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December 14, 2002
James Bond 007 Nightfire - Review
Release Date Distributor Developer Players Rating Difficulty
27/11/2002EA GamesEurocom1-4M15+Medium
Save Size Sound Format Vibration 60Hz Mode 50Hz Border Widescreen
82KBDolby SurroundYesNoSmallNo

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Fast cars - it is Bond.
James Bond 007: Nightfire, to give the game its full title, isn't actually based on any of the Bond movies, but rather takes inspiration from all the movies and melds it all into one game. The game is predominantly a First Person Shooter set across 12 levels, all of which are quite different from the others. As with Bond 007: Agent Under Fire it is also possible to jump into a variety of vehicles to blast through the levels. The storyline in this game revolves around a businessman trying to obtain a super weapon to destroy the world - a bit pointless really, where would his next customers come from?

When you play Nightfire for the first time there is a very disturbing short sequence where you, as James Bond, are a sniper from a helicopter. It's not disturbing because of the ability to kill people, but rather that it's almost automatic with no way to lose. It doesn't provide a lot of interactivity or a sense of accomplishment and really only introduces the player to using the fire button with minimal aiming. This training level is soon forgotten however as you move into the proper game which includes 11 levels which taking between 15-60 minutes each to complete.

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Using the sniper rifle.
While I was initially concerned by the default control scheme in the FPS sections of Nightfire, the developers have provided you with several different setups to select from. The controls themselves are responsive and allow you to perform pretty much every action you would expect including selecing weapons and gadgets, using them, opening doors and jumping off ledges. The actual levels are large and offer several moments of Bond magic sucha s sliding down cables, cutting off security systems, picking locks etc. Of course the range of weapons on offer is impressive, from pistols to sight guided missiles to take out helicopters.

Another of the game styles in Nightfire is the on rails shooter. Early in the game there is a wonderful snow mobile chase where you are manning the machine gun on the back of the vehicle while your female companion drives. It's not as easy as it sounds as the ride is bumpy and the enemies approach from all sides.

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Textures really do impress.
While the majority of the game is First Person Shooter based, there are also some levels when you can jump into a car for some high speed hijinks. In fact, one of the levels sees you driving around on rivers of ice, much like the latest Bond movie, Die Another Day. These driving sections of the game are wonderful. Not only do the cars handle very well, but the background detail is stunning. Of course you don't just drive around in the cars, but also have missiles, machine guns and smoke at your disposal to disable or destroy the enemies.

Probably my biggest complaint about James Bond 007: Nightfire is the overall length of the single player game. I was hoping for a lot more then the 11 missions on offer here, although their size and quality is quite high. Still, set the game to the easiest level and you'll be able to complete it easily within a days play. Fortunately, by bumping up the difficulty the game becomes a much bigger challenge. The game is also very scripted, perhaps too much so. Objectives are sometimes very close together making the game feel more like an interactive movie, rather then a free roaming action game.

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Bzzz. Bzzz. Bzzz.
One of the first thing that strikes you about this game is the quality of the graphics, and in particular the use of Pierce Brosnans face which has been mapped onto the main character thanks to a deal with the owners of the James Bond movies. Catching your eye immediatly is the quality of the intro to the game with a theme song and graphics, definately equal to those in the movies. The cut-scenes which detail the story are also impressive and are used not only before and after each level, but also during major events in each level. It works very well indeed. The multi-player scplit screen mode holds up fairly well with a solid enough frame rate and moderate detail although it's reaching its limits in the 4-player mode where it struggles.

When it comes to the in-game graphics the levels are detailed with some solid texturing and lighting throughout. The first level in the castle also has some wonderful snow effects which are among the best I've seen the Playstation 2 produce, while strangely the rain effects are rather mediocre. Animation on all the characters is superb and seemlessly makes the transition from the game to the cut scenes keeping the style consistant.

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Check out the delightful snow.
Sound continues this games high standards. While Pierce Brosnan hasn't provided the voice in the game for James Bond, the entire voice cast is very solid. The music throughout the game is retains the familiar Bond themes with original music for the game. Sound effects, including gunshots, car noises and explosions are fantastic and through a good system will really rock your room.

This is easily the best Bond game in recent years, and includes many advances over James Bond: Agent Under Fire which was released on PS2 by EA Games late last year. It must be said however that James Bond: Nightfire isn't quite up there with Goldeneye released on the Nintendo 64 way back in 1997, which in my opinion is much overrated in any case, but is very close. Were this game a bit longer then it would be a much more worthwhile purchase

GRAPHICSWonderful cut-scenes back very solid backgrounds and animations.
SOUNDGreat voice acting in the cut scenes, music and effects are solid.
GAMEPLAYEverything in the game is responsive, single and multi-player rock.
VALUEOnly 11 single player missions, the multi-player will have you back.
OVERALLNightfire isn't as lengthy as you would hope, but it is very enjoyable while playing. When the single player is finished there is plenty of time to be spent in multi-player modes. A solid game for Bond fans.

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