I am continuing with the rather futile task of playing all the video games.
Game 000006: 007: Everything or Nothing (Home Console)
Having been underwhelmed by the handheld version of this game, I wasn't sure what to expect of this. However, "the internet" does seem to think that this third person action game is the one half-decent Bond game post Goldeneye, so I was prepared to enjoy it. I started playing the PS2 version of the game back in May and completed about two thirds of it over a period of a couple of days. I finally picking up the game again and completed it this morning. It took me around 15 hours in total.
I must confess that my first impressions of this game were not good. The controls didn't feel particularly tight, and there are noticeable improvements in both controls and graphics between this game and 007: From Russia with Love. The game also has quite a steep learning curve; it is very easy to find yourself completely surrounded and out gunned unless you take the levels at a slower pace than a typical shooter. However it is the game-play variety which really makes this game stick out above the other Bond games I've played so far. Once I learned how to use the game's nuanced cover mechanics I found myself able to overlook the fact that this game has aged poorly and appreciate some of the great level design.
Everything or Nothing opts for a larger quantity of shorter missions than most games, so your objectives tend to feel more focussed and less padded out with long sections of running around and shooting generic bad guys than many shooters. I particularly enjoyed the variety of gadgets which Bond has at his disposal in this game. From remote control robotic spiders to invisibility suits, this game certainly celebrates the more gimmicky side of franchise. Additionally every level has a few "Bond moments" to find - small set pieces of hidden content where you interact with the environment in interesting ways.
The game features an original story and soundtrack, and with its mission variety and frequent cut scenes it certainly captures the feel of the films much better than many of the movie based games. I particularly enjoyed some of the vehicle based missions as the combat felt satisfying... Although once again, the controls definitely felt dated... I particularly enjoyed one of the motor bike levels where you had to take out a tanker with your bikes in built flame throwers!
This certainly isn't an easy game, and I found myself notching back the difficulty on a few missions in order to get past them. However, there is a sense that you could learn the levels - and with the short missions and high score based unlocks, it certainly seems that the developers went out of there way to add some re-playability. Although personally, there were only a couple of missions which I enjoyed quite enough to warrant a rerun.
There were a couple of incredibly frustrated quick-reaction events throughout the game, typically at the end of missions, and failure to realise what I was doing and hit the trigger in time left me replaying entire missions from the start. In a game where ammo can be scarce, and so you soon learn to pick your shots carefully these quick time events certainly feel a little against the grain. Moreover in a game which prides itself on its mission variety, nothing says "unique experiences" less than sitting through the same 10-15 minutes of content twice.
A few people have asked me whether they think this game is worth revisiting. I think that I'd cautiously recommend it to any 007 fans who have been disappointed by recent games in the series. It certainly offers something a little bit different. However, be prepared for some frustrating controls at times. Clearly the developers still hadn't entirely figured out how to make the most of the dual-analogue controller. Big fans of the Sean Connery films will probably find more to like with the nostalgic nods and better controls, offered in From Russia with Love. For everybody else, this is the superior game.
Following Alex's review of 007 Legends, I can't say that I'm looking forward to the game. However, it arrived in the mail this morning, so I'll be playing that next.