hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

The Forgotten: A Spy in HARM's Way

7:00 PM on 09.17.2009 // Freefall

[Editor's note: We're not just a (rad) news site -- we also publish opinions/editorials from our community & employees like this one, though be aware it may not jive with the opinions of Destructoid as a whole, or how our moms raised us. Want to post your own article in response? Publish it now on our community blogs.]   

So, the Monolith Team (The people behind F.E.A.R) decided to make a sequel to a fantastic game set in the middle of 1960's spy warfare.

They updated everything: the graphics, the controls, the voices, the characters, the weapons, the skill system, the intelligence recovery system, the vehicles, the locations, the AI, the enemies, the humour ... do I really need to keep going? Oh okay then: the story, the gadgets, the music, the sound ... they even added a light RPG element to upgrade things like your health or aim by completing objectives.

So, we have this fantastic sequel which blows the original out of the water game wise and what does it get? Very low sales and some kind of memory repellent which makes people forget about it.

Since discovering this game a few months ago, due to modern games boring the hell out of me, I stumbled on this lovely game called No One Lives Forever and it's sequel. They were very cheap so I went for it and snatched up both. They are now some of my favorite games ever. By mentioning the game and its heroine on several places across the internet, I got at least 7 responses which were all in a similar vain to:

"Oh I forgot about that, it was a fantastic game, reinstalling!"

What boggles me though, is why such a fantastic FPS was forgotten, so I decided to have a look into the factors of this.

1. Oh... it's an FPS

It isn't a big name and never managed to establish itself. It was mature, classy and funny, not 'Space marine goes gun-ho on some aliens' or 'WW2 Nazi's are evil lol'. This immediately put it as a disadvantage. It's 2002 remember.

2. Spy Sappin' Mah Sentry

It's the 1960's and there's a spy causing havoc for an evil organization. James Bond? Wrong! Cate Archer, Superspy. She isn't just a female copy/paste of Mr. Bond though, she is in fact, so much more. In the First game, Cate gets a chance to show her boss that women can do things too (Admittedly, she only gets this chance because the best spies get killed off one by one) but she does more than adequate, she reveals the organization H.A.R.M and stops them from destroying the world. So if you just glanced at it, it looks like another take on 007.

3. Sequels, get your sequels, right here!

So, you walk into a shop, "oh that looks like an interesting game, oh its a sequel, I never played the first so I wont bother." I am disappointed.

Never mind the fact that the plot doesn't carry directly over to the sequel (NOLF was a complete game without a sequel in mind, something pre-planned trilogy games are lacking with these days). But all the characters from the first make an appearance and all the previous fans are happy too. It's a shame it got so overlooked.

4. A Spy in H.A.R.M's way.

This clever subtitle goes over everyone's head, unless they played the first. Cate Archer is indeed in H.A.R.M's (an evil organization) way. In fact, a big sign blocks your path in the first NOLF, which says "You are now in H.A.R.M's Way" and it has a big smiley face on it. It then pushes you into the water below you with some blood-thirsty sharks. Not only does Cate stand firmly in their way, she also reveals some moles in her own organization, UNITY.

5. Long Tag Line is Looooooooooooong.

A little bit: No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M.'s Way. Nothing short like Halo 3, Splinter Cell or Killzone.

6. The Main Character is a Woman.

Yes she is. Is she slightly sexualised? Yes, it's the Sixties and she's a woman. If she wants to look good saving the world, then let her. If you think otherwise, you like men (no disrespect to those who do).

Why should it be remembered?

I will now list some things which are in the games:

Jumping out of an exploding Jet Plane without a parachute and stealing someone else's in mid air.

Wrestling with a Big Scottish man who has a sense of honour to let you go.

Listening to some guards have a conversation about why they had to get artificial lava in the volcano lair (There are tons of moments like this).

Chasing a mime on a tricycle through the streets of India.

Fighting a Ninja in the middle of a tornado. The house you take cover in gets sucked up. You continue fighting said ninja 100ft above ground in the middle of said tornado. (While I'm on the topic of Ninja's, Cate hides from and takes on an entire town of them).

Running away from guards who got shaped into cubes as they bounce after you and try and bite you.

[This one happened to me accidentally] Shooting a guard with a sleeping dart, getting spotted by another guard on his rounds, shooting him, that body getting spotted by a security camera. 5 minutes later, picking up around 23 bodies and dumping them in some mess-hall, then making sure they were all dead before continuing. One was sleeping and starts the whole thing over again.

