Voice Module








In Memory
Sean Pettibone



James Bond once again graces gaming screens in EA’s 007 Nightfire for the Gamecube. This highly entertaining adventure features none other than Pierce Brosnan in his famous role. Unlike previous Bond games, it mixes first-person action, shooting and racing sequences for a truly cinematic experience. Bond’s usual array of cool gadgets, exotic locales, beautiful women and a foe bent on taking over the word make this original story fit right in to the myth. With all these elements in place, it would take a super-villain to ruin the fun. Join us as we go deep undercover to find out what makes Nightfire burn so brightly.

Like most of the Bond films, Nightfire begins with a breathtaking chase through Paris as you rescue agent Dominique Paradis. During this mission, Bond has to use his sniper rifle to attack the enemies then jumps into a car to intercept his foes. Once this introductory stage is completed, the main game begins. In Nightfire, an industrialist named Drake is using the Phoenix International Corporation as a front to procure a secret weapon. It’s up to Bond to find out what Drake is up to and stop him from destroying the world. Even though Nightfire’s plot definitely feels like a James Bond movie, it's not based on the films or the books and is an entirely original story.

As the game unfolds, you’ll find that there are several types of missions included in Nightfire, which consist of a variety of different genres. Nightfire's FPS mode feels a lot like Tomorrow Never Dies, though the interface seems a little slicker than before. During each mission, Bond has to complete multiple objectives to move on to the next level. The most-immediate danger lies in Drake’s guards and soldiers, so Bond’s first task is to take them out. Some of these foes are easy kills while others are smarter and take more effort to neutralize.  After you’ve killed these enemies, many leave behind their guns and ammo, which Bond can take from them. Nightfire’s levels are large and can be quite difficult. However, multiple checkpoints exist for each area that makes progression much easier.
Other objectives include photographing secret areas or finding plans and papers. While he has an innate ability and can run, crouch and sneak around corners, this isn’t enough to complete your missions. Fortunately, Bond has some awesome weapons and gadgets at his disposal that he can use to complete his missions. The guns are his main weapon and these range from straightforward pistols that can be equipped with silencers. While the standard pistol is effective, Bond can also use advanced guns with larger clips, multiple shots and, laser sights for more accurate shots. Players can upgrade their standard weapons to ones with larger clips and faster reload times. Bond can also pick up and use several types of machine guns, some of which can fire multiple shots with each pull of the trigger. More advanced models of these can also include telescopic sights. Later on, Bond can use missiles, grenade launchers, crossbows and explosives when he’s against bigger targets or foes. Nightfire also gives you access to several types of cool sniper rifles that Bond can use to pick off enemies from afar. When you use the sniper guns, the viewpoint switches so you’re looking in the sight itself. While your view moves noticeably slower in sniper mode, it’s incredibly accurate, allowing you to make the perfect shot from quite a distance.

It wouldn’t be James Bond without some cool gadgets, and Q has provided some cool ones this time around. One of these is a lighter than can be turned into a camera. His wristwatch doubles as a laser, which he can use to cut through thick doors. He can also use his keys a stunner, and use his cell phone to grapple on objects. The use of these weapons is extremely clever in their implementation. You select the seemingly innocuous object from your inventory then can watch it change into their true form, then use it for whatever purpose you needed it for. You’ll even find some objects that your foes have created that you can use against them, such as a suitcase missile launcher. One device you’ll need frequently are the special sunglasses that give him night and heat vision, which perfect for finding hidden foes. These weapons definitely add to the Bond feeling, and help differentiate Nightfire from the legions of FPS titles

While the first person perspective missions are fun, the action frequently switches to vehicular combat mode. This transition is effectively integrated into the game and feels surprisingly natural. As you race down the roads, your objective is to avoid taking damage while destroying the cars of foes. Like the other modes, the car itself is equipped with several gadgets such as missile launchers, smoke screens, and oil slicks that Bond can use to knock foes off the roads. During these missions, you have to keep an eye out for the police and be sure not to kill them or any civilians who might wander in your path. Nightfire also includes several sequences that combine both shooting and driving. In these modes, Bond fires at enemies while moving in a vehicle. He has to keep an eye out for foes that come at him from all directions. He won’t take damage personally, but the vehicle will lose it’s armor and the mission ends when it’s destroyed. The controls in this mode are similar to the FPS sections, but here you’re usually limited to a single weapon and have to rely on the driver as a second set of eyes.

