reviews\ Mar 7, 2004 at 7:00 pm

James Bond 007 Everything or Nothing - XB - Review

James…James Bond.  A name synonymous with egocentric enemies, cool gadgets, beautiful women, and “shaken, not stirred” martinis.  Golden Eye became an instant hit on the N64, but since then all attempts for another James Bond to meet or beat what it once was have failed.  Now, Electronic Arts is trying once again, this time without a big budget blockbuster movie to back it.  Luckily, James Bond: Everything or Nothing, manages to break the mediocrity streak of the titles before it, and pulls it off nicely.

Though there is no movie tied to it, the storyline doesn’t hurt because of it.  An ex-KGB agent, Nikolai Diavolo, has plans to rule the world using nanobot technology.  It’s up to Bond to stop him, while saving the girl, taking out some baddies, and driving some fast vehicles.  If you ever played Golden Eye, the gameplay felt a little restrictive.  First person shooters have their good sides, but James is much more than a “shoot-em-up” secret agent.  Everything or Nothing gives you far more capabilities in terms of action and movement.  This, of course, leads you to think that the aim and gunplay suffers, but you’d be wrong. Gun control is incredibly easy to use, featuring auto-aim as well as another target system to further refine the accuracy of headshots.  Some may find aim to be too simple and easy, but I just think of the alternative.

Don’t expect your enemies to go easy.  They are just as familiar with the use of a gun and know of your sharp-shooting skill.  They hide, they maneuver silently and strategically, and are just as trigger happy as you are.  This leads me to weapon selection.  You have all the standard weapons every other James Bond game has, with the addition of some new gadgets, the spider bomb and the rapper gun.  You will use the rapper gun far more and EA makes good use of it, adding a new dimension of realism when you jump off exploding buildings or high cliffs.  Your enemies also have this tool, so keep a gun handy just incase you engage in combat as you ascend or descend.  James Bond is just a pedestrian loner without his assortment of fast driving and flying vehicles.  Your Qbike and new Porsche both feature the standard rockets and flame throwers (too bad it wasn’t in the NSA’s budget for OnStar), but Bond also commands fighter helicopters, a fast paced racing-for-the-bad-guy action.  The racing scenes run fluidly with the rest of the game.

There are little things people will find amusing like the random sequences Bond can engage in (Bond Moments) which do add more to the game.  After finishing single player, which will take roughly 15 hours to get through depending on how you play, it’s on to multiplayer.  There are several modes available to you including cooperative, race, and arena.  Nothing really jumped out in this particular realm, however.  Enemies seem to pop out of random areas, leaving you a little aggravated and always uneasy.

The graphics were very nice.  Celebrities were brought in to create realistic character models.  William Dafoe plays the bad guy and Shannon Elizabeth is the latest Bond girl.  Pierce Brosnan looks as real as ever and your enemies don’t look to shabby either.  The cutscenes aren’t particularly impressive, however.  In many instances, the in-game graphics rivaled the cinematics.  But the environments and effects were eye pleasers and I was glad.  The audio is just like every Bond product.  This time recording artist Mya takes the microphone for the theme song as well as gives her voice in game.  Pierce has finally succumbed to putting his voice in the game and the general voice acting worked out nicely.

All together, this is one of the best Bond games to come.  It may not surpass the popularity of Golden Eye and will probably suffer a short-lived hype, but if you want a fun adventure, look no further than Everything or Nothing. 

Review Scoring Details for James Bond: Everything or Nothing on Xbox

Gameplay 8.8
3rd person shooter done right.  James Bond has all the moves and weaponry you will ever need.

Graphics 8.7 
Done nicely.  Character models, environments, and effects, were detailed.  The cinematics, though, need a little improvement.

Sound 9.0
Celebrity voice acting, rhythmic music, and good sound effects.

Difficulty Easy/Medium/Hard

Concept 9.0
Another bond game?  How could you go wrong?

Multiplayer 7.8 
Nothing particularly outstanding, but it's solid.  If you have a friend over, why not give it a try.

Overall 8.9 
James Bond makes a nice return to the video game industry.


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