This is the first review I did well over a year ago. I'm actually shocked at how incoherent this review was. They get better, honest.
Let's talk a bit about the game I've started with. 007 Nightfire is a 2002 first person shooter released on several consoles and PC.It was the first 007 game to include an original theme song. And at the the time of its release: I sucked at it. I sucked at it's predecessor, Goldeneye, too. Why? Well until this point my exposure to FPS gaming was Doom, Doom II etc...where stealth and patience went by the wayside for "Blow it the Fuck Up Quickly." That tactic didn't work in spy games so I had to completely relearn FPS gaming logic.
The game itself had a multitude of missions with sub missions in each. It had a story worthy of a Bond film - in fact better than some! More on the levels as i go through them.
The graphics were very advanced for its day; especially on the cube which wasn't necessarily a heavy graphics console. It also had very impressive sound. Too bad the sound didn't match the faces (i.e. Pierce Brosnan didn't voice Bond but it was his likeness in the game!)
The controls for the game were standard for the day, and for the most part standard today, too.
The mutli-player wasn't as robust as Goldeneye. In our house we'd still resort back to Goldeneye for the deathmatch possibilities. The options just didn't seem to be as varied.
The last two things I wanted to talk about before moving on was the level design and my overall feeling. I believe I mentioned before that the levels are beautiful and well designed graphically. Some are so expansive you can explore them and see new things each time. Some are short and sweet and there's a good mix of both. The PROBLEM with the levels are the goals. Sometimes the goals are shockingly ambiguous. If you're not an experienced gamer you're going to be stuck wondering just what the hell you're supposed to do. Even experienced, I found myself wondering in a couple of the missions, particularly "Double Cross: Save Mayhew's Servants" Where the Hell are they? The map is HUGE. You're getting shot from every direction. That is the level that made me initially put the game down all those years ago.
The submarine/car level is easily the most imaginative, entitled "Deep Descent" though my favorite is "Chain Reaction" as you skulk around a decommissioned nuke plant looking for evidence of what Drake is up to. Drake is the bad guy, another gentleman industrialist who believes by taking over the world's nuclear arsenal he can eliminate governments and turn every country in a subsidiary of his own corporation. Hey--maybe we should give the guy a chance!
Controls: 5/5: It's an FPS. What could you want? Weapon switching and gadget switching is intuitive as is aiming and firing.
Graphics: 4/5: Pretty damn good for the Game Cube. And Bond looking like Bond (Brosnan) is a huge atmospheric plus. By today's standards this would be lower, but I am grading the release date curve.
Sound: 3/5: Top notch music but the voices are strained. And Bond may look like Bond, but it sure isn't Brosnan.
Story: 4/5: It really could be a Bond movie. They went all out. The cutscenes are well timed and keep things moving rather than being a nuisance and after you've seen them once you can ALWAYS skip them with the A button.
Playability: 2.5/5: This is the part that hurts the game. The ambiguity of goals during missions is frustrating.