|Xbox, GC, PS2
| Violence, Suggestive Themes
| The Good
Plays like a Bond Movie
Looks like Pierce Brosnan
Solid single and multiplayer modes
| The Bad
Short single player
Voice work could use more variety
Gadgets are never utilized well
Nightfire places you in the role of secret agent James
Bond, who must stop Raphael Drake from using a space-bound
missile defense platform as his own personal weapon. To do
this, players must survive a story-driven first person shooter
with some vehicular scenarios thrown in for good measure.
To augment the "run-and-gun" style of FPS, Bond
carries the standard array of spy gadgets.
One of the first things you'll notice about Nightfire
is how it's really been set up to play like a Bond movie.
You'll be treated to the standard "Bond shooting the
camera" intro, followed by a seemingly unrelated opening
scenario, and then a credits portion with themesong and scantily
clad women in silhouette before you reach the main game. At
that point, you can choose to play the mission-based single
player mode or get into the multiplayer.
The single player mode consists of a series of missions,
whether it be in first person mode or in a vehicle (Aston
Martin and gun mounted snowmobile), which are set up with
a series of goals and peppered with story sequences to push
the main story along. For the most part, the game is your
standard "run-and-gun" style of first person shooter,
where you just need to shoot your way from beginning to end.
Luckily, though, there are enough spy elements thrown in to
keep the mission objectives from being mundane. Bond comes
with a handful of spy gadgets, which are really only useful
in a single context in a level. Outside of maybe one or two
uses throughout a level, most of the spy gadgets will just
collect dust in your inventory. And, on top of that, the single
player mode is noticeably short. Most players should be able
to beat it in a few days.
To augment the short single player mode, though, is a fairly
varied multiplayer mode with a large collection of choices,
including Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Capture the Flag and
even team modes. On top of this, the player can include A.I.
controlled "bots" to give each multiplayer session
even more enemies to deal with. And, while you're given a
good variety of choices and levels to begin with, performing
well in the single player mode unlocks more options in the
multiplayer mode. This alone will give most players a reason
to replay the single player mode.
Graphics-wise, Nightfire is built on a firmly solid
engine. Levels are nicely laid out and are fairly large in
size. One of the nicest touches is that every location looks
and feels like part of a living world, where locations feel
pulled straight from real places. My only complaint might
be that some locations feel a little too neat and clean (the
offices in one level just feel too sterile), but outside of
that, you'll be pleased with the way each location looks and
feels. Character models look pretty good and for the most
part are animated well. The James Bond model was meticulously
patterned after Pierce Brosnan and looks the part. Along with
Bond, a number of the facial models look really good and show
nice facial detail. There are a few instances where random
NPCs may be animated unusually, but it never really takes
away from the game as a whole.
Audio-wise, Nightfire presents itself well. The sound
effects and music are well done and work with the graphics
package to make a nice presentation. Voice-acting is decent,
but the person EA brought in to do James Bond sounds nothing
like Brosnan. The rest of the voice cast is nicely executed.
My only real complaint is that most of the NPC lines tend
to get repeated, so much so that it can get annoying when
you face the same type of enemy over and over in a stage.
I would have to say that the weak link of the game is the
single player mode. If EA really wanted to give players a
true spy-flick feel, they should have allowed the players
a little more experimenting with the gadgets and even reward
them for finding hidden areas or items in a level with the
gadgets (yeah, I know you get credit for doing so many "Bond
moves" in a level, but it's just not the same). For the
most part, every single stage is linear to a fault and allowing
some exploration would have done wonders towards making this
a deeper game.
While Nightfire may not be the cream of the crop when
it comes to first person shooters or even James Bond-themed
games (Goldeneye this is not), it still does manage
to provide more than enough enjoyment for those looking for
their spy-flick action fix. If you're looking into this game,
you may want to rent first to see if it's to your liking.