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James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing Xbox Review

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| Action in Gaming | Posted: Feb 21, 2004 5:00 am

As you might have guessed in Everything or Nothing you play as MI6 spy James Bond on the trail of yet another super villain trying to take over the world. He comes in the form of a man named Diavolo (played by Willem Dafoe), who is in cohorts with a famous scientist developing Nano technology which can tear through metal faster then a speeding bullet. As the story progresses you are introduced to numerous characters and there are a few twists and turns before the thrilling climax arrives. Expect a wide variety of missions and tasks to complete as Bond, and don't expect it to be easy. Tasks can include jumping over a cliff to save a life, infiltrating a nightclub, and of course taking down enemies. The game is also really easy to get to grips with and features some very user friendly mechanics. For instance, jumping off a building will automatically deploy the rapel, eliminating the possibility of a mistake.

For this game the franchise has changed from a first person shooter to a third person action game. A new sense of freedom is unveiled when during the training mission you are taught how to crouch below walls for cover, or pin yourself up against a wall and shoot around the corner to take down unsuspecting enemies. Doing this isn't just a gimmick either, sometimes during the missions you will be heavily outnumbered and using cover will be the key to victory. With this change comes  a 3D camera and using the right thumbstick, you can move it around, to get a better view from around corners or behind Bond. There is also Bond sense, when using the DPAD left or right, the game will move into super slow motion much like bullet time with Max Payne. The difference is Bond can't move or shoot during this and it's really only useful for changing weapons.

EA have really captured the atmosphere of the Bond universe incredibly well in this game. They have left no stone unturned in the development and signed some big names to come on board, many of which Bond fans will be familiar with. These real world actors play out the action on screen, and when we say play out we don't just mean character models with their voices. EA actually digitised all the characters from their real life persona and created an incredible likeness to actors such as John Cleese (Q), Dame Judi Dench (M) and the Bond girls who are played by Heidi Klum (Dr Katya Nadanova), Shannon Elizabeth (Serena St. Germaine) and Mya (Mya Starling). There is no doubt in our minds that using real world actors has added to the authenticity of this title and makes the game more enjoyable to play.

Not only this but the actual way the game is played out and the cinematic effects used also bring across an exciting, enjoyable game experience. As you speed along on a motorcycle, or fly through the air in a helicopter, the enemy will be shooting down rocks and pillars to try and make you crash. Perhaps the most cinematic event of the game is actually the beginning. Pierce comes on screen, shoots towards you and then the first mission begins. Once completed the actual introduction to the game is played out just like in the real bond films, nothing short of stunning.

There is a few niggles we have with the game though. The first being the aiming system. It works very much like in Dead to Rights. Hold down the left trigger, get a target and shoot. The colour coding system is in effect as well, with red a hit, orange a possible hit and green almost no chance. The problem we have is the aiming system when in close with enemies. It takes some time to lock on and when you're being hunted by numerous enemies with machine guns, time is of the essence. The other problem is the time it takes to change weapons. During this time you're usually being pumped full of bullets and the fact that Bond doesn't automatically change to the most powerful weapon he has can be the difference between completing a level and having to start again. This isn't enough to ruin the experience of the game though and can be overlooked in most cases. The game is also fairly linear so for those of you expecting to be able to roam around the place, you will be disappointed.

As expected with Bond, there is a variety of new gadgets to try out such as his thermovision. The way these are presented is quite novel. At certain points of the storyline you will see missions called MI6: Interlude. These missions are usually a meeting with M about the upcoming missions but also a chance to visit the Q lab and get the low down on the latest gadgetry and vehicles. Weapons include a spider gadget, a coin with EMP capabilities and a network tap which can be used to take control of things like weapon turrets and others we won't spoil. Q usually clues you in on when the best time to use these gadgets are. Bond can also use hand to hand combat, and there are actual moves which can be pulled off. Depending where the enemy is, Bond may slam them against the wall or use surrounding objects to defeat them.

EA have licensed three vehicles for the game, the Porsche Cayanne Turbo, The Aston Martin Vanquish V12 and the Triumph Daytona 600 motorcycle, all kitted out with the latest high tech weapons. In terms of action vs vehicle missions the ratio is about one quarter. There is quite a few missions where vehicles are involved, but most of the time you will be on your feet. The feel of the cars and bike is great and you can reach the top speeds required without fear of not being able to make the next corner. The driving sections are quite enjoyable and really add to the action packed nature of the game with the aforementioned cinematic effects.

Everything or Nothing is set across four locales around the globe; Moscow, New Orleans, Peru and Egypt. With a diverse range of locales, this has enabled the developers to create some unique missions and fantastic areas to set them in. You will also find a different variety of enemies at each one ranging from the local police, to commando units. They are smart as well, jumping crates and other objects to get closer to Bond. The game features three different difficulty levels; operative, agent and 00 agent. Agent and 00 Agent are basically the same except the enemy are much tougher, but operative is significantly different. In operative you only have to complete the most crucial tasks. Such as on the train with Jaws, you only have to defeat him rather then destroy four computer terminals as well.

The graphics are also impressive and not just because of the digitised characters and vehicle models. Bond animates really well especially during hand to hand combat and the unique levels are all highly detailed and feature some nice eye candy. The aforementioned cinematic effects use the graphics power of the Xbox well and suit the environments they occur in. Mya who stars in the game performs the official theme song for the game titled "Everything or Nothing". This was written just for the game, just like songs are written for the official movies. The famous Bond tune also pops up here and there and overall the soundtrack is fantastic. The sound effects are also impressive with loud booming noises for tank fire, and generally all round loud effects. The voice acting is also impressive, no doubt because of the use of real world actors, with a slew of one liners from Pierce thrown in.

There are a few things to unlock as you progress through the game such as cheats, concept art and at the end of the credits there is a video of interviews with some of the cast members such as Mya and Pierce Brosnan. Multiplayer is also included and this is a co-operative affair through a campaign. Once the campaign is completed, more modes are unlocked such as arena. You don't play as Bond in multiplayer co-operative Once the game is completed two new missions are unlocked and these are very much like the VR missions featured in Metal Gear Solid.

There is no doubt that Everything or Nothing is one of the best Bond games made within the last few years. EA have left no stone unturned and hiring real actors from the franchise as well as some great new talent to add to the storyline was a masterful touch. If you've been disappointed by the recent Bond games, Everything or Nothing just may change your mind. It's a fast paced ride through the Bond universe and one that every fan of 007 will enjoy. Highly recommended.

 

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