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007 Nightfire

The PS2 box art for 007 Nightfire, your basic GoldenEye reborn.

007 Nightfire is a first-person shooter game published by EA and released in 2002. The game's plot basically follows James Bond, who is sent at first to a party at infamous industrialist Raphael Drake's castle, and after going undercover, sees a secret meeting that shows just how shady a business Drake is in. After various stages of investigation, Bond finds that Drake is planning to hold the world hostage through eight rockets launched from his own space platform. You know, classic supervillain stuff.

This game looks and feels like it wants to be a GoldenEye clone. Really, that's the thing to do, because GoldenEye was the game in the 007 series. That was how they showed what they could do. The game actually comes reasonably close to achieving its goal. The controls work well, there is a highly impressive variety or weapons, and the graphics, character designs, and AI were all enjoyable.

In fact, this game went the extra mile by actually making available the same multiplayer function as its inspiration, complete with classic characters and classic stages. I never really got into multiplayer much, but many people swear by it, and seeing as how Nightfire was very, very loyal to GoldenEye, how different could they be?

The problem is that while this game feels something like GoldenEye, it's just not the same. The controls, at times, could feel forced at times, and the movements of the opponents seemed kind of spasmic and ridiculous. However, the AI was better this time (although I wish that there was more variation in how the enemies looked). The point is that the game does not pin down the sense of enjoyment that some people who are GoldenEye fans always have. This may be due in part to the story, which is a little overboard on the Japanese influence; this statement may seem like red-flag-type offensive, but in a few levels, they have you fighting ninjas with nightvision goggles. Look it up if you think I'm not serious. Bottom line is that the settings for this game are a mad deviation from what you'd expect from 007. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but the spirit of GoldenEye wasn't properly there.

But does that mean the game is bad? Of course not. It's up to your experience of the game whether or not you like it. Thusly, how was the experience? It was OK. The vehicle levels were kind of weird, and the shooting levels were decent, but a little unrealistic and underwhelming sometimes. Still, the game just looks so unbelievably cool and combined with the gameplay, that makes the game as a whole a pretty worthwhile experience.

Alright, so the game is not a perfect clone of GoldenEye, but it's not that bad of a game. So what's my opinion on the issue of buying, renting or skipping?

The game is adequate. It's a little on the unusual side, but if you get into the groove, it does begin to feel right. The way I see it, you should rent it first, regardless of whether or not you are a 007 fan, or an FPS fan, or anything. You should really test this first to see if you want to get into it more than you already have. If you find yourself enjoying it enough, though, by all means, you should go ahead and buy it.

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