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Review of James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing – Side-stepping from GoldenEye’s shadow

The year is 2004 — The movie Die Another Day and the FPS game NightFire have been available for nearly two years, so what’s next for Pierce Brosnan and the rest of the James Bond 007 cast and crew? You guessed it; Another videogame from Electronic Arts.  However, in response to their Bond first-person shooters constantly being compared to Rareware’s GoldenEye, EA changed things up dramatically and gave us a third-person action game with an “unprecedented variety of missions.” With that said, is James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing still worth the money 14 years after its release? I’m pleased to say that not only is it worth all of the $6.99 I spent on it (You could probably buy a VHS tape of Tomorrow Never Dies for that price), but I personally find it to be one of the best 007 games in existence.  Let’s head to the MI6 HQ and talk about it for a few paragraphs.

Please return the equipment in pristine condition

As I mentioned, Everything or Nothing takes a different approach to James Bond videogames; In an attempt to avoid comparisons to the Nintendo 64 classic GoldenEye, this one is a third-person action game, similar to other big franchises at the time like Tomb RaiderSilent Hill, and Resident Evil.  Despite its obvious similarity to other games, there are plenty of elements that give Everything or Nothing the 007 identity it needs.  Not only are there lots of firearms and a responsive hand-to-hand combat system to utilize, but the famous MI6 agent also has his trusty gadgets and vehicles.  There are plenty of moments where you get to rappel down walls, use thermographic vision, and control RC cars and explosive spiders.  And what James Bond adventure would be complete without luxurious cars…Complete with missiles, smokescreens, armor, and refrigerated beverage-holders?

Not only does Everything or Nothing do everything we expect a 007 game to do, but it also helped write the blueprint for the cover-based action gameplay we see in big titles like Grand Theft Auto and Mass Effect.  To help avoid losing health, Bond can not only stealthily crouch and sneak up behind enemies, but can use walls for cover and peer around corners to shoot those aggressive henchmen down.  The auto-targeting system may be a far cry from how today’s cover-based shooters are, but it’s not the hardest thing to get used to.

A golden gun of graphics and sound

Now that we’ve talked about how the gameplay works, it’s time to talk graphics.  For a 2004 game, Everything or Nice is powered by a great-looking engine.  There can be some slowdown when there’s explosions everywhere, but it doesn’t make the gameplay choppy.  Besides, explosions in a 007 story is par for the course.  If you’ve got component cables for the console you play this game on, you’ll be pleased to know that it supports 16:9 widescreen.

The audio in Everything or Nothing will absolutely rock your entertainment system and give you the feeling of being on the set of a James Bond film.  The music screams 007, the sound effects of the bullets and explosions are THX-approved, and you’ll hear some above-average voice-acting from Pierce Brosnan, Judi Dench, John Cleese, etc.  Some of the lines in the game’s script had me laughing out loud.

A day in the life of an MI6 rookie

If you want to practice some teamwork, there’s a co-op mode where you and a friend can take control of two MI6 trainees and go through a handful of missions to unlock some tasty multiplayer extras.  You can also play the Race mode, in which you complete a mission as fast as possible.  And if you want to see who the better agent is, there’s a deathmatch mode called Scramble.  Last but not least, there’s a 2-4 player Arena mode, which is very similar to games like Power Stone; However, absolutely everything in this mode must be unlocked by playing the other modes.

Give me everything or nothing at all

With a robust variety of missions, easy-to-grasp controls, and a strong voice cast, this is a fantastic James Bond game that’s as fun today as it was in 2004.  It may not be trying to emulate the legendary GoldenEye, but it doesn’t need to.  If you still have some dough to shell out after adding to your collection of 007 novels and movies, you can’t go wrong with the intense and unforgettable James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing.  Just make sure you don’t drink too many shaken-not-stirred martinis before the adventure begins.

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