on a trip around the world, besides it is quality that counts and not quantity. Still, I did not really need to make that point, because there are still a lot of extra multiplayer modes, like cooperative, race (a two-player mode in which you have to finish a level before the other one, but you will still have to work together), scramble (the same as race, but then for the highest score) and arena(up to four-player instant action). These modes all use the same levels, but they do differ a lot from the ones in the singleplayer.
If you have read some Bond-novels or saw some movies, you will definitely find some nice winks to them, which is quite fun for true Bond-lovers. I’ll give two of the more obvious away: Max Zorin is mentioned in an interesting context and you will be driving a tank in Moskou on Red Square.
So, there is nothing left for me to do than praise every aspect one last, short time. Sound is amazing and could be enjoyed separately, the story is almost like the one from the movies, gameplay has changed a lot in the positive way becoming revolutionary good and varied, the graphics are breathtaking and the levels are much more interactive than they were in “Nightfire”. I never thought I would say this, but the perfect game exists. This is a must for every gamer and Bond fan. Even if you are only a Bond fan and not a gamer you ought to buy a console and play James Bond’s latest adventures. Why not?! In the end you only live twice.