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(James Bond) 007: Nightfire

Score: 75%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: EA Games
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: First Person Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

Quite frankly, the graphics and sound of this edition of Bond are brilliant. The cost of this brilliance is high, though. You see, when playing multiplayer games, 007: Nightfire suffers from severe slowdown. Of course, having huge levels, outstanding player models, and great effects would cause problems for any game, even with the powerful Xbox hardware. However, there's no denying that scanning Pierce Brosnan's face for the James Bond character model gives that extra punch to an already great game.

I think just about every video game junkie has played some sort of Bond game. With every Bond game, comes Bond Music. And every note played is a note remembered. I can promise that you'll be humming the theme for no reason as soon as the disc makes its first revolution in the console. Music aside, Nightfire also has some sweet sound fx. And with the Xbox's built-in real-time Dolby Digital, every 'Bond Move' and shotgun shell makes an incredible noise.


Gameplay:

007: Nightfire is classic Bond at its best. Every aspect of the game just screams BOND, from the superb single-player to the addicting multi-player. This year's incarnation is every bit of fun as last year's. You'll quickly be drawn into the game as you flip through your Q-gadgets and arsenal of weaponry while infiltrating enemy bases. The wide assortment of items at your disposal also makes Nightfire very strategic.

Although using stealth is definitely the preferred choice of infiltration, you don't really have to sneak up on everyone to get through the game. If you want to unlock all of the goodies in the game (without using cheats), however, you'll have to find a balance between sneakiness and efficiently making your way through each level. The levels that you will be working through are very well-designed, but it's too bad there aren't more of them. True, you have 12 missions in Nightfire, but using a level twice is an unfortunate example of what takes place in the game.

Another fun aspect of Nightfire is that not every level involves controlling Bond in the first-person perspective. You'll also be treated to driving levels, as well as shooting levels where you don't control the vehicles, but instead a gun inside the vehicles. This is a great way to break the action up a bit, but these 'alternate' levels are a bit too short, making it easy to beat the game in a relatively quick manner.

And, of course, Bond wouldn't be Bond without an awesome multi-player experience. 007: Nightfire is very, very addicting and very, very fun. With up to four human players and the addition of up to six computer-controlled 'BOTS', Nightfire is one of the best multi-player games on the market, until you hit the inevitable slow-down. Just when you're about to blast your opponent with a guided missile, the game jumps into super slow-motion and the frame-rate effectively halves. So what once was a stellar game has officially become part lemon.


Difficulty:

007: Nightfire has a perfect balance of difficulty. There are three real 'settings', but it doesn't stop there. Not only does the difficulty affect the enemy AI settings, but you'll also have the added difficulty of trying to unlock extra characters, weapon upgrades, and the like. To do so, you will have to score enough points in the single-player game to earn a Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum. Then you will also collect all of the 'Bond Bonus' icons, which means you'll have to replay levels multiple times, adding to the replay value of a relatively short game.

Game Mechanics:

007: Nightfire has a very good set of controller layouts to choose from, so everyone should be able to use their method of choice. Though, another cost of the great graphics in the game is that controlling Bond can sometimes seem a bit slow, most notably when trying to turn around during a heated battle. Other than that, controlling the most renowned secret agent in the world is very easy.

It's just too bad that this year's Bond game suffers so many slowdowns in the otherwise awesome multiplayer experience. Had this not been the case, 007: Nightfire would have made it high on my all-time best list. As is, however, this amount of slowdown is inexcusable, and takes away from the overall presence of the game. That aside, the multi-player is still a great experience, and the single-player missions are forever classic Bond.


-Woody, GameVortex Communications
AKA Shane Wodele

Microsoft Xbox 007: Nightfire Microsoft Xbox Legends of Wrestling II

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated