No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way
You haven't lived until you've played this game because:
The sequel to Monolith's colourful spy shooter addresses most of the qualms of the first NOLF, while tweaking enemy Al and improving visuals with a facial animation system and one of the earliest implementations of ragdoll physics. Unlike other FPS games of the year that focused on the multiplayer arena, NOLF2 offered a solid single-player experience with a script that made you feel like you truly were an Avenger and a (wo)man from UNCLE combined. Aesthetically, the game is wonderfully designed to give off that '60s spy-movie feel, with a wonderful soundtrack, constant superbly written one-liners and a distinctive art style that looks like it's taken straight from Austin Powers' bed sheets. NOLF2's updated roster of outlandish gadgets also left fond memories in our collective craniums: favourites including the robotic poodle, the body-erasing perfume spray and the robotic bomb disguised as an adorable kitten - which I'm reminded to tell you is switched on by sticking a finger firmly up its arse.
People probably didn't play it because:
We reckon NOLF2's retail downfall was mostly to do with its kooky art style and outlandish design, which turned off mainstream gamers looking for a serious FPS fix. Having a leading lady didn't help much either, as the failed experiment in replacing her with Contract J.A.C.K. clearly went on to show.
Stand-out moment of brilliance:
The trailer-park scene where a massive, approaching tornado whips up everything around you, scattering massive trailers and power-lines in its wake. Eventually, you end up fighting ninjas inside a house floating in mid-air - a set-piece that could only liave been bettered if tlie house was on fire and pirates fought alongside your ninja foes.
The panel's views:
Dan: "It's perfect kitsch, camp Bond stuff." Will: "It really makes you feel like you're in the Avengers or whatever, and like a lot of these games, it just nails the mood and atmosphere of the game. The level design is also brilliant, and in a time where every game concentrated on generic bad-man shooting, it genuinely did some very different things. And it also doesn't look or feel dated at all." Steve: "Don't forget about the crap stealth bits though."
Cate didn't live forever, but she always will. In our hearts...
Download No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
She's the cheekiest spy to hit the secret agent scene since Austin Powers, and in this latest adventure, Cate Archer has a whole new arsenal of bizarre and oddly humorous weapons at her disposal to thwart H.A.R.M.S.'s desperate attempts to build a' vacation spot?
There are tons of good first-person shooters out there, especially this year, but few of them have managed to mingle a good, solid game with an interesting and really quite amusing plot, until now. This sequel to No One Lives Forever has made a number of significant changes and improvements to the last game. Now stealth plays a much bigger role in the game, with a newly added stealth icon to help you keep an eye on how hidden you are. If a baddie does spot you, you'll notice that their artificial intelligence is much improved as well. Instead of just charging right at you they team up and even will try to find ways to sneak up behind you or cut you off as you flee. Fleeing is a bit easier because this latest game offers several ways to get through a level, instead of the one way in and out so prevalent in the last game.
You'll still find yourself zipping around levels collecting gobs of things in the same silent, deadly form of Easter Egg hunt that at times made the last game a little tedious. Luckily there's now a compass to point you in the right direction of your next goal, making it a little less frustrating to complete a level.
NOLF 2 relies on the latest LithTech Jupiter engine to render the games cutting edge graphics, some of which are really beautiful.
Unfortunately, NOLF2 lacks what is becoming an increasingly important area'multiplay. In the letter sent along with the game, Sierra says that they plan on releasing an upgrade that will include a more robust multiplayer option, with things like death match and capture the flag. Currently NOLF2 comes with a mini multiplayer game that allows only cooperative play. Quite disappointing.
Overall NOLF 2 is worth the money for a bit of funny, shoot-em up fun and the pending release of a multiplayer patch or upgrade should make it a lasting game as well.