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Overview

Cate Archer, the game's protagonist

No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way (NOLF 2) is a FPS set in the 1960s. It was released on September 30th, 2002 and received many accolades, including Game of the Year in certain publications. Like the original, the sequel stars the sexy Cate Archer as a U.N.I.T.Y. agent set out to once again stop the evil actions of the H.A.R.M. organization. Amidst all this chaos is the confrontation of detente between the former Soviet Union and the United States. No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way was published by Sierra Entertainment and developed by Monolith Productions using the Lithtech 2.0 Jupiter engine.

Plot

The game starts with Cate traveling to Japan to investigate a crime convention. She completes her objective only to be stabbed by Isako the ninja. After being nursed back to health by Dr. Schenker at UNITY Headquarters in England, she is briefed by US intelligence regarding a Soviet plan to take over the island of Khios, a small but strategically important island in the the Aegean Sea. Cate's mission is to discover the plans of the Soviets, investigate how H.A.R.M. is involved, and prevent a third world war. Throughout the game, you'll find Cate in a variety of exotic locations including India, Japan, and... Akron, Ohio. You'll fight the generic cronies of the H.A.R.M. organization for the most part, but the Soviet army, ninjas, mimes, and genetically enhanced "Super Soldiers" also make an appearance to hinder Cate's progress.

Gameplay

Weapons and Gadgets

Like its predecessor, NOLF 2 is an FPS with a hint of stealth action. Cate can hold an arsenal of traditional weaponry including swords, crossbows, pistols, submachine guns, rifles, shotguns, grenades, explosives, and missile launchers. Nontraditional weapons also make an appearance including shurikens, bear traps, bananas, and the Angry Kitty Proximity Device (a proximity bomb in kitten form). Cate is also equipped with various spy gadgets to assist her along the way: the CT-180 utility launcher, lipstick spy camera, compact code breaker, hairspray welder, nail clipper lock pick, eavesdropping phone bug, and body remover perfume. The CT-180 utility launcher has multiple functions. It shoots tracking beacons for monitoring the path of her target, tranquilizer darts, to knock out unaware enemies, camera disablers, glue bombs to deter pursuers, electric charges to disable robots, and Anti-Super Soldier Serum (ASSS) to destroy Super-Soldiers.

Stealth

Kate using a snowmobile.

Cate is able to complete most missions with pure firepower, but progressing with stealth is almost always encouraged by the game. Some missions require stealth, but they are relatively rare. In a departure from the first game, NOLF2's alarms are localized, meaning that an alert triggered in one location won't put everyone on alert for the entire mission. Sound plays a key role in being stealthy. Enemies are able to hear and find Cate if she is walking or running on hard substances. Crouching and/or walking on softer ground enables Cate to move undetected.

The game's soundtrack does a good job letting you know whether guards are aware of your presence. Slower, relaxed music means she is safe; whereas, faster, ominous music means she's been detected. Being stealthy has definite advantages. In addition to being able to deal with enemies quickly (and non-lethally, if desired), Cate is able to listen in on the conversations of her enemies. Like NOLF, NPC conversations provide some of the best entertainment in the game. Enemies discuss dating, telling time, monkeys, and the reasoning behind the H.A.R.M. salute.

Abilities

Cate has some new abilities to help her through the game that were not available in NOLF. By crouching or standing still in a dark area without being seen, Cate can go into hidden mode where she is invisible to enemies around her. Cate leaves hidden mode by coming out of cover or firing a weapon. Cate can now pick up dead or unconscious bodies and move them to less conspicuous areas. Cate's rate of walking is slowed greatly, but it is useful for avoiding detection by cameras and patrols. Cate can now scan dead or unconscious bodies for items they are holding. She can perform a quick surface scan or a longer, comprehensive scan. Searching can yield guns, ammo, intelligence items, and/or junk.

Intelligence and Skills

Intelligence items make a return in NOLF2. Scattered throughout the game are hundreds of intelligence items. Some items have their own optional objectives for Cate to complete. Finding intelligence items and completing primary and optional objectives yields skill points. Skill points can be spent to improve Cate's eight skill areas:

  • Stealth - how much noise Cate makes when she runs, how quickly it takes to hide, ability to shake off pursuers.
  • Stamina - maximum health level, effect of damage on Cate's movement, effect of continual damage from fire or poison, effect of first aid kits, damage resistance.
  • Marksmanship - accuracy, steadiness, aim correction after moving, firing, or being hit.
  • Carrying - ammo capacity, movement speed while carrying a body.
  • Armor - how much armor Cate can carry, how much armor is restored by picking up armor.
  • Weapons - amount of damage done, reload time.
  • Gadgets - time to prepare a gadget, time to use a gadget.
  • Search - how quickly Cate searches bodies for a chance at finding useful items.

