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James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing
game: James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing
four star
posted by: GF! Back Catalogue 10/2004 => 1995
publisher: EA Games
date posted: 12:00 AM Fri Apr 2nd, 2004
last revision: 12:00 AM Fri Apr 2nd, 2004

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By Steven Simmons

Like the movies, the James Bond game series is running low on titillating titles. Everything or Nothing, though it stands out little from the other 007 games at first glance, came highly recommended. In hopes of reliving the amazing multiplayer action of GoldenEye 007, which I had played so religiously on the N64 a couple years ago, I fired up the XBox and plugged in all four controllers.

The opening credits were amazing. DVD-quality video of Halle Berry and Pierce Brosnan in various secret agent poses, along with a flowing piece of fiery satin adorning an invisible female figure could easily be mistaken for a high quality James Bond movie intro, complete with an espionage inspiring sound track After an exciting interactive intro scene involving the usual Russians, rebels, and sniper rifles, then a few tanks, a face-to-face shootout with an armored helicopter followed by a few random explosions leading to an escape out of a bomb-torn hole in the stone wall to the snow blinding stormy night, I was practically frothing. The pinnacle of 007. As the game's main menu loaded with a sequence of familiar Bond-esque silhouettes appearing on the screen from left to right, I was faced with my first disappointment: discovering the multiplayer mode was not available -- it had to be unlocked. My three friends were no less disappointed, their controllers hanging prostrate in their inactive fingers.

However, the game seemed promising so far, and knowing that the rental time was ticking away, we began the dual-player mission mode in hopes that it would not take long to unlock the split-screen hunting spree we were hoping for. As you set up your individual player profiles, the game walks you through an interactive training mode set in a gridded virtual reality facility where you learn all of James Bond's tricks , aiming, shooting, crouching, scaling and repelling walls, and how to use your Bond Sense? , the agent's instinct on where enemies are hidden. In training, when at an impassable obstacle, Bond learns to use one of his most interesting gadgets? , the spider bomb. Bond sets down the small spherical shape with eight legs, and the player's view switches to that of the robot.

The player navigates through a small air vent with the metallic spider, its skeletal legs clicking quickly through the tunnel. Emerging on the other side, you position the spider below whatever obstacle is impeding your way, then detonate the spider-bomb and clear the path. One of the features that really wowed was the covered corner shot , where Bond has his back against the wall, sneaks up to the corner, and targets enemies without ever showing his face. Then, it's a quick swivel around the corner and a few shots and your target is down. You're free to target your next mark -- all without leaving cover. Shooting around corners and from behind boxes or other cover was the main staple of the cooperative mode, where each mission's first objective was almost invariably Agents, don't be seen?.

Starting out with a simple silenced pistol, you soon pick up an array of different guns. There were a variety of automatic weapons, a rocket launcher, and impressive secret agent hand-to-hand combat. The sniper rifle , which you find relatively early and often , has an impressive zoom. Sighting at your enemies from a crouched position across the courtyard, you see the tops of their heads in your scope moving slowly up, then down in time of your own breathing.

As far as the first few levels of the cooperative mission mode went, I was amazed with the layout, graphics, weaponry and targeting, and even more pumped to unlock the multiplayer battle mode. After figuring out the confusing save options (save progress under Player 1, Player 2, or both?) which seemed to not really save at all sometimes, we finally either progressed far enough into the game or achieved adequate shot efficiency, stealth, or kill ratios (I'm not sure which did the trick) to unlock the battle mode. With anticipation building, we navigate the menu, log in, and begin battle mode. We pick an interesting map, and prepare ourselves for the butt whoopings we are about to exchange.

A semi-birds-eye view of a small room with two sets of stairs leading on to a balcony at the back of the room appears on the screen. Small, almost cartoon-like characters are in opposite corners, and surprisingly we nudge our controllers to find out that each of us is controlling one of these tiny characters. We run around the small chamber, punching and shooting each other, and pushing buttons on the wall that detonate explosives on the opposite side of the room or activate lasers on the balcony and cut down your opponent's small character.

This arena mode? brings in nothing from the rest of the game , none of the graphics, weapons, or style of the actual game is here. All you have is a shared view of a small room, with all four players running around pushing buttons and shooting at each other. I double-checked the menu. I triple-checked. Yep, it was confirmed , there is no multiplayer first person all-out kill or be killed battle mode in this game , just this pathetic little cartoon arena. Now, normally, I wouldn't use such a strong word , pathetic , to describe any sort of product of another human mind. But this arena mode seemed more like an afterthought, a small disappointing bait-and-switch selling point that is the major blemish on this otherwise great game. After shrugging off this big disappointment, I came to the consensus that this is an awesome two-player cooperative game, but if you're looking for an exciting split-screen battle mode, don't bother.