previews\ Jun 2, 2002 at 8:00 pm

No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.

E3 2002 - First Look

A highlight of Sierra's game lineup this year was definitely the sequel to the popular No One Lives Forever FPS title.  In the newest version, No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way, which will be first available for the PC, many enhancements have been made that will keep this franchise at the top of the charts in the shooter genre.

As Cate Archer, gamers must once again battle against the H.A.R.M. organization.  This time though, they're not going for world domination (she already put that to a stop in the last game), but instead, they're out to kill the beautiful Miss Archer herself!  Of course that's not all though.  At the same time, there's a possibility of a third world war, so she can't help but get involved in stopping the Soviets from nuking the world.  The missions are definitely going to be interesting in this one.

One thing I immediately noticed when I saw this game is how amazing the graphics now looked.  The environments are already very detailed, down to even the smallest objects found on walls.  This is primarily due to the use of the new Lithtech graphics engine, which allows for up to 30 times the detail when compared with the original No One Lives Forever title.  From character movement to the various weather conditions, this one is already a beauty.

Two levels were shown, including Siberia and Akron, Ohio.  Both were very impressive, but the tornado in Akron made it more noteworthy.  This twister looked very realistic as it caused objects to be thrown across the level, trailers to tip, cars to flip and more.  Now that's pretty awesome.  Although these events aren't completely random, they're still pretty intense, especially with the ninja chicks trying to fight you at the same time.  In addition to the ninjas, some new enemies include mimes in the Siberia level, yes mimes with machine guns!  I think I'd sort of feel bad shooting the quiet fellows - oh well.  Another known enemy character is the Soviet soldier, which isn't much of a surprise. 

A major difference with this version of the game is the capabilities of these AI characters.  They now behave more like actual humans, as they for example, go to get a soda from the machine, it jams up, and they start kicking it or when they simply do paperwork or take naps.  They are more goal-based overall and this carries over nicely to how they behave when you fight against them.  They won't just run out into the open where you can easily see them, they'll instead be more strategic and careful as they should be.

The environment will be extremely interactive in this game as well.  It will be possible to interact with just about every object, from being able to knock over bottles found on tables to having the ability to unscrew light bulbs to evade enemies.  While many other games have already previously allowed such actions to take place, they'll now actually make a difference in terms of gameplay.  For example, if you do knock over a bottle, the more intelligent AI players may hear it and come to investigate.  I think the smart AI and truly interactive environments will set No One Lives Forever 2 apart from other shooters on the market.

In No One Lives Forever 2 it will be necessary for Cate to be more stealth-like when infiltrating H.A.R.M.'s hideouts.  To accomplish this, she will have some new capabilities.  She will be able to look around corners, hide to observe the enemies, and also it will be possible to outsmart/outrun them once detected.  Of course, she'll still be equipped with some awesome gadgets and weapons, including a crossbow and more comical bananas and fake kitty mines.  It seems that the gameplay will overall be much more diversified than it was in the previous version.

Another sweet feature that this game will have is a cooperative multiplayer mode that allows up to 4 players to work together on the missions.

By the looks of it, No One Lives Forever 2 will continue to be a leader in FPS games.  It still has the classic retro style, Cate still has her sassy attitude, but the new version seems like it will completely blow away the last version, which wasn't at all bad; both in the graphic and gameplay departments.  This one will be available in October and it should be a lot of fun.

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