By F1000003 4 Comments
I am continuing with the rather futile task of playing all the video games.
After messing around with some very temperamental old N64 memory cards, I finally got one to work, and managed to start my play through of 007: The World is Not Enough. Turns out I needn't have bothered. I didn't really need to save, as I breezed through it (on the easiest difficulty), in one sitting (just over three hours).
Game 000011: 007: The World is Not Enough (N64)
The true spiritual sequel to Goldeneye, (ignoring the by all accounts dismal, next game on my list, 007: Tomorrow Never Dies for the PlayStation), doesn't really add anything new to the format of the holy grail of Bond games... It is shorter... doesn't contain an awesome tank level... and the unlockable cheats are much less exciting, which really detracts from its replay value. However the levels play and feel like they have been taken straight out of Goldeneye and are well designed. If present, the game really puts the N64 expansion pack to good use. The textures certainly looks pretty impressive for an N64 game, (the "realistic" faces however, do not... nice try though!)
I was amazed with just how quickly I took to N64 controller again. I guess the incredibly generous auto-aim really is essential given the lack of a dual analogue controller. Shooters of this era were less about mastering precision shots, and tended to have a heavier focus on using the environment for cover and choosing your shots carefully... In fact, they were often about exploiting predictable AI to make sure that you got your shots in before you were seen!
007: The World Is Not Enough, contains 14 short levels. A typical level sees you wonder around the corridors of some building, taking out terrorists, and solving environmental puzzles, e.g. disable a security system, to sneak in through a secret entrance to a heavily guarded room, steal a keycard to allow you to open some door to progress down another series of corridors. The game usually presents you with a series of objectives, but leaves you to your own devices to explore the level and work out how to achieve your goals. (No massive arrows pointing you to your next current objective at all times in this game!)
Many of the levels also have objectives which you can fail, usually if you don't act fast enough, or "accidentally" shoot a civilian. So retrying the levels several times is not an uncommon experience. The game offers you no health packs, (although does have a few body vests), but on the easiest difficulties running out of health was never really an issue.
The game is only really let down by its dull final underwater level, where you have to navigate an underwater maze without running out of oxygen. A fairly bland game of trial and error is required before you'll complete this one! However, the average level quality was pretty high, and the game even throws in a skiing level just to mix things up a little.
OK, so graphically and mechanically this game doesn't really hold up to a modern shooter - but playing (a still fairly simple game), which doesn't feel the need to hold your hand all the way through it, made a refreshing change. I quite enjoyed my time with this one... but not quite enough to replay it on the harder difficulties.
Only one more 007 game to go and then I can move on to something new!