Ever since the success of Nintendo and Rare's take on the James Bond film GoldenEye, the world's most famous secret agent has been cast in first-person shooter after first-person shooter. It seems as though Electronic Arts has been trying, with varying degrees of success, to recapture the magic of Rare's classic Nintendo 64 game. But for an agent as versatile as James Bond, casting him into a shooter has always felt a little limiting. There's certainly much, much more to the character than just running around with a gun. Electronic Arts has finally come to this conclusion, it seems. Its latest Bond game, Everything or Nothing, is a third-person action game that blends shooting, driving, and other types of action together in a seamless fashion, delivering an awesome experience that puts you in 007's shoes better than any game to come before it.
Everything or Nothing features a variety of exciting, well-done gameplay sequences.
Though Everything or Nothing isn't based directly on a James Bond movie, the way the story is presented makes it feel every bit as authentic as one of the films. For the first time, actor Pierce Brosnan lends his voice to a Bond game, which lends additional authenticity to Everything or Nothing. In addition, the cast of the game includes John Cleese, Dame Judi Dench, Richard Kiel, Willem Dafoe, Shannon Elizabeth, Heidi Klum, and singer Mya, who both performs the game's main theme and appears in the game as an NSA agent. While using Hollywood talent in games is nothing new, EA has actually based the looks of the characters on their real-life counterparts. So, for instance, Q has not only John Cleese's voice, but also his likeness. All of this combines to make the game feel like a very big production that exceeds what's been done in past Bond games.
The storyline also matches up with the Bond legacy quite well. Willem Dafoe plays the heavy in the story, an ex-KGB agent named Nikolai Diavolo. To tie him in to the Bond franchise, Diavolo is said to have worked with former Bond supervillain Max Zorin, whom fans of the films will remember as the bad guy played by Christopher Walken in A View to a Kill. Further tying the game to past Bond activities is the appearance of Jaws, the metal-mouthed tough guy from Bond's past. The plot of the game centers on nanobot technology--Diavolo wants to use microscopic machines for evil, and it's up to 007 to stop him. Along the way, you'll save the girl, give a massage, break the necks of some henchmen, and blow up as many things as you possibly can.
The majority of the action in Everything or Nothing consists of third-person action with a heavy emphasis on shooting and hiding behind cover. One button lets you lock your aim onto an enemy. From there, you can use the right analog stick to further refine your aim--which is largely important for lethal headshots. Enemies generally take cover once they've spotted you, but they'll occasionally pop their heads out for a look at the action. That, as you might imagine, is the perfect time to strike. From either a ducking position or from hiding around a corner, you can simply hit the fire button to have James pop out, fire off a shot or two, and then get right back into hiding. This mechanic, which shares a bit of the same tactical significance as the hide-and-shoot gameplay of Namco's kill.switch, is fun and works well.
Many of the actors you've seen on the silver screen reprise their roles here.
However, it tends to work a little too well at times, as Bond's aim is perfect. This means you can line up headshots like there's no tomorrow and simply dispatch 85 percent of your enemies with one shot, regardless of which weapon you're toting. The remaining 15 percent require some slightly closer action. In these cases, you can resort to fisticuffs, throws, or, if you're stealthy, sneaking up behind guards and breaking their necks. In the navigation department, 007 is armed with a rappelling device, and you'll be doing a lot of climbing on the sides of buildings. But on-foot action isn't all you'll be doing.
Everything or Nothing also contains a fairly robust driving engine, and you'll be in control of a few different vehicles over the course of the game. Most of the driving missions center on giving you a destination and leaving the route up to you. Most of the driving levels have a few different paths, and, more importantly, a lot of the driving feels very open-ended. Early on, you'll be on a motorcycle, trying to catch up with a train. Here you get a lot of different paths to choose from, but you're rarely left wondering if maybe another path would have been quicker or better. Some of your vehicles are armed in true James Bond fashion, so you'll be firing rockets from your Porsche or shooting flames out of the sides of your Q-Bike. It's all very cool and very well done.