Now you can't tell me that games these days have such fantastic scenarios.

So, the most brilliant thing about this game, is that you can tackle every situation any way you like, whether it is stealth or guns blazing or a freaky mixture of gadgets, guns and stealth and wits. All options have their own advantages and disadvantages. You get to play it your way.

Bonus Objectives are placed to help you out too, but you don't have to do what the game tells you. One of the Bonus objectives is to secure an escape route by blowing up a gate. I forgot about it and instead shot my way out. Whatever works right?

So you may have heard all of this before in crazy PR campaigns, but here it's real. In fact, it is such a pivotal part of the game that you won't find any PR statement saying its the best thing since sliced bread, it's just there.

No One Lives Forever 2 never takes itself too seriously, but you still feel like it's real. It suspends your disbelief perfectly. Even the evil mastermind (Getting phone calls from his mother all the time) seems real, as do all of the other characters. The game and story may trip every cliche in the book, but you never notice. You have something which keeps you happy. Do you want to know what it is?

You have fun.

These games are fun. I feel that in the strive for realism, there is hardly any blending anymore. It's either serious or over the top child's play. No one Lives Forever 2 blends it perfectly. You don't have to think it's serious, you don't have to think it's hilarious, it gives you the freedom to make your own mind up.

And that is why No one Lives Forever 2: A Spy in Harms Way should not be forgotten. Ever. Even though it already has.

 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

Status updates from C-bloggers

nanashi avatarnanashi
they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food they pooped in my food
Robo Panda Z avatarRobo Panda Z
I have been accused of the greatest of crimes - cookie snobbery.
Yanick Bourbeau avatarYanick Bourbeau
Zombie eating player from my game: [img][/img]
KyWii avatarKyWii
Rock Band 4 is really fun...takes me back to my teenage days of high school. Also reminds me of all the hours I wasted on a plastic guitar instead of getting better on a real one xD
Avoclefo avatarAvoclefo
Team Fortress 2 just got a massive community-made Invasion update. SFM short, reskins, cosmetics, and 4 brand new maps?!?! God, I love this game and its wonderful community so, so much. [youtube][/youtube]
Rad Party God avatarRad Party God
AARRGGGHHHH!!!, GODDAMIT!, fucking SOMA has crashed 3 fucking times in a row and I always lose ~20 minutes of playtime!, playing the same section over and over kinda ruins the tension! >.<'
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
N-Not that P1 isn't perfect the way she is! Isn't that right sweetie? Yes it... Oh, now don't you go and listen to those P2 fans! They just go around spreading rumors and pretending Hitler was just a handsome gentleman in sunglasses, that's what THEY do!
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Persona Q has made me realize I really want a Persona 1 remake on 3DS in a similar style. A lot. A loooooooot. You listening, Atlus?
Super Mario Maker, the announcement of Sonic Lost World for Steam, and remembering all of the mods that got made for the PC version of Sonic Generations makes me wish SEGA/Sonic Team would make their own dedicated Sonic level creation game.
gajknight avatargajknight
Hey, is your fridge running? You better catch it. I mean, it has all your food, and without food, you die. Like, forever. You don't wanna die right? If you die, how will you watch The Good wife with your favourite bowl of Ben and Jerry's ice cream? Go.
CJ Andriessen avatarCJ Andriessen
My local Best Buy is drowning in Marth & Dark Pit amiibo
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
Spooky yet totally true gaming fact: the bushes and the clouds in Super Mario Bros are the same exact shape. #Spooky
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
It is coming fast AAAAAAH
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
The newest PS4 update finally got rid of that bug where I'd get the "you can customize your power options" message every time I turned on my console!
El Dango avatarEl Dango
Should I just pass on MGSV? I haven't really liked any of the games after Snake Eater, and it's being used as a money sink at the moment.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
[Youtube][/youtube] All the episodes are on youtube now. Also I never knew they got to do a season 3. Pretty cool. Now back to Transformers. Scored a gc to my favorite thai place too. Pad ahoy bitches. It's been too long.
ashamasha avatarashamasha
i have almost all the pieces i need to build my own Arcade machine... and the last one arrive this Saturday! Soon, one my childhood dream will became true!
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Interviewer: Konami, why are you selling cosmetic DLC for MGSV? Konami exec: I breathe through my skin.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
What is the Dtoid chat room?
TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -