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reviews >> playstation 2
007 : Agent Under Fire

written by Shaun McCracken

Game Information
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: EA Games
Year Released: 2001
Players: 1-4
ESRB Rating: Teen

Visuals 7.75
Not too bad visually, with some good character models and some other stuff, but the framerate should have run smoother.
Audio 8.25
The music is pretty good, as well as the sound effects and voice-overs.
Gameplay 8.5
The gameplay variety is pretty good, where you have some driving stages, as well as some on-rails shooting stages to break up the typical first-person stages. The controls are almost great, except for the fumbling of needed gadgets and weapons during cruical moments.
Replay Value 7
The single player campaign can be completed within a rental, and you may be disappointed if you pick up the game for just single-player play. But, if you plan on using the multiplayer stages with some friends, this game will give you much better replay value.
Reviewer's Impression 7.75
It takes awhile to get used to this character model in the game who is supposed to be James Bond. After being used to seeing Brosnan's likeness in previous Bond games, this new model is like seeing Timothy Dalton reprise his role as Bond. It's serviceable, but it just doesn't feel right. As for the game itself, it's a fun, but short-lived romp. Pretty disapponting when you compare the time it takes to complete AUF to GoldenEye.
Overall 7.75
Great as a rental, but unless you plan on playing this game with your friends, you might want to pass on buying it.

EA must have one hell of a time with the Bond series after they acquired the license back in 1998, after Rare passed on the oppertunity to do a game based upon "Tomorrow Never Dies" (and they should have taken it, rather than spend so much of their time with Perfect Dark.). The first 007 game under EA was Tomorrow Never Dies for the PS1, which is by far, the worst game in the series. Now EA kind of has an excuse, they didn't develop it, Black Ops did. But still, who was in charge of quality control? The next year, EA recruited two different companies to handle the N64 and PS1 version of "The World Is Not Enough". Black Ops was once again in charge of the PS1 version, and Eurocom was in charge of the N64 version. Both turned out pretty good, the N64 being better just because it was longer, had a multiplayer mode and felt like GoldenEye. The PS1 version looked nice, but was way too short. Then comes Agent Under Fire (I'll ignore 007 Racing, because it's better compared to Spy Hunter than GoldenEye), an original Bond game form EA, that wasn't based upon a 007 film. At first, I wondered "What the F- were they thinking?". But after playing it, it wasn't so bad. It's a fairly adequate FPS, but again, could have used more.

Agent Under Fire's premise is about cloning. Someone wants to clone big government figures around the world, and of course, Bond must investigate and stop whoever is behind this. Sounds like a standard 007 script to me. And the writers and conceptualists behind the game have actually done a good job of re-creating a 007 movie, although this one doesn't exist. It follows the formula of Guns, Goons and Girls, and does it well. We have our established mad man (or woman?) with their henchmen, the "Bond Girls" who seem to always come up at the most oppertune times, and of course mindless destruction and gunplay. While stealth elements have been implemented into the game, they're not always apparent. Most of the time, the game hints at what you should do in terms of gadgets, but there's also hidden elements of stealthiness, ones you wouldn't think of, such as crawling through air shafts. It seems like the game was designed to have people shoot everything in sight, but when you go through everything, things don't seem right.

The graphics, for a PS2 game, is pretty good. The textures are fine, the models look fine and the stages are pretty big. But all this comes at a price. This version has a framerate that tends to lag every so often, and the lines appear jagged a bit too often. Also, this is one of the first games I've actually seen flickering in. Some say Ridge Racer V had it, but I couldn't see it. Here, I could.

The sound, is pretty good. All the voices and effects are intact, and sound like they should. Guns sound like guns, cars sound like cars, and oofs sound like oofs. The voice acting is adequate, and kind of comical in a way, but it really does match the game.

The control is pretty tight for the most part. The control here is not as tight as it is on the GCN, but it is playable. Fumbling around for important equipment drives me crazy. It's so unnecessary going through your invetory for your grapple wire.

Overall, AUF is a fairly solid game if you plan on using the multiplayer stages and modes. As a single player game, it can be beaten within a rental. I played it from start to finish in about 3 days, even when I repeated a couple of stages (either because I had to or because I wanted to). If you really need a first preson shooter, there's much better and more depthful out there. Games such as TimeSplitters 2, Medal Of Honor Frontline and more offer longer gameplay than what's offered here. The gameplay here is just too short for one to play, and unless you can pick it up for $10-15, I would just recommend a rental.