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reviews >> playstation 2
007: Nightfire

written by Shaun McCracken

Game Information
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: EA Games
Year Released: 2002
Players: 1-2
ESRB Rating: Teen

Visuals 8.5
A little better than Agent Under Fire, but not as clean as the Gamecube or Xbox versions. Still a solid showing, though.
Audio 8.25
Good music and effects, but jarring to see someone elses voice coming from Brosnan's likeness.
Gameplay 8.5
A little tighter than the last Bond title, and the driving stages have improved, but the item-switching problem is still there.
Replay Value 8
The single player mode, while a little longer than Agent Under Fire's, still only lasts about 6-8 hours. But the multiplayer mode is much bigger this time, and if you plan on using it, you'll get the most out of this game.
Reviewer's Impression 8
It's fun until you reach the end, then you realize it's all over. Plus, nothing really jumps out as memorable here, either for good or bad reasons. It's a fine Bond game, just not the best.
Overall 8.25
I'm not sure why it's so hard for EA to make the single-player mode longer. Really, they could just do what Rare did for GoldenEye 007, and added more objectives to the higher difficulty levels, and add some more enticing unlockables. At least there's a solid multiplayer experience to be had, and on that merrit, it makes this game worth owning, unless you want to play against four people, then you may want the Gamecube or Xbox version.

Wow. Talk about writing a review late. Currently it's February 2005, and I'm finally reviewing a game I had gotten back in Christmas 2002. Don't know why it took me so long, it just seems like it's one of those things I never got around too. Anyway, we're taking a look back to the second Bond title for this generation of consoles, 007: Nightfire. Nightfire is a better entry in the franchise than 2001's Agent Under Fire, as it addresses some of the issues of the last game, but really doesn't climb to the top due to the issues EA didn't fix the last time around. The presentation and design has seen an upgrade, but the single-player mode and item-switching problems still haven't been fixed.

The game plays better than the previous Bond, as the controls are tighter (but still not as great on the PS2 controller), yet the selection of weapons and gadgets still leave a lot to be desired. For some reason, the itemizing lacks organzation, and at times still seems a bit random (it doesn't seem like there's an exact order in which the items appear). There's still a great diverity of gameplay styles, where you play some stages in the FPS format, which other stages are on rails, and of course, there's the driving stages. But the single player mode, again, falls short. You can pretty much clear the game in about six hours (although I must say, the final boss stage is pretty damn tough). At least there's a good multiplayer mode that allows you to play alone with AI bots, or against friends.

The visuals seemed to have improved a little over Agent Under Fire's, with some better looking stages and environments, but there are moments when the framerate isn't as smooth as it could be. EA brought back Pierce Brosnan's likeness this time around, and it's better seeing him here than the "fake Bond" EA concaucted in the last Bond title. Of course, we can't say the same about his voice. For some reason EA got Brosnan's likeness, but not his voice, and the voice actor here sounds more like Timothy Dalton than anything else, and it's pretty surreal. The music and sound effects do fine, and at least the theme isn't on full overkill.

Final Thought

I admit, this is a fairly brief review, but really, how much do you really need to know here? If you want to know if it's better than Agent Under Fire, it is, but it's not better than the newer Everything Or Nothing (especially in terms of presentation). The single player mode is fun while it lasts, and again, like Agent Under Fire, if you plan on using the multiplayer mode often, you're probably going to get the most out of this game. I kind of think of this as one of the forgotten Bond titles. Sure it sold well, but as far as it being memorable, that's where it faces a dilema. It doesn't do anything extremely well (like GoldenEye or Everything Or Nothing), but it doesn't do anything bad (like Tomorrow Never Dies). It falls somewhere in the middle.