With humor and style, No One Lives forever brings the '60's back.
There's something special about the sequel to the critically acclaimed The Operative: No One Lives Forever. Could it be the wide assortment of lovable, hilarious characters? Is it the story focusing on the hopeless H.A.R.M. agency as they attempt to cause evil across the world again? Could it be the stellar cross-over of gameplay between reckless shooting and careful stealth?
It's everything.The way every detail meshes together is what defines this title and truly turns it into a great FPS that can be easily recommended to anyone.
You play the role of Cate Archer, who again reprises her part as the sexy super spy of the U.N.I.T.Y agency who must once again thwart the evil H.A.R.M. agency. The story begins as Cate discovers critical intelligence of H.A.R.M.'s next act of evil, Project Omega. As she investigates the project further, it becomes clear to all involved that H.A.R.M. again has to be stopped. To accomplish her task, Cate is sent to wide variety of exotic and not-so-exotic locations including a brief stop-over in Japan (which also provides the training tutorial), India, Antarctica, Siberia, and even Akron, Ohio. Is there any other Akron?
Since the game is set in the 1960's in the heart of the Cold War, the music and styles on screen often fit with the tone. The music is campy, reminiscent of an Austin Powers movie. Character uniforms or suits, robot designs, and locations are cliched 1960's archetypes, giving the game a noticeable flair compared to other games in the genre. There's even your obligatory evil lair set underground amidst a sea of lava, albeit in this case, fake lava.
The shooting aspects in the game are as tight and solid as any you would have found in 2002, although it's fair to say that the system feels slightly dated today. Regardless, the shooting never feels tedious or boring, and the game constantly throws you new guns and cooler gadgets to test out in the field of battle. Aside from your standard FPS fare of assault rifles, hand guns, and rocket launchers, the gadgets are far more interesting. Joining your inventory could be the Angry Kitty, used to distract your assailants with its incessant crying; the welder disguised as a can of hair spray, so you can get through any locked doors or vaults in your way; or perhaps even the mascara decoder, used to well... decrypt any electronic touch pads.
However, depending on your play style, your weapon of choice may be the CT-180 Utility Launcher. Using this weapon and using the proper form of ammo, you have the advantage of tranquilizing your targets, tracking their movements on the mini-map, firing a jolt of electricity into them, or disabling any nearby cameras. If you plan to play a stealth game, you're certain to be using this weapon the most.
Unfortunately, the stealth gameplay can be a frustrating ordeal, as I often found myself blowing my cover and having to resort to shooting everyone instead. Enemies can often see you peak around walls no matter how swift you are, proving that the only safe location to hide is in the shadows, marked by an icon on screen as soon as you enter it. It may be the ideal form of play in this tale of espionage, but it certainly isn't the easiest mode of travel, and with few consequences of going on a wild shooting spree, there's little reason to even attempt stealth.
No One Live Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way is truly a great FPS both in the presentation and execution. With the '60's vibe, the game is quite frankly, hilarious in every sense of the word. Whether it's a battle in a spinning tornado, a long tricycle chase against a French mime riding a unicycle, or the devious and absurd "Man Handler" contraption, it's easy to laugh at the insanity happening around you. For those interested in a FPS with humor and style, it's an easy title to recommend.