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007: Agent Under Fire

Score: 90%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: EA Games
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: First Person Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

Remember back in the day, playing Goldeneye on your N64, how you were mesmerized at the outstanding graphics that Bond offered? Well, ol' James is back and brighter than ever. The levels themselves in 007: Agent Under Fire aren't anything new, but the player models are incredible. Facial textures look so real you'd swear Sean Connery (who played the best James Bond character ever) was actually in the game. Explosions also look superb and all too real when you see a grenade coming your way.

What would a Bond game be without the Bond music? Da Da, Daaa. Da Da Da, Da Da. Believe me, you'll get plenty of it. In fact, it may actually get annoying after a while, unless you really, really like it. Fortunately, during the game you will never get enough one-liners. When you perform 'Bond Moves' or often during cut-scenes you will be treated to James at his best. And with Dolby Digital surrounding you in all directions, you're sure to know exactly where shots are coming from or grenades are landing with their clink, clink as they hit metal platforms.


Gameplay:

The heart of every 007 game has been the essentially fun gameplay. Agent Under Fire is no exception. From the start, you'll be up to your neck in enemies, where stealth is the key to survival. But, once discovered by the enemy, the game flourishes as an all out shooter. To complete your missions, you will need to employ many techniques and add a lot of gadgets to your repertoire. You will be using gadgets like the Q-Laser to cut through padlocks, and the indispensable Q-Claw (which acts as a grappling hook) to reach high places and sneak around without confrontation.

One of the best features of 007: Agent Under Fire is that the monotony of working your way through room after room gets broken up with missions involving vehicles. Cool enough is the ability to floor it through city streets, shooting guns and launching missiles, but throw in a tank with a chain gun and built-in turret, and throw your worries away. Even helicopters are no match for Bond in an armored tank. Other handheld weapons range from the Golden Gun (with silencer) and Sniper Rifle to Machine Guns and Grenade or Rocket Launchers, plus much, much more.

Of course, even after you work your way through the game by yourself, there's always room for a little multiplayer mayhem! Anybody that has ever played a four-player Bond game will once again fall in love with James in Agent Under Fire. The action gets to be fast-paced, and the quick trigger finger is usually the winning one. It's unfortunate, but AUF doesn't support the Xbox System Link. This means that this go around won't allow players to compete via a LAN or the Internet as with Halo. On the plus side, however, the game does include BOTS (computer-controlled players), possibly making 007: Agent Under Fire a game of choice for multiplayer first person shooters.


Difficulty:

Agent Under Fire's main story mode offers a great variety in difficulty. You will be able to choose from three levels for each of the twelve missions. But to add replay value to the game, EA has included a type of scoring system, where it is your goal to receive a gold medal for each mission. Another way the developers increased the difficulty of the game is through a limited number of lives. There will be checkpoints throughout the levels, but if you lose all of your lives you will have to start from the beginning. Don't worry though. Each time you play a mission, enemies are essentially in the same position and will perform the same type of movements, so clearing missions isn't all that difficult after a while.

Game Mechanics:

This version of 007 on the Xbox offers very similar controls to that of Goldeneye on the N64. The difference is that you will use both analog sticks to move, freeing up the extra buttons for more functions. You may have to tweak the controller configuration to your liking (I would suggest Setup 2, so that strafe is on the left stick), but each button is used to perfection. In Multiplayer mode, you will also be able to add 'modifiers' to the game. These modifiers allow you to tweak many things, including how fast your character runs and how quickly you can move your character around to aim.

007: Agent Under Fire is a great game, and very fun to play. Alone, you get quality graphics and classic Bondisms, not to mention pretty Bond Girls. Throw a few more controllers into the mix and you and your buds can have a classic frag-fest. Although I didn't get quite the same awe from 007: Agent Under Fire as I did when I first played Goldeneye, this is a strong title and definitely worth a look, especially if you like to bust out a little split-screen multiplayer action.


-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Microsoft Xbox Nascar Heat 2002 Microsoft Xbox Air Force Delta Storm

 
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