James Bond: Everything or Nothing Review

Review Format:

Playstation 2

For more then 40 years, England’s premiere super spy James Bond has been wowing audiences Worldwide with the latest gadgetry, coolest cars, death-defying heroics, sexiest Bond Girls, and ludicrously named villains. Codenamed 007, he has appeared in several incarnations, most memorably including Sean Connery and Roger Moore. In recent years, he has reached new levels of success with Pierce Brosnan. The Irish born actor has already appeared in four Bond films, and has already signed on for a fifth, which is due for release in 2005.

Bond has appeared in a variety of videogames over years, which varied greatly in quality. His most successful adventure to date was the Nintendo 64’s First person shooter ‘Golden Eye’. After a myriad of games attempting to mirror the N64 classic, Electronic Arts have finally broken the mould, bringing Bond back in an all-new third-person adventure. Just as well, because otherwise you wouldn’t see that Bond is being played by Pierce Brosnan himself. In fact, many recognisable names and former cast members have lent both their image and voices to the game, titled ‘James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing’.

Dame Judi Dench reprises her role as M, the advice-giving Head of MI6. Joining her is Shannon Elisabeth (American Pie) as Serena St. Germaine, German beauty Heidi Klum as Dr. Hatya Nadanova, and singing sensation Mya as Agent Mya Starling. Another Bond favourite returns with Richard Kiel playing Bond’s metal-mouthed nemesis Jaws. Following in the footsteps of Bond’s former enemy Max Zorin, comes Nikolai Diavolo, played by the excellent Willem Dafoe (Spiderman).

Like the movies, the game begins with an explosive pre-credits action sequence. In the heart of Kahajistan, this introductory level throws you straight in the deep end. Enemies are everywhere, and it’s not long before huge tanks and missile spewing helicopters show up. From the get-go, you get to play with a machine gun and a hefty rocket launcher, which make short work of the opposition. If you want to make confrontations a bit more personal, you can also try out some of Bond’s advanced hand-to-hand combat manoeuvres.

On successful completion of a mission, you are awarded with a bronze, silver, gold or platinum rating. Achieving a gold or platinum award unlocks a plethora of extras, including weapons, multiplayer characters, cheats, artwork and bonus levels. Success is rated according to a number of factors, including points scored and the time taken to complete a mission. Also, each level contains a number of special ‘Bond moments’. Performing all of the moments, which include giving an attractive lady a back massage, will earn you a higher score.

MI6’s weapons and vehicles designer Q (played by John Cleese) equips you with the very latest gadgets in order to complete your missions effectively. Inventions include a frag grenade in the shape of a coin, a wall climbing Rappel gun, sleeper darts, spider shaped explosive, cloaked car, and many more state-of-the-art weapons. A virtual-reality training mission, similar to the one found in ‘Metal Gear Solid’, allows you to get to grips with your combat techniques, and master some of the first gadgets on offer.

Levels really are bursting with variety. One minute you’re on a rescue mission at a weapons research facility in Egypt. The next, you get to scale down the side of a building, and then speed away in a choice of cutting-edge vehicles. You can also approach missions using a variety of tactics. Feel free to run around with guns blazing, to cut the enemies down in a hail of bullets. Alternatively, you can adopt a stealthier approach, utilising tranquilliser darts and a stealth tuxedo to walk around undetected.

There are a number of vehicles to get behind the wheel of, including the Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Triumph Daytona 600 motorbike and the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish. Later levels even allow you to soar through the air in a helicopter, and take a tank for a spin. Vehicles come complete with weaponry such as forward mounted machine guns and rocket launchers. The driving segments make use Electronic Arts ‘Need for Speed’ engine, resulting in plenty of high-octane chases.

Actors were digitally scanned, to ensure their likenesses were as accurate as possible. This level of detail is evident in the rest of the game, which features fantastic lighting effects, reflections, and more explosive disasters then an episode of Pop Idol.

In addition to the excellent single player mode, are a surprising amount of multiplayer options. Successfully team up with a friend in the mission-based ‘Cooperative’ mode, and unlock the addictive ‘Arena’ mode. Alternatively, work against the clock in ‘Race’ mode or go head-to-head with a friend in ‘Scramble’ mode. Up to four players can join in the fun, setting this third-person adventure title apart from the competition.

The soundtrack is presented in glorious Dolby Surround Pro Logic 2, making every sound and explosion resonate around the room with crystal clarity. The menu screens are overlaid with a jazzed up version of James Bond’s classic theme music, and the in-game audio throughout is superb. As the real life actors provide the voices for their characters, their voiceover performances add an extra layer of realism to an already impress game.

My only criticism of this otherwise excellent title is that the camera quite often needs re-adjusting when you change direction in third-person mode. Because of this, you quite often get shot before you even have the enemy in view. A way around this is to press yourself against the wall, then peak round to make sure the coast is clear. This minor irritation did nothing however to tarnish my overall enjoyment of the game, which comes with my highest recommendation.

If you’re into Pussy Galore, like your vodka martinis shaken and definitely not stirred, and want to put a stop to the World’s most evil masterminds, then this game is for you. This is the closest you will ever get to playing James Bond (unless of course you are chosen as Pierce Brosnan’s eventual successor). Playing like a crazy mix of Metal Gear Solid, Grand Theft Auto and Wacky Racers, ‘James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing’ is an action packed adventure from start to finish. Meaning as always with James Bond, a sequel is inevitable…

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