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007: Everything or Nothing
Published by: EA Games
Developed by: EA Games
ESRB Rating: T for Violence, Suggestive Themes
For: Gamecube, Xbox, PS2, GBA
Version Reviewed: Gamecube
The first: third-person Bond game, with a new one coming out November 1, 2005

The last actual Bond game, called Nightfire, was a solid foray into an already overloaded genre that Sir James Bond helped revolutionize in the form of Rare?s N64 classic, GoldenEye 007. It was the last original story that would actually work, save for this game, which plays out just like a movie. The next game in the Bond universe stripped the third-person elements away, relying solely on basic first person shooting that tried very hard to imitate Halo. The game?s main selling point was the idea that you could be a villain?a nondescript, generic villain with no face or voice, but a villain nonetheless. What?s really sad is that all Bond villains are really cool and devious: Alec Trevelyan, the baddie from GoldenEye; Auric Goldfinger, the man with the Midas Touch; Jaws, a hulking brute with teeth made of steel; and more than thirty years? worth of other villains. It was a rich history, and a legacy that could have made for ingenious gaming. However, the execution fell flat because of the lack of heart, as it has in many recent EA games, such as Need For Speed Underground 2 (which was a great game, but was trying too hard), and Marvel Nemesis (which also had a great license, but failed to deliver on many fronts? mostly depth).

Yet Everything or Nothing, the game that preceded Rogue Agent, was a great title. It was a game that had few flaws, and was the ultimate Bond experience to date. With intense shootouts, fast car and motorcycle chases, great animation and graphics, as well as a heaping of excellent storytelling, Everything or Nothing throws the player in the shoes of James Bond with great results.

Game Play: 18/20


James Bond is responsible for some of my favorite action games in recent years. And while I did enjoy his exploits on the N64, with The World Is Not Enough being one of my all-time favorite multiplayer games, I found that the pacing and execution of this game to be near perfect, much moreso than any of the shooter games. With the first current-gen Bond game, Agent Under Fire, EA introduced a brand new element called Bond Moments. Essentially (if you have never played a current Bond game), Bond Moments reward the player with points if they perform an action that Bond might. For example, jumping over rubble on a makeshift ramp, or turning on steam vents so that soldiers can?t see you. Some are quite obvious, and others are well hidden, designed to make the player explore the levels, or buy a strategy guide. EA brings this back in fine form here, with perhaps more Moments than ever?sliding under a tanker on your motorcycle during a highway chase, for example.

Being a third-person game, EA had to incorporate elements of other third-person games, while avoiding the awful mistakes of the PS1 bomb Tomorrow Never Dies (the very first third-person Bond game). They took basic stealth elements from Splinter Cell, racing mechanics from the Need For Speed series, and the intense shooting action of Dead to Rights while innovating in their own right. Manual aim for the player, and something called Bond Sense, which slows down time, much like in Enter the Matrix, so that players can select inventory without pausing the game, or getting injured. Well, that works for the most part. It?s a little clunky, and a little odd, but the ideas are right?all it needs is a little polishing. Not bad for such a well polished game. All of the right elements for a triple-A shooter are there, and EA delivers marvelously.

On the same note, the other major game play mechanic is the vehicle segments. With cars ranging from the Porsche 911 Turbo to the Triumph Daytona 500 motorcycle, to a helicopter, all of the elements of fast paced chases are there. One of the first you?ll encounter is against a quickly moving train, which you have to get under before it gets on a bridge that you will fly off of. All the while, terrorists are shooting at you from motorcycles, SUVs, helicopters, and the train itself. The game is incredibly quick at these points, and only breaks away from spectacular explosions and collisions. It?s really very well done, and a joy to play.

The one problem I have with the game is the co-op element. Supposedly existing parallel to the main game, co-op urges you to complete short segments of one level until you get to a boss. But the game here is so unbalanced that it just gets frustrating. I have a friend that doesn?t get mad easily who got enraged at the difficulty of this game. The worst part is that in order to unlock multiplayer deathmatch, you?ve got to beat the first level of co-op, which is nigh impossible. Overall, however, the game is well done, and well balanced. It does get remarkably tough in some spots, but the sheer ingenuity of the game itself, and the atmosphere the game generates, are such that to stop playing is a mistake.

Graphics: 10/10


The graphics here are so well done, so well produced, and so well animated, that it is near unbelievable that they were developed using tools from a year ago. Much of the game looks like the games that are supposed to push the system?s limits, rivaling such games as Metroid Prime 2, Halo 2, and even Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory on the Xbox. EA digitally scanned all of the actor?s faces, including Pierce Brosnan, Willem Dafoe, and Judi Dench, and then just animated them in a completely believeable and lifelike fashion.

In addition to that, the character models are smooth and polished. Interaction and collision detection are impeccable. Punch Jaws in the face, and watch little details, like Bond shaking the pain off his hand and grimacing in pain. Flourishes like this are rife in this adventure. It all adds to the uniquely cinematic experience that is presented in the game.

Sound: 8/10


When you boot the game up, after an introduction level, you are forced to sit through R&B singer Mya?s rendition of the game?s theme, Everything or Nothing. It?s pretty bad. But after the excruciating pain of that unskippable introductory sequence, all of the familiar Bond sounds are there. Like the James Bond Theme. And all the gunshots, explosions, and yells that James Bond is associated with.

In addition to this, all of the actors that modeled for the game, like the aforementioned Pierce Brosnan, Willem Dafoe, and Judi Dench, plus model Heidi Klum, singer Mya, and actor/model Shannon Elizabeth, plus John Cleese as Q, all appear, and, for the most part, give good performances. Some of it is melodramatic, and that?s to be expected. Brosnan, Dafoe, Dench, and Cleese all give the best voice work, which is realistic since they are all actors. Overall, the star-studded cast only adds to the cinematic value of this game.

Stability: 5/5


There were absolutely no bugs, exploits, or glitches that I experienced while playing this game. This only serves as a testament to Everything or Nothing?s polished game experience.

Controls: 5/5


While the controls take a minute to get used to, they are extremely intuitive, and become second nature within the first five minutes of the game. The great thing about the controls is that, while you do drive many different vehicles, the control systems are essentially the same for all of the vehicles in the game, with minor differences, like the controlling of elevation in the helicopter, or the ability to perform a wheelie or stoppie on the motorcycles.

In terms of interface, Everything or Nothing couldn?t become more refined. Everything is accessed through the main menu, which has probably four options. And it?s all incredibly intuitive.

Appropriateness


-Violence: This game involves killing people in self-defense (-4 pts.), and has no blood or gore ?(0 pts.) Overall: 6/10
-Language: There is no foul language in this game (-0 pts.) However, sexual jokes are made a couple of times as double entendre, which doesn?t exactly add to the family factor of this title. (-2 pts.) Overall: 8/10
Sexual Content/Nudity: A couple of the female characters wear clothing that accentuates their sexuality, and could be viewed as sexy or provocative (-1.5 pts.) There is no sex in the game (-0 pts.) Overall: 8.5/10
Occult/Supernatural: Everything or Nothing does not feature any occult or supernatural references. (-0 pts.) Since the game is grounded in a very real setting (i.e., magic does not occur in everyday life) magic is not used by the player or any of the enemies (-0 pts.) Overall: 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical: There are no issues with authority in Everything or Nothing. (-0 pts.) It is also worth noting that there is no gross humor, prejudice, or anything that goes against traditional family values in this game. (-0 pts.) Overall: 10/10

Bonus Points: Everything or Nothing shows the consequences of being evil and trying to take over the world (and just, you know, being evil in general) (+3 pts.)

Overall Score: 91.5/100

 

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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