Life Changing Games: 007 – Everything or Nothing
When I think back to the games I played when I was younger, not as many games stand out to me as I wish they did. I just wasn’t really into games so much in my early teen years, most of the games I played would be something like London Racer or the Weakest Link. Trust me, it was as bad as you think it was! But one day I got a game which really turned me onto games as a whole, and got me playing so much more. You may be surprised to find out this game is not one of the iconic games of the era like Ico or Final Fantasy, but was James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing.
Seriously, I really loved this game! I must have replayed it around 10 times when I was younger, and have done more recently as well. To this day, I still love it as much as I did back then, even though part of me wonders how I was ever able to finish it? The last time I tried to play it I found myself stuck at part of a mission where I just kept dying. Even though I was able to find a way to get past this part now, I’m surprised I didn’t just give up when I was a kid; either that or I was far better at games back then!
The game has one of the better storyline of the more recent Bond games, focusing on a Russian terrorist businessman who is ultimately trying to take over Russia, and then probably the world if I have learnt anything about Bond villains. This story may not sound very original, but it is helped by interesting characters and missions taking place in a variety of locations. EA did an excellent job of creating the locations such as New Orleans and Red Square in Moscow which really made you feel as if you were in a Bond film, which is really every young boys dream! The voice cast also helped to add to the movie-like feel of the game, as it featured the voices of Pierce Brosnan as Bond, Willem Dafoe as the terrorist Diavolo, John Cleese and Judi Dench as Q and M as well as other professional vocal talent for other roles. The character models in the game were also individually based on the actor who was playing them which really helps the immersion, even though at that age I probably wouldn’t have know who Willem Dafoe was!
The missions were an exciting blend of stealth and combat, while driving sections of the game were exciting and varied, even though some of them were extremely frustrating. One which clearly stands in my mind is where you have to escape an area and have to race to the airfield to catch a plane. When you reach the airfield, the plane is taking off and you have to ride your motorbike up the planes loading ramp. Even today it will take me multiple attempts at this because it feels as if you do one thing wrong, like drop speed or knock into something, you are unable to reach the plane in time and have to do the section again. Even though this isn’t game breaking by any means, it certainly becomes extremely frustrating.
For me, Everything or Nothing has become the benchmark for any future Bond release. However, I have been avoiding Bond games since Goldeneye Rogue Agent, which was such a massive let down in terms of its story and gameplay. I was never able to finish it as I got to the dam level and gave up out of a mixture of frustration and boredom. Rogue Agent was such a mess I decided to avoid From Russia with Love completely. I found that the Casino Royale tie-in was a decent game, but I found it too repetitive and linear.
However, I have high hopes for the newest release, Blood Stone, and Nick Davies from the games production team has stated they are using ideas from older Bond releases (1), which has excited me for it even more. The game seems to be following the pattern of using the actors from the movies to maintain their roles which has been maintained through releases since Everything or Nothing, as well as using character likenesses and a variety of different locations. The game is set for a release in Q4 2010. Lets just hope they don’t bring back any of the golden eye powers rubbish from Rogue Agent!
Source 1: Destructoid