October 15, 2001

Bond: Agent Under Fire - Preview

Release Date Publisher Developer Rating Players Price
23/11/2001Electronic ArtsIn-House1-4$99.95

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Using the sniper rifle is a must.
"Bond. James Bond." This phrase is probably only upstaged by "Use the Force" and "I'll Be Back" when it comes to classic movie quotes. After 20 odd movies there is little doubt that the Bond movies are popular. Every new movie is met by massive crowds keen to see fast women, fast acrs and of course plenty of gadgets and action. It's somewhat strange then that there have been so few Bond based video games. Perhaps the most popular of these is Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64. A good game, but sadly lacking when compared to the numerous FPS's on the PC. This game Bond: Agent Under Fire is the secret agent's first outing on the Playstation 2, and it's shaping up very nicely indeed.

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Using Bond's gadgets is crucial.
Initially this game was going to be two separate games. The first was a driving game called Bond Racing while the other was a game based on the movie The World Is Not Enough (which was expected in early 2001). As time progressed however it became apparent that releasing a game based on a 2 year old movie wasn't commercially viable and the two projects were merged together to create an all new game taking the best elements of each game. As a result this game is really split into two sections, the driving section, and the First Person Shooter. The problem is that if one area is below par it may drag the overall impression of the game down with it.

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Time to let them have it, quickly.
As Bond, players must defeat the evil criminal mastermind Malprave, head of a rising terrorist organization that is bent on ruling the world with their clone technology and army of clones. Helping Bond along the way will be the gorgeous Zoe Nightshade and a cast of familiar characters. Each of the more than 10 exotic locations around the world will contain a generous offering of challenging missions and objectives. The player can choose to blast their way through each level using hi-tech weaponry, quietly rely on spy craft tricks and gadgets to accomplish objectives or do a little of both. The driving levels will offer an array of 007-inspired exotic cars and daredevil combat from the movies. Only through the clever utilization of Q-lab weapons and gadgets along with Bond-style wit, will the player be able to defeat Malprave's minions and get the girl.

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The streets are very, very detailed.
With support for up to 4-players in the multi-player mode Agent Under Fire promises to be thrilling game. The graphics are definitely impressive, and given EA's usual polish the game should be worth a look at the very least. Hopefully the 4-player mode can retain a steady frame rate and the levels as much detail as the single player game.

It's a bit of a concern that this game was the result of merging two separate games. You could look at it from the perspective that you are getting two games for the price of one. Then again you could look at that EA have twice the chance of messing it up, not that they do that too often. This game should be worth a look just prior to Christmas.