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007 Nightfire - PS2

A James Bond first person shooter, "Nightfire" is one of the lower-quality 007 games. Full of little problems and annoyances, 007 Nightfire is a lackluster effort to continue the Bond franchise.

The story is standard Bond fare - with the help of several attractive female agents, Bond fights a megalomaniacal adversary who plans to use missile guidance chips to take over the world. There are driving sections, shooting sections, and infiltration sections (not so much stealth as "blending in at a party"). All in all, it's what one expects from a James Bond game. However, none of these sections are particularly well-done; the controls on each are terrible and unresponsive. The default key configuration in particular for the shooting sections involves one control stick involving looking up and down and moving left to right, while the other moves forward and backwards and looks left to right. This configuration is, simply put, infuriating.

At the very least, you'd expect the James Bond crew to be involved with the project. But unlike many other Bond games, the actors for the movies (specifically Pierce Brosnan, Judy Dench, and Desmond Llewelyn) were not used in Nightfire. Instead, the characters are voiced by facsimiles intended to sound like the characters, though they have varying degrees of success. Overall, though, they seem for the most part unprofessional. The graphics include faces based on the real actors, but it's not well-done enough to really matter. Most of the textures are grainy and blocky.

While the levels have some variety to them, on the whole they are bland and boring. The inclusion of gadgets makes some parts a little neater, but they too tend to be difficult to use. The weapons are boring, with no real "unique" weapons - the same mix of pistols, SMGs, and sniper rifles used in every other first person shooter. There are some opportunities to do "Bond" things that have particular style or show intelligence, but even these are not as developed as in other Bond games. The AI in the game is mostly pretty incompetent, and tends to run back and forth while shooting at you or other ridiculous behaviors.

Most of this game is held back by an unfortunate level of quality, in almost every respect. It seems a lot like a wasted effort. The lack of cooperation with the movie's actors is plainly apparent, and mostly it seems like a generic game with the Bond title and a vaguely Bond storyline slapped on.

Rating: 4/10.

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