No One Lives Forever 2
No One Lives Forever (NOLF) was one of the more entertaining FPS games from the last couple of years. Putting you in the role of the fearless Cate Archer, a 1960s style spy, you had to thwart the evil plans of H.A.R.M. . To do this this you had a vast array of spy gadgets and top notch weapons but even with this impressive arsenal at your disposal the game was thoroughly enjoyable. What made NOLF stand out was its tongue-in-cheek humour. Conversations between enemy characters were simply hilarious and worth the price of the game alone. Now it's time for Cate to spring back into action only this time she's a marked woman and again H.A.R.M. wants her dead.
The first thing you'll notice about NOLF 2 is that Cate's appearance has changed radically. This doesn't make any difference to the game but I honestly preferred the look of the original Cate. Talking about appearances, the game looks absolutely fantastic and without a doubt is the best looking PC game I have seen to date. Like the original game the plot, of which I'm giving nothing away because it's superb and to reveal it would spoil some of the fun, shifts from country to country and the look and style of each country is absolutely brilliant. What's more impressive is that the framerate actually seems smoother than the original game which is excellent when you consider the vast improvement in the visual quality.
Taking a leaf out of Deus Ex's book, Monolith have decided to add an RPG flavour to NOLF 2. During the missions you'll be given objectives, some of which are compulsory and some of which are optional. Completing these objectives will earn you skill points. When you've amassed a certain amount of skill points you can improve any one of a number of Cate's abilities from stealth to armour. With each upgrade Cate becomes more efficient and the upgrades bring the possibility of success in the game that little bit closer. Of course what the skill point system also does is make the optional objectives very attractive because you go out of your way to complete them to earn the skill points rather than simply pass them by like you might have otherwise done.
NOLF didn't have all conversations subtitled. The game had some wonderfully funny conversations that deaf gamers were simply unable to enjoy because they weren't subtitled. These conversations also alerted you to enemy presence. Thankfully NOLF 2 is almost completely subtitled so you'll both be able to enjoy these wonderfully funny conversations and be alerted to enemy presence even when enemies are not visable. I say almost completely subtitled because during combat not all the words that are spoken by your enemies are shown as subtitles, but to be honest these instances don't spoil the enjoyment of the game and if an enemy says anything at length then it's subtitled.
What could make it awkward for deaf gamers is the missions where you have to use stealth to avoid security cameras. Hearing gamers will be able to hear the whirring noise that the security cameras make but there are no captions for deaf gamers. Thankfully NOLF 2 allows you to resort to an all guns blazing approach should your stealthy ways not be up to much. There is also a quick save and quick load feature should you want to take the stealth approach without getting too frustrated. Thankfully though this doesn't really spoil the game for the deaf gamer.
FPS games are never in short supply, however, gripping and supremely playable ones are and that is exactly what we have in NOLF 2. Monolith have improved upon the original game and have created one of the best single player FPS games of all time. Superb subtitling allows deaf gamers to fully enjoy the experience too which is always a bonus. Understandably some people may not have experienced the great game that was NOLF as some reviews were a bit unkind on the game. However, whether you enjoyed the original game or never experienced it, it doesn't matter either way because you'll thoroughly enjoy this superb sequel.
Overall Game Rating: 9.4/10 One of the great FPS games of all time. A superb sequel.
Deaf Gamers comment: Excellent subtitles but in need of captions to show the whirring noise of the security cameras.