007: The World Is Not Enough
The World is Not Enough is one of many James Bond games being released for the PlayStation. It offers the player a chance to take on the role of James Bond and go through ten levels of gameplay. On the back of the box it says "10 exciting levels." I am going to have to challenge that.
The goal of the game is to achieve the missions given to you by M at the beginning of each game. Q will provide you with a variety of gadgets to achieve the greater goal of the levels and Moneypenny will make a comment to you, which turns out to ultimately be a minor clue to what your adventure is going to bring you. The game allows you to follow the missions from the movie intertwining cut-scenes from the film to add realism in gameplay. Sound like something you want to play? I'm going to have to challenge that too.
Gameplay, Controls, Interface
I had no idea what to expect when I popped in the disk. It's the first time I have played a Bond game and I quickly found out that this was a first person shooter. The quality of gameplay was definitely lacking -- the best way to describe it is give you short synopsis of the first mission: It starts off with scenes from the game intertwined with scenes from the movie and from there allows you to pick a skill level. There are only two offered, Agent and 007. I started off with Agent to get a feel for the game. I was briefed by M on what I was to do, was given a bunch of gadgets by Q, and was advised by Moneypenny before starting the mission. All of this was followed by another cut-scene from the movie before moving into the game. I was tasked with meeting with a banker on the third level of a building and not many obstacles in between.
I made it through the metal detector and past the first guard only to encounter another guard who would not let me pass through his door. I backed away from the guard to think of what to do and to my surprise the guard wandered away from his post to look out a window. Yes, that's right, to look out the window -- allowing me to sneak through his door. Very disappointing. I thought that maybe this was because I had chosen the lower skill level and discovered, although I hate to break this to you, that it was the same at the 007 level.
Onto the second floor -- cameras, guards, and alarms were all that confronted me before moving on. On the third floor I encountered yet more guards, alarms, and two locked doors. I figured out how to open the doors, a task which was not challenging, met with the end guy, got the goods, and escaped with minimal damage to myself. At the end of the first mission I was scored on my performance and was sent on to the next.
Each mission was different. In one mission I had to ski down a mountain shooting down the bad guys who were flying above me. In another I had to go into a casino and win enough money to bribe the informant for information, and yet another where I had to work my way through a home -- bugging phones, taking pictures and all the while going undetected. While all this sounds fun, it was truly un-challenging. I went through all of these levels of gameplay in an hour or so. 007: The World is Not Enough presents no challenges for the player. I would have liked to see the makers of the game throw in some twists. I did not come across any levels that made me stop and think about my next move.
The controls were easy to use (a bonus for the game). You are able to aim your gun at a specific target, strafe left or right, duck, crawl, etc. The character movement was also well done. The game has a certain amount of A.I., which also adds to the plus column of the game. Unfortunately it didn’t add enough to the game and I still found myself bored.
After you complete missions you can unlock movie scenes and cheats. It allows you to play the game with things like unlimited ammo or invincibility. I could see some of the advantages of a few of the cheats, but some were not worth the effort. For example, there is the cheat for unlimited ammo, but throughout the game, everyone you kill drops ammo, so there is no reason at all for that cheat. However, there were some cheats that were fun, like the stealth mode or invincibility.
I know that the other PlayStation Bond titles were multiplayer, which was probably one of the draws for those games. This one, however, is a single player game. A curious choice considering the popularity of GoldenEye. People who played GoldenEye told me that the fun of it was in the ability to play against your friends. I can't tell you why they didn't offer this option, only that it was a poor choice.
Graphics & Audio
I have seen what the PlayStation has to offer in its graphics and 007: The World is Not Enough seems a little lacking. I wouldn't say that they are the worst, but I have also seen better. There seems to be a lack of eye candy throughout the game -- nothing to really hold your interest. Things up close are passable, but at a distance they seem to lose a lot. The music is all right but if you happen to be one of the ten people in the world who doesn't know the Bond theme song, you will by the end of the first level. The voice-overs are just wrong. The voice for Bond sounds more like he's from New Jersey than from England. That was the most astonishing thing in the game. How do you make a James Bond game where the voice for Bond isn't even British?
I was assuming this game would offer all the flamboyance and excitement that anything with James Bond in the title should display. I am sorry to say that it did not live up to that. If you like first person shooters where the goal is to kill all that gets in your way, then this would be right up your alley. If you like games that pose a challenge other than how fast you can aim and shoot a gun, save your money.
Although the game did have some redeeming qualities, there were not enough of them to make me want to continue playing. There was never a question of what you had to do or what your mission was. While I am pretty sure that getting Pierce Brosnan for the voiceover was not really an option, at least they could have found someone with an actual English accent. 007: The World Is Not Enough just does not live up to the hopes that I had going into it. The world is not enough? Well, neither is this game.