Weapons and gadgets

PicCategory 1
No weapon
Holster your current weapon.
Mascara stun gun
An electric taser in a mascara form. This weapon is non lethal and causes enemies to fall asleep, like every stun weapon, enemies can wake up after a short period of time.
Katana
A Japanese sword used mostly by ninjas.
Tulwar
A curved scimitar. A bit less efficient than the katana, but a good weapon if you want to save some ammo.
PicAmmo typesCategory 2
  • Bolts
  • Incendiary
  • Poison
  • Explosive
Crossbow
This is a great ranged stealth weapon. It's versatile due to a certain variety of ammo, and it can be upgraded with a scope. Arrows can be sometimes retrieved from corpses and some surfaces if the bolt isn't broken.

Upgrades: Scope
Shuriken
This is a weapon used by ninjas and good to use in stealthy situations. Similar to crossbow bolts, the shurikens can be retrieved.
Bear Trap
The best mean to catch a pursuer and make it unable to run is the bear trap This weapon is unable to kill anything, so if somebody is caught in the trap, you have to neutralize him or run away.
Banana
This weapon is a joke weapon. Every enemy that walks on it will slip and fall to the ground. Be careful to not walk on them, this can happen to you too.
PicAmmo typesDescription
  • FMJ .38 ACP
  • Cyanide .38 ACP
.32 Caliber handgun
This handgun is somewhat versatile It uses normal and poison ammo, but it's not very useful until we get a silencer

Upgrades: Silencer
  • Tranquiliser
  • Tracking beacon
  • Camera disabler
  • Electric charge
  • Glue bomb
  • Anti super soldier serum
Multi utility gun
This is a dartgun. It has many uses, depending on what kind of ammo is used. It can be used to tranq people, glue people, place a remote sensor to locate them in the map, blind cameras, and kill robots. This weapon have everything needed for every stealth mission and any stealth agent.
PicAmmo typesDescription
  • FMJ 7.62 mm
  • WP 7.62
AK 47
This is the basic assault rifle of the game. This weapon is powerful and it can use piercing bullets or phosphorous bullets to set enemies on fire
  • FMJ .45 cal
Thompson SMG
This SMG uses .45 caliber rounds. Its large drum allows it to spend a lot of ammo without reloading.
  • Buckshot 12 Ga
  • Explosive 12 Ga
Combat shotgun
This weapon can use pellets or incendiary rounds. It has a small clip size and you need to be close to be effective, but it fires and reloads quickly.
  • FMJ 9mm
Silenced SMG
Do you ever wanted stealthy brute force? This weapon is similar to the Gordon SMG, but with a silencer. It does a bit less damage, but it's silenced.
  • FMJ 9mm
Gordon SMG
This 9 mm SMG is weak but very accurate. It can defeat most enemies in the game and is more powerful than its silenced counterpart.
  • FMJ .308 cal
Sniper Rifle
A long range 7.62 mm bolt action sniper rifle.
PicDescription
Micro missile launcher
Unlike the name suggest, this is a transforming case that becomes a mini rocket launcher. It does some great damage, but its low amount of ammo doesn't make it very useful.
Fragmentation Grenades
Classic timed fragmentation grenades.
Stun Grenades
Acid Grenades
Sleeping Grenades
These grenades cause people to fall sleeping when they inhale the gas. Be careful, this can affect you too.
Laughing grenades
Want a laugh party with your foe? Use this grenade, and pass through the security.
Angry kitty
This is a land mine that looks like a cat, it attracts nearby people by meowing and violently blow itself up.
Dynamite
Not really a proper weapon. It's used mostly to destroy some objectives. It has to be placed in the indicated spots to use.
PicDescription
Coin
This is a coin, but the goal isn't to use it in a soda machine, that's only to lure enemies with the noise it makes. Some missions requires some stealth, so learning how to use them correctly is always a good thing.
Camera Lipstick
A lipstick with a camera hidden inside. Good for taking some photos.
Code breaker
A portable mirror with a decoder inside to decrypt encrypted messages.
Hair spray Welder
This can be used to break padlocks or it can set people on fire.
Barrette lockpick
A barrette for picking locked doors.
Spy micro
A hidden micro useful for certain missions.
Perfume
This allows you to dissolve bodies.
Unity key chain
This allows you to illuminate dark places.

Reception

No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way was a critical success and currently holds a 91% score at Game rankings and a Metacritic aggregate score of 91. It was named PC Game of the Year by Gamespy, nominated for Game of the Year on PC, Best Sound on PC, Best Single-Player Action, Best Graphics (Technical), and Best Graphics (Artistic).

System requirements

Minimum

  • Operating system - 98/2000/Me with latest SP/ XP
  • CPU - Pentium III 500 MHz or equivalent.
  • Memory - 128MB
  • Hard Drive Space - 1.4GB
  • Video Card - DirectX 8.1 compatible, 32MiB 3D accelerated video card with Hardware T&L, 32-bit colour support.
  • Sound Card - DirectSound compatible, 16-bit sound card with DirectX 8.1

Recommended

  • Operating system - 98/2000/Me with latest SP/ XP
  • CPU - Pentium III 1 GHz or equivalent.
  • Memory - 256MB
  • Hard Drive Space - 1.7GB
  • Video Card - DirectX 8.1 compatible, 32MiB 3D accelerated video card with Hardware T&L, 32-bit colour support.
  • Sound Card - DirectSound compatible, 16-bit sound card with DirectX 8.1

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