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Everything or Nothing (PlayStation 2) artwork

Everything or Nothing (PlayStation 2) review

"Imagine yourself in the middle of a foreign country, with no allies within hundreds of miles and enemy troops surrounding you on all sides. Now imagine these enemy troops are about to complete the purchase of a nuclear suitcase bomb right in front of you. What do you do? "

Imagine yourself in the middle of a foreign country, with no allies within hundreds of miles and enemy troops surrounding you on all sides. Now imagine these enemy troops are about to complete the purchase of a nuclear suitcase bomb right in front of you. What do you do?

If you were James Bond, better known as MI6 Agent 007, you'd proceed to kick some ass, take back that nuke, and make a stylish exit. Just another day in the life.

That, my friends, is what Everything or Nothing is all about. EA Games brings this to the PS2 and GameCube with style and flash; This game would've made an outstanding Bond movie. It's got all the guns, gadgets, and girls you'd expect on the big screen.

Unfortunately, it's also got a few noticable flaws. You may not find yourself caring about them too much while you're diving off a cliff with no parachute or jumping a European sport bike over hundred-foot canyons, but they can be an annoyance, none-the-less.

First of all, I have to note that the in-game targeting system has some serious drawbacks. Rather like GTA3 or Vice City, you can target enemies by holding a particular button, and you can even press yourself against walls and lean out to take shots at them ala Metal Gear Solid 2, but 007 seems to have trouble targeting anyone the camera isn't directly facing. Add to this the fact that while you're in ''wall cover'' mode, you can't target an enemy Bond is facing, even if they're on-screen, and you've got the beginnings of a very problematic glitch in the gameplay engine. I don't know if it wasn't playtested enough or what, but a little more polish in this area could've done wonders.

Also, the saving and loading menus seem very redundant in their execution. The game will ask you if you want to save/load a game. When you select ''yes,'' it loads for ten or fifteen seconds, then displays ''data saved/loaded'' for another five seconds before letting you even select which file to save to/load from. Repeat the process for the actual saving or loading, throwing in the obligatory ''are you sure?'' screen, add to this a lengthy load time, and you'll practically be wanting to walk down to the 7-11 to get a Big Gulp between levels.

Thankfully, the flaws mostly end there. The game shines in just about every area besides.

Graphics are wonderful, practically photorealistic in some areas. The reflection rendering in glass and on cars is superb. Character models are very true to the real-life actors of recent Bond movies. The game has an all-star cast, including Pierce Brosnan as 007 and Willem Dafoe as the game's antagonist, a Russian man named Diavolos intent on causing destruction and havoc throughout the entire globe. You'd think this really was a James Bond film, and not a videogame.

The controls, barring the complications noted earlier, are pretty solid. You can map the different button functions, which is nice, but I found myself pretty easilly able to get to the default control setup. Bond doesn't always move fluidly; the main problem is entering and exiting ''Wall cover'' mode, which seems strangely awkward to me, but it's a minor complaint.

Music is befitting of any entry in the movie series. Typical fare, but it sounds good and blends well. Sound effects are pulled off nicely and don't seem out of place at any point in the game.

And the action... oh, the action. From the minute you load up the game, it's like being inside a Bond film. Pop the disc into the PS2 and after the typical sound system promos and whatnot, you're given a very familiar scene of Bond walking across an assassin's sights from the perspective of a gun barrel. Immediately afterward there's a scene depicting Bond's current situation, afterwhich you dive into the action instantaneously. Kick some ass, take some names, and you're given a credits sequence straight out of the movies. I was awed by the flawless execution.

The game alternates between action sequences and vehicle sequences; the twist is, in many instances you're able to exit your vehicle and complete an action sequence before returning to your vehicle and finishing up the driving sequence. Sometimes an action sequence will end with you getting into your car and proceeding with the next vehicle mission without so much as a loading screen.

While the action sequences can be intense, packed with typical Bond-style shootouts and gadgetry-use, the vehicle missions are just awesome. I'm not even sure a worded description can do them any justice. I will say though, that each and every one of them is absolutely loaded with true James Bond action. You'll chase trains, blow open locked gates with rockets, jump motorcycles over rooftops, chase a dangerous semi-tanker down a crowded New Orleans freeway, and even commandeer a platinum-armored tank with metal-dissolving nanite shells.

Each scene in the game also includes bonuses for pulling off what's called a Bond Moment, IE, completing a particular objective in a style only Bond could achieve. This ranges from stealthy takedowns to playing masseuse to a beautiful woman when you accidentally sneak into the wrong room of a private hotel. When you can do these flawlessly, you'll look really bad-ass in front of your friends. Be sure to ask for that martini shaken, not stirred.

You've got plenty of replay value here, too. Every mission has three selectable difficulty levels right off the bat--Operative, Agent, and 00 Agent--and with all the extras to unlock, Bond Moments to be had, and overall kick-ass scenes to relive again and again, you'll definitely be glued to your PS2 for a long while to come.

007: Everything or Nothing couldn't possibly have more action and style even if it was a true Bond film. I'd recommend picking it up any day of the week.

kieran's avatar
Community review by kieran (July 08, 2004)

Kieran Greyloch is an automotive technology student who enjoys wasting every moment of his spare time playing videogames and tabletop RPGs.

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