James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing PlayStation 2
by EA Games
Developed by Electronic Arts Inc.
Released - Out Now
Price : £39.99
The name's Arts, Electronic Arts and once again they have a licence to thrill. You could say that no one does it better and that it makes you feel sad for the rest. Actually Bond references aside the domination of the gaming charts by Electronic Arts has been nothing short of outstanding and as I write this review they once again have a game at the top of the pile (and 8 out of the top 20) and that game is James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing. Recent Bond games have been increasing in quality and have been becoming more and more popular. Many of you will already know that EA have announced that Goldeneye 2 is being worked on so the future certainly look promising for all you Bond fans out there. Anyway enough waffle, on with the review.
The game couldn't really get off to a more dramatic beginning. The plans for a highly classified prototype nano-robot project have been stolen from Oxford University and with them the overseer of the project, Dr. Katya Nadanova, has also disappeared. The nanobot project was meant to be used for the remote inspection and repair of dangerous nuclear containment facilities but it's also capable of a whole lot more and in the wrong hands it could pose a serious threat. Of course with such a threat the need to call on 007 has arisen and the game begins in Egypt in a secret facility in the Sahara Desert. What should be a routine mission turns nasty when a double cross occurs and your first actions in the game will be to retrieve a briefcase amidst a volley of gunfire.
Everything or Nothing sees the Bond games move to a third person perspective and in my opinion is all the better for it. Playing from a third person perspective allows you to have greater control of those stealth moments and gives you a greater awareness of what's going on around you, which is essential in a game of this nature. The hand-to-hand combat really works well and it would have been a right mess had the game been played from a first person perspective. Of course with it being a Bond game there are plenty of fancy gadgets at your disposal. The Q Spider, the Rappel (which allows Bond to climb and descend walls), Nano Suit, Sleeper Dart and Coin Grenades are all superb and give the game a distinct Bond movie feel. The controls also feel good and you can lock on to enemies to take them down with the minimum of fuss. Bond will also be able to control various vehicles in the game, such as the Aston Martin, Porsche Cayenne Turbo and the Triumph Daytona 600, and thanks to the driving gameplay mechanics being borrowed from the Need For Speed series, it looks and handles very nicely indeed.
The one fly in the ointment for me has to be the length of the single player missions, which will only take you just over a dozen hours or so to complete (depending on which of the three difficulty levels you are playing). Replay value has been added by the inclusion of unlockable items such as weapon upgrades and cheats, which are earned by your performance in a mission and the amount of Bond moments that you have. There is also a multiplayer element to the game and if you own a multitap you'll be able to have 4 player games. The multiplayer games on offer are Cooperative, Race, Scramble and Arena (which is initially locked). These multiplayer modes are good but are not of the same standard as the single player game.
The first thing you'll notice with Everything or Nothing is the fantastically high production values. All the correct actors have been signed up and whilst their vocal talents are something which isn't going to concern deaf gamers, the image likeness of these movie stars have been well represented in the game, even the giant enemy Jaws makes an appearance. Throughout the game you'll visit Egypt, Peru, New Orleans and Moscow and overall they look quite good. There are some frame rate issues from time to time on the PlayStation 2 but it's never problematic and doesn't spoil the game in any way. The character models all look good and animate quite well. The cutscenes are also impressive and you can't help but feel that when the next generation consoles arrive (Xbox 2, PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's next offering) that we will have the visual quality to rival that of the movies.
007 fans will be thrilled to learn that the game is subtitled. However, the first time you play, the game will go into a kind of a prologue mission and the introduction will not be subtitled. This is just a minor niggle though because if you quit the game at the first opportunity you can go to the option menu and enable the subtitles. After you've done this begin a new game and you'll see the subtitles and be fully aware of what's going on. Mission objectives can be checked at any time by pressing the start button and all tutorials and hints are shown in text too, so you'll be able to enjoy the game without any hassle. The manual covers the basics in regards to controlling James and the various vehicles that he will be able to use in the game. It's not a particularly long manual but it's rather useful all the same.
James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing is probably the best Bond game since the now ancient classic Goldeneye. The move to a third person perspective has really done something for the game and I've enjoyed playing the game a lot more than other recent Bond titles. Everything from those stealth moments to driving vehicles and hand-to-hand combat is handled much better from a third person perspective. It's a shame that the single player game wasn't longer but overall it's great fun and it's also given replay value by the extras that you can unlock. Goldeneye 2 may be on the horizon but Everything or Nothing is certainly the best Bond game since the original Goldeneye.
Game Rating: 8.5/10
It may not be based on a Bond film but it has that Bond movie feel to it and it's the best Bond game since Goldeneye.
You can enable subtitles although they are not on by default.