Even though Nightfire’s single-player mission is engrossing and entertaining, the game also includes an extensive array of multiplayer modes. In this mode, you can select an agent, not just Bond and shoot it out with others in a variety of different maps. There are several multiplayer modes including Assassin, Arena, Team and more. Multiplayer modes can be player solo, co-operatively or competitively with up to four players or computer-controlled bots. While the multiplayer mode starts with many different modes, you can unlock additional maps and characters including some classic Bond villains. This mode is a lot of fun, but it only supports players on the same console, which is disappointing but acceptable given the Gamecube’s lack of support for online play.

The previous Bond titles had excellent controls, and Nightfire is no exception to this. Nightfire has several different control configurations to choose from, each of which is more than up to the task,  When playing in the FPS mode, players move around by using the standard analog pad and can strafe by moving left or right on this. The left shift button manually targets enemies while the right shift button is used to fire weapons. In order to activate a gadget, players first have to select it then use the A button to perform this action. The Z-axis button is used to switch from standard to enhanced viewpoints. The lower d-pad is used effectively to switch between weapons and gadgets. This is a basic rundown of the controls for the first-person mode. Nightfire's driving mode controls are also quite simple to understand and use. Bond's car responds well to your inputs and the gadget commands are simpler in this mode, with players only having to worry about selecting the right one and firing. The rails shooter controls are quite intuitive and well-thought out, with a simple interface allowing you to focus on your task, which makes the game much more enjoyable. What’s most impressive is how seamlessly the different types of gameplay are integrated into the controls. The uniform structure and feel that goes a long way towards making the transitions between modes easier.  Many console FPS titles can’t approach the dexterity of a PC but, Nightfire is a pleasant exception with an intelligently designed interface.

While the controls are excellent, Nightfire’s slick production values are quite impressive. Bond fans will be thrilled that Pierce Brosnan’s image is used and he appears throughout the game in sight and sound. He’s done extensive voice-work for Nightfire, so you definitely feel his presence throughout the game. This makes this feel more like a movie than a game and immediately enhances the Bond flavor The game’s other characters are more fleshed out than expected because they have more lines than usual, making them more than cardboard cutouts. The women are especially cool. This helps to flesh out the plot, giving Nightfire more immediacy and this approach is quite effective. The numerous cut-scenes are cool and go a long way in immersing you further into the action. This is quite an ambitious title, but the excellent graphic engine is up to the task of recreating an actual James Bond adventure. EA has gone the extra mile for the game and the production polish giving it a cinematic feel. The levels take place in a variety of locales and the engine does an excellent job of putting you into some interesting areas. The levels look sharp with large expansive environments that seem very real. Nightfire’s texture mapping is above average and this makes the levels seem alive. Some of the weather effects are quite stunning with realistic snow and rain plus sun glare. There are some amazingly cool underwater sequences which are pulled off with a seemingly effortless ease and don’t look washed out or blurry. Nightfire’s multiple camera angles, excellent production values and detailed graphics make for a very impressive and immersive experience that takes good advantage of the Gamecube’s power.

Looking at the big picture, 007 Nightfire is a solidly entertaining game that should please Bond fans. The production values are excellent, with the appearance of Pierce Brosnan himself giving the game a heightened cinematic approach. The graphics engine is also impressive with detailed environments. However, the gameplay itself is quite good with an excellent FPS mode taken from earlier Bond titles broken up by some exciting driving sequences. The storyline is interesting and engaging which keeps you motivated. Nightfire’s controls are likewise excellent, with an intuitive interface that allows you to use many of Bond’s coolest weapons and gadgets with ease. While the levels can be a bit long, the game isn’t excessively difficult. The only major disappointment comes in the multiplayer mode, which doesn’t support online play. However, Nightfire is otherwise quite solid and fun with an excellent gameplay structure that flows nicely between levels. Even though Bond fans will love this the most, gamers looking for an entertaining and challenging experience will definitely find much to like in EA’s satisfying espionage experience that captures the essence of the famous British Spy. This is an excellent game with great production values. It's engaging plot and challenging gameplay make it highly recommended for Gamecube owners.

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