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007 Nightfire

Score: 70%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: Gearbox Software
Media: CD/2
Players: 1 - 32
Genre: First Person Shooter

Graphics & Sound:

Although 007 Nightfire gives the impression of having excellent visuals, the graphics are in fact pretty poor for a modern first person shooter. The sequences that unfold the story are especially low res, with poor textures and stuttering animation. The in-game graphics are generally good, but they slow down rather often, and some of the textures can look blocky up close.

Since graphics and sound are some of the most important features of a first person shooter, this sounds pretty serious. And if 007 Nightfire had exceptional graphics, it would definitely improve the game considerably. But if you are a serious James Bond fan, it probably won't matter that much, especially considering the sound quality is quite high.

Sound effects, the trademark James Bond music, and all of the voiceovers are extremely well done, and they really help flesh out the game world. When you combine this with fairly expansive levels, you can forgive some of the graphical problems, although you can still wish the developer had done a better job.


007 Nightfire has nine missions, and each of these is broken up into multiple levels. There are always multiple objectives, and these sometimes change as a mission progresses. The game does an excellent job of informing you of this, and of checking off the objectives as you complete them. You can always see the objectives by pressing a single keystroke, so you should never be unclear about what to do next.

Objectives don't always have to be completed in order, although sometimes you are forced to perform one before another. Also, pertinent information for a particular objective can sometimes be lost if you miss part of an important conversation. This, combined with the fact that you have to go through a lengthy load time in order to make level transitions, means you will sometimes spend a considerable amount of time trying to figure out how to complete an objective.

Although this can be frustrating, most of the time you will stumble into encounters, and on-screen cues will let you know of interactions that are possible or necessary. Not unlike most first person shooters, you will complete the objectives just by exploring the environment, and doing the right thing when encountering enemies.

There are quite a few weapons available in the game, from the lowly Wolfram P2K automatic pistol, which can be silenced, to the cool Frinesi Automatic 12 shotgun, some nice sniper rifles, machine guns, and a number of other more 'explosive' devices. Gadgets range from the trusty laser watch used to burn off locks, to the dart pen, a stunner, a micro camera, and other assorted goodies.


007 Nightfire offers three difficulty levels, and they make the game pretty easy to somewhat hard. Those looking for a really tough first person shooter will probably be disappointed, and the game is short, so it's not like it will even take very long to complete. Since objectives can often be met either by stealth or through force, and that does help replayability. The multiplayer mode supports up to 32 players online, which also helps give the game some legs.

Game Mechanics:

Mission and level loading are both extremely slow, but saving games is quick. The game is automatically saved anytime a mission or level transition occurs, which makes it less likely you will have to replay large portions of a level or mission over and over again. Besides objectives, hints are also readily available in-game, and they help tutor you concerning the game play or provide other necessary information. Bond's health, the currently selected weapon or gadget, as well as remaining ammunition are all clearly indicated on screen.

Cycling through weapons and gadgets is extremely easy to do if you have a mouse wheel, but even if you don't, the controls are completely customizable, so it won't be hard to get the layout set up just the way you like. The game offers a large number of resolutions and color depths, as well as other graphic performance related settings, so you should be able to find a happy medium between performance and visual quality.

It's hard to fault 007 Nightfire, although you'd like to based on its many shortcomings. Maybe it's just because there are so few James Bond based PC games, or that most of them are even worse than this one, but to be honest, if you are a Bond fan, and you like first person shooter style game play, then you probably won't go wrong by getting this one. But if you aren't a Bond fan, and you just want a good first person shooter, then you will likely be disappointed.

-Gordy, GameVortex Communications
AKA Gary Lucero

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, 500MHz Pentium III, 128MB RAM, 32MB Direct3D capable video card with DirectX 8.1 compatible driver, DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card, 8x CD-ROM.

Test System:

Windows XP Home, 2 GHz Pentium 4, 256MB RAM, GeForce 4 Ti4200 w/64MB RAM, SoundBlaster Live! Value, 32x DVD-ROM.

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