James Bond 007 In.. Agent Under Fire
Tsk, tsk what a shame. Bond had the potential to be so much better. Sure, all the innuendo and items scream 007," but where are all the true spy missions? Go ahead, slap the Powerpuff Girls in there. Would the gameplay change much? Frankly, niet. First off, missions are designed singularly for arcade-style shooting. Stealth, or more appropriately, spylike gameplay, is surprisingly absent, throwing any prospects for immersion right out the window. The collision detection is so poor, objects feel like theyre 10 times bigger and more obstructive than they should be navigating a small room with something as insignificant as a table in it is exceptionally difficult. These are the kinds of problems that get really aggravating in a first-person shooter because they break up the natural flow of the game. On to Bonds other savory bits.... Although one garners a variety of weapons (none of which are very original; the golden gun is so played-out), even the most hardcore-looking ones use twice as many shots to kill as one would expect. Oh, and theres no auto weapon change, no auto reload and a painfully inefficient weapon/item menu system. At least the Xbox version looks better than the PS2s, and multiplay lacks the choppiness that made the PS2 game virtually unplayable. But with tiny levels and four lame modes, multiplayer is really an afterthought. Bond freaks: Go nuts. Everyone else: Pass it up.
This games got more Bond than it knows what to do with. Youre constantly being pelted with quips from the movies, sexual innuendo and Qs useless gad-getry. Its ridiculous. Gameplay is average first-person shooter fare bogged down by a convoluted control scheme switching weapons on the fly is its biggest problem. Too often Id be stuck in a hail of gunfire trying to switch weapons and accidentally flip to one of the gadgets. I think I selected them by accident more times than I had to use them on purpose. But the biggest disappointment is the multiplayer mode, which has been sabotaged by tiny arenas and limited game styles.
Agent Under Fire does a good job of mimicking recent Bond films, for better and for worse: Its simple and often predictable, but with a few standout moments. The game holds your hand through all of the first-person shooting (FPS) levels, which are already small and uninspired in appearance and design. Other stages break out of the mold running down a van in your Spy Hunter-ed out BMW, flying through a city in a tank, shredding enemy limos and copters with a giant chaingun but (unlike james) the game cant keep it up for long. Bond and FPS fans should treat it like 007 does his women: Find it, play with it for a night or two, and leave it.