James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire Review

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Developer: Electronic Arts Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: March 12, 2002 Also On: GCN, PS2 and Xbox

“Vodka martini, shaken not stirred.” These words were spoken by a true British hero. Well, maybe not hero, but a great role model for kids to envy. James Bond is a film legend and with GoldenEye, he became a video game legend as well. Video games these days have graphics that are so impressive that games almost look as if they were part of a movie. Agent Under Fire is no different. The cinematic scenes are gorgeous. Where GoldenEye succeeded on a gameplay front, Agent Under Fire succeeds in its presentation. But is it any fun?

Even though single player missions are short, Agent Under Fire has decent potential in the long run for your entertainment needs. By beating levels in a certain amount of time or with so many points earned, players can unlock multiplayer weapons, levels, and characters. This adds a decent amount of replay value to the game. Thankfully, the missions remain fun after playing through more than once.

In multiplayer, not only can you play with up to 3 other friends, but Agent Under Fire has the possibility of adding in “bots”. Even with the bots, you can still only have a maximum of 4 players playing, whether computer or human. While playing multiplayer, you have huge possible characters that you could play as, let alone the scenarios that you can play in. How about the levels? There are about 12 multiplayer maps, each of which were made for multiplayer only (i.e. not from the story mode). If you plan on having multiplayer fun, then this is worth purchasing, otherwise just rent it.

While single player was satisfying for me, so was multiplayer. Actually, the main perk of the game is multiplayer. For a little suggestion, if you have Halo for the Xbox and want a FPS with multiplayer, then just stick with Halo’s multiplayer. Halo has many great maps that are all much better than those of Agent Under Fire. The GameCube and PS2, which are deprived of a comparably decent shooter, are much more appealing for owning Agent Under Fire.

What’s impressive about Agent Under Fire graphically? It has great shadows and a solid frame rate. The loading times for the GCN version are about half of the PS2 version. Another very attractive part of the game is the beautifully crafted vehicles, sexy Bond babes, and the architecture throughout the whole game. By the Gamecube’s standards though, Agent Under Fire is lower quality than it should be. Some buildings and objects are unnecessarily blocky and highly compressed.

The players, on the other hand, are fairly well modeled and have great facial textures. Unlike in cut scenes, during gameplay the characters seem robotic and stiff. What’s up with the way that guns shoot? It looks as if the game were in Matrix mode or at least slow motion.

The unique part of Agent Under Fire are the gadgets. Like all Bond games, Bond is supplied with items such as a Q-Claw, Q-Laser, and Q-Decryptor. Not only are there tons of gadgets, but there are also many weapons, vehicles, and characters. The main problem with the game is just walking around! The controls are very hard to get used to and probably can never be mastered on a GCN controller. Sometimes, in a dire situation you would sit there asking “is shoot A or R?” and to scroll through your gadgets/weapons, you will need to use the control pad. The whole scheme just seems like a huge inconvenience, but you could perhaps blame that on the GameCube’s controller design.

Of course, like in all Bond games, the Bond music is fantastic. The background beat and music (especially in the car levels) get you motivated and hyped up about kicking some bad guys. Even with the great music, some lines and songs begin to get very annoying to the point where you want to hit the GCN with a bat. Voice acting is good, even though James Bond sounds more like Sean Connery and not Pierce Brosnan. I can’t really complain too much in this area, though. The wide array of different gunfire sounds and the sound of bullet casings hitting the pavement or floor makes the gaming experience just a little better than normal games would. Don’t get me wrong though, Agent Under Fire is an average game. There is barely anything spectacular about it. I still wish to this day that Rare would have continued making the James Bond games or remake the infamous GoldenEye. Of course, this would never make it to anything other than the Xbox if it were to happen, because Microsoft now owns Rare.

With great graphics, stellar multiplayer, and a prominent license, Agent Under Fire is not that bad of a game. Yes, it does fall short in areas like its blocky graphics (at times) or repetitive theme song, but it packs a punch. We cannot forget that the controls are a bit funky (at least with the GCN version) or that single player does not last terribly long, but when those fall short, action, adventure, and adrenaline are also there. To me, Agent Under Fire is a good attempt at a great game. I believe that the upcoming Nightfire will be able to live up to what all of the hype is about.

Graphics: 8.5
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 7.5
Creativity: 9.5
Replay Value/Game Length: 9
Final: 8.3
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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