STAFF REVIEW of James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (Xbox)

Thursday, March 18, 2004.
by Tony Ingrassia

James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing Box art Our favorite ?00? agent is back, this time on the trail of a missing scientist and her high jacked nano-technology. In true Bond fashion our Dr. Nadanova is drop dead gorgeous. Along with the good Dr. Everything or Nothing also shines both visually and in game play, a plethora of ?Bond? gadgets, and the obligatory bevy of Bond beauties and your off and running on another international adventure that takes you from Peru to the "Big Easy". Hollywood talents lend not only their likeness but voice talents as well to make Everything or Nothing seem like your in a true Hollywood summer blockbuster.

The obvious difference right off the bat with EON, is that James makes more than a cameo appearance in cut scenes as in past Bond games, 007 is in complete 3D in this third person incarnation of the series, Pierce Brosnan once again supplies the voice talent of James Bond, and his video counterpart is amazingly accurate.. I am a big fan of Golden Eye, and a few of the other Bond games, but I have to admit that playing Bond in third person really gives you a sense of true Bond adventure. Electronic Arts, who has nailed down the ?Playing a Movie? formula, doesn?t disappoint with this title. Everything or Nothing is a Hollywood movie that doesn?t really exist. From its opening scene, complete with original title track by Mya, to the lavish visual style all Bond movies have had in the past, this is a Hollywood production.

What would a Bond game be without the usual Bond goodies? Well, it wouldn?t be a Bond game. This game does add a few nice ?upgrades? to the Bond formula, let?s start with stealth moves, 007 can now crouch to hide and evade enemies as well as make his way through smaller areas. In a third person view this is a beautiful thing. Along with crouching, 007 can also ?Wall-Hug? and peek out and target enemies. The auto aim system is pretty accurate, although a little rough when faced with multiple enemies. You lock on by pulling the left trigger and firing with the right, the problem lies in releasing and re-locking on a target. Under normal situation though, you can just move the ?Lock? to another enemy by moving the right stick in the direction of the enemy. There is a bonus in the targeting system, once you lock on, especially if your in a stealth frame of mind, you can move the point of aim within the target indicator, basically, once you have locked on you can fine tune your shot for the ?One shot and he?s down? head shot.

Since we have moved into the equipment 007 has let?s take a look through his bag of goodies. A couple of cool little toys this time around from our buddy ?Q?, played by Monty Python alum, John Cleese, the ?Rappel? gun is a neat gadget enabling you to scale up and down walls and access points that would seem unreachable, in some instances you even get to engage enemies as you scale a surface, you have the ability to move left or right, turn around and target your weapon as you would normally. Next we have the ?Q? Spider, a handy gadget when scouting areas ahead of you or too small to venture into, once at your point of impact you can detonate the Spider to access or disable any obstacles in your way. The ?Nano Suit? that renders you invisible, Sleeper Darts, Coin Grenades, and even an RC Car when the obvious way in won?t do. Of course when all else fails 007 can go hand-to-hand with the best of them, just enough combos to avoid being a button masher. Along with all of the gadgets 007 also has ?Bond Sense?, you can use Bond Sense to help figure out important aspects of your missions. You can activate BS?sorry, by using the D-Pad, once activated the action around you slows down and important objects and information have an aura around them.

Another aspect of EON are the Driving missions, while very entertaining, are a little sluggish at times. But you do get another Bond staple?the vehicles, decked out in usual Bond fashion. Along with the signature Aston Martin, V12 Vanquish by the way, Bond also has a sweet off road ride, no not just any SUV, a Porsche Cayenne Turbo, equipped with missiles, and guns, a Triumph Daytona 500 Motorcycle also equipped to Bond standards. I found the motorcycle missions a lot of fun. If that weren?t enough you even get to fly a helicopter.

Everything or Nothing truly does make you feel like you?re in a movie; the locales such as Egypt, Moscow, and New Orleans lend themselves well to the story. The game play is simple yet exciting and the in game ?Bond? moments that are seamlessly inserted into the game top off a sweet package. Bond fans will be thrilled, but this game may also draw in a few newbie?s to the series. EA did a great job not making this series get stale and predictable. The story line oozes Bond, and all of the traits of a good Bond venture are present, hell even Jaws make a triumphant return to take another ?bite? out of James.

When talking graphics and visuals in a Bond game it?s hard to bypass the obvious ?Bond Girl? thing, so let me tell you right now that Shannon Elizabeth never looked better. The character renderings are pretty amazing, very accurate, and the range of motion is pretty solid. You do occasionally find your self stumbling to get into small spaces but it?s not too bad. The levels are well designed and detailed, the action is crisp and exciting, and the addition of the ?Bond Sense? effect and the Rappel angles and detail in the zip line are evidence of a job well done. Joining Pierce and Shannon are dead on likenesses of Heidi Klum as Dr. Katya Nadanova and Willem Dafoe as Nikolai Diavolo. All in all, EA delivers another visual stunner, you may not like the game but it?s hard to knock the way it looks.

Aside from the obvious explosions, gun fire, and innuendo laced dialogue, EON utilizes the Dolby Digital (THX) well, and environmental sounds add depth and emersion in the game play. Well balanced and not over the top. The thing that popped out at me most was, again, the Hollywood quality that was brought to the game. When you can secure big names lending their talents to a video game it?s a big deal, especially when it?s not recycled dialogue from the movie. The soundtrack is all ?Bond? from the ?Burned in our Brains? theme, to the original title score by Mya, who also lends her talents as Agent Mya Starling.

007 Everything or Nothing is a solid package with all the makings of a great movie, game play is fun and exciting, and the addition of 4 Multiplayer modes including a Cooperative mode strengthens the replay value.

Overall: 8.4 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.4 / 10
Sound: 9.0 / 10


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