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Product: James Bond 007: NightFire
Company: Electronic Arts
Website: http://www.xbox.com
Estimated Street Price: $49.95/£39.99
Review By: Byron Hinson

The Features

After the flawed release of James Bond: Agent Under Fire on the Xbox almost a year ago Nightfire is a welcome change for the console. Obviously you play the part of Secret Agent - James Bond 007. The game features an all new storyline, which also has Pierce Brosnan making a digital appearance as James Bond himself via his likeness, although there is no voice over from the man himself.

The ultimate secret agent is back in his most dangerous adventure yet in James Bond 007: NightFire. Explore new heights and depths like never before-infiltrate towering skyscrapers, take on treacherous underwater missions, and maneuver your sleek Aston Martin V12 Vanquish through the streets of Tokyo while turning on the Bond charm with glamorous (and sometimes deadly) Bond women. New state-of-the-art upgradeable gadgets and weapons and original missions including zero-gravity assignments will leave you shakenÖand stirred.

Do you have what it takes to be Bond?

  • Enter an all-new and original storyline incorporating 40 years of the Bond legacy.
  • Tackle multiple pathways of gameplay in over 20 single and multiplayer missions combining action, stealth, driving and shooting.
  • Explore breathtaking exotic locales across the world, from the South Pacific Islands to deep space.
  • Encounter beautiful Bond women as well as devious Bond villains.
  • Engage in high-speed car chases in the Aston Martin V12 Vanquish and other Bond vehicles exclusive for the console versions.
  • Get equipped with more than 10 unique Q-Lab gadgets and high-tech weaponry.
  • Experience Bond through a dynamic camera system that switches between 1st- and 3rd-person perspectives.
  • See how you measure up in customizable multiplayer combat simulations with more than 10 multiplayer maps and up to 4 players in split-screen action.

Gameplay

Review Quotes
"The sound in the game is also quite good; the music is as expected, straight from the movies. The voice acting is also better than usual, as mentioned earlier it is a shame that there is no Pierce Brosnan as Bond, but that doesnít really distract from the game."

Nightfire is quite similar to Agent Under Fire gameplay-wise, there are a total of 12 levels in the game, each level has a different objective. Although the main game is basically a first person shooter, there are a couple of other game styles used such as an on-the-rails shooter section and a few car chase levels which manage to break up any tedium that may have come up during the game. The first person shooter levels are pretty good, probably up to the standard of some of the better ones on the Xbox released over the last year, that isnít to say that there are no problems with this part of the game at all, as there certainly are a number of flaws.

So what does the first person shooter side of the game consist of, well firstly at the beginning of each level you get a set number of objectives which need to be completed before a level can be finished, these type of objectives range from rescuing hostages to planting viruses into computers. Of course there is a heck of a lot of shooting taking place while you try to complete these objectives too. The main problem I have is that the enemy AI isnít one of the best, while stealth would be good, if you take out an enemy via a sniper rifle no one near by gets alerted as the body of a fallen comrade hits the floor so you are left to just pick of enemies via sniper mode without alerting anyone which is a bit ridiculous.

Next we have the difficultly level, I started the game on the medium difficulty setting and I managed to get through the game in a couple of days (about 6/8 hours). This isnít the kind of game time I expect from a title these days, I expect at least 14 hours of gameplay if I can get it. So Nightfire is pretty easy to complete, perhaps even through one sitting.

The on-the-rails levels are just that, not really a great deal to say about them other than that they break up the first person levels quite well and are quite exciting and full of action, but donít expect anything too fancy other than some great explosions. The driving sections are not half bad, they certainly give games like Spy Hunter a run for their money with all manor of smoke bombs, missiles and guns to choose from, the only problem here is that they donít actually last very long at all, 4/5 minutes at the most which is a shame as they are a welcome change.

Now onto the gadgets that can be used in the game, there are quite a lot to choose from such as a watch that turns into a laser, a shaver that turns into a stun grenade, a decoder, a firelighter that can also be a camera and a card that holds CDís to plant viruses are just a few of the ones you can get a hold of during the game thanks to Q-labs.

Graphics & Sound

Review Quotes
"firstly at the beginning of each level you get a set number of objectives which need to be completed before a level can be finished, these type of objectives range from rescuing hostages to planting viruses into computers."

Graphically Nightfire is one of the better looking titles on the Xbox, ignore what you have seen of Nightfire on the PC as this engine is brand new and has been developed by Eurocom who created the rather excellent looking and playing Harry Potter on the next generation consoles. All levels look great, there are high resolution textures used throughout, some good lighting effects and all running at a high frame rate. Pierce Brosnan has, as mentioned earlier, added his face to the game via some new kind of digitizing method used first in this game, it has worked very well as it looks exactly like him, it is just a shame that the game hasnít been able to use Brosnanís real voice although the person taking his place hasnít done a bad job.

The sound in the game is also quite good; the music is as expected, straight from the movies. The voice acting is also better than usual, as mentioned earlier it is a shame that there is no Pierce Brosnan as Bond, but that doesnít really distract from the game. The actual in-game sounds are also of a high quality with some great surround sound being used.

Final Comments

How It Grades
Controls: 81%
Gameplay: 80%
Presentation: 89%
Graphics: 85%
Multiplayer: 85%
Sound: 83%
Manual: 78%
Interface: 78%
Price/Value: 75%
Overall: 80%

James Bond: Nightfire is easily the best Bond game released so far, but in saying that, there isnít exactly much competition. There is a lot of variety in the game which is a major plus point as the First Person Shooter levels can get a bit tedious sometimes. The driving levels are very good and could/should have been used a bit more and made just that bit longer. Graphically it is a nice looking title for Xbox users, sound is also excellent, but again if you have Halo or Timesplitters 2 I find it hard to say go out and buy this as the game is a little too easy for most of us.

 

Specs & Package
Overall Score 80%
Version Reviewed James Bond 007: NightFire (PAL)
Release Date Out Now
In The Box? 1 James Bond 007: NightFire DVD
1 Set Of Instructions
The Good Points Great Sound
It looks like Bond
It feels like Bond
The Bad Points Far too easy
Nothing new
Widescreen Support No
PAL 60 Support (Europe) No


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