Super AiG's Guide to Every (old) James Bond Game Ever, Volume 9
Two more Bond games today, one for the PlayStation, one for the Nintendo 64, and both based on the film The World is Not Enough, which came out the year before. Again computers have been completely left out, as the PC version of the game was cancelled.
Game 20 - The World is Not Enough (2000)
Tomorrow Never Dies, but I'm hoping they've learned from that game's mistakes. Hey it's got a better title screen at least. Still no multiplayer though.
M tells me that a banker called Lachaise has just sold a report taken from a murdered agent for a considerable sum of money. I'm to go over to his bank and have a chat to him about how exactly the agent found himself dead, and how he feels about giving all the money he was paid over to me instead.
LEVEL 1 - COURIER.
GoldenEye-style third person character view as I enter the level, same as in Tomorrow Never Dies.
That security guy at the end of the hall is blocking the door out of here, but after I went up to chat with him he just wandered off for no reason. Another puzzle solved!
I'm a little fuzzy on who is and isn't a legitimate target in this place, so I'm going by the theory that if they're shooting me they're probably not on the side of the angels. It looks like I'm going to end up having to kill every identical twin working security in this place at this rate.
Bond actually carries two phones in this, as he uses another one to access the game's menu screen (yep, just like with GoldenEye's watch.)
At least I can't complain about it taking liberties with the film's plot. Just like the movie, Bond chases the assassin to the Millennium Dome, where she jumps off her boat and attempts to escape via a convenient hot air balloon.
LEVEL 2 - KING'S RANSOM.
I guess she got lost while driving her boat to the large obvious balloon parked right alongside the water, and we're going to have to race there on foot instead.
The combat feels much easier than in Tomorrow Never Dies, and I'm not sure whether it's because they've tweaked the mechanics, or just because of the first person perspective. The enemies definitely don't seem to zig-zag as much, and they've got the decency to give me a second to aim at them before shooting me this time.
Though I get the feeling that there's a hidden timer ticking away in the background as the assassin runs off, so I can't afford to play it cautiously.
In the end though I actually made it through the whole level without getting blown up, and intercepted the assassin at the balloon. Which she then blew up in the air while I was hanging onto it, killing herself and sending me plummeting to the ground. Happy endings all round. Plus I didn't even get an opening credits movie afterwards.
Well it functions as a game, and it looks like it's making good use of the PlayStation's hardware, but as first person shooters go it ain't so great. And a lot of the blame for that goes to the controls. L2 and R2 are a pretty uncomfortable choice for strafe, especially on a DualShock compatible game released in 2000.
Game 21 - The World is Not Enough (2000)
Formats: Nintendo 64.
But then the cutscene ends without there being a suitcase of money on the table for me to grab. Looks like I'm going to have to go and look for it.
In fact it all seems a lot like GoldenEye so far, which suits me just fine.
ONE RETRY LATER.
It turns out that the way to get past this bit, was actually to put my gun away and walk right out the front door. These security guards apparently have no idea what just happened upstairs, and have no reason to bother me.
Poor Moneypenny, in the movie Bond gets her a cigar (which she immediately bins), but in this game he's brought back his evil henchmen problems instead. And now they've blown her bloody door off!
I definitely don't remember Bond fighting off a full scale invasion of MI6 in the film, though to be fair I'm not sure how could've turned the original 'run towards the vault and get an explosion in the face' scene into exciting first person shooter gameplay.
Also, whoa look at the reflections on the floor, that's a bit of a smart-arse effect to pull off in an N64 game. A bit ambitious, considering the frame rate issues the system often suffers from. Though I guess we're being invaded by vampire henchmen, because their reflections are suspiciously absent.
I wonder if it's a coincidence that a film and game featuring a plot to blow up a British government building were both released near to Guy Fawkes Night. Hmm, I think I'm going to have to go with 'Yes, of course it's a coincidence. Idiot'.
I went off and found the good doctor, but a stray enemy bullet in her direction during a firefight cost me the level, and I had to start again from the very beginning. There's no checkpoints, and definitely no mid-level saves. Man I hate escort missions.
ONE SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME LATER.
A lot better than flashing up 'New mission objective: Head down to Q branch for no reason so Bond can see a boat and do something impulsive' I reckon.
It took me ages to get this shot lined up right with the manual aiming feature, and even then I missed. I really need to work on my pistol sniping skills.
It turns out the police have actually turned up here because those dastardly henchman have taken over one of the underground stations and planted a bomb. All this just to help one assassin escape? Couldn't they have just turned up with a car for her or something?
Damn, this level is starting to remind me so much of Soldier of Fortune, though in a good way. I love train station levels in shooters and I'm not sure why. Maybe it's the shiny tiles...
Though I tend to like them better when I don't have a countdown timer in the bottom right corner reminding me that I'm stuck underground with a ticking time-bomb.
Oh no. No no, don't tell me I have to go down the track. I don't wanna go down the track. There's like a 3 and a half second gap between the trains! Oh okay, fine, but this isn't going to end well.
SOME DARING ACTION MOVIE MOVES LATER.
I did actually complete the level in the end, but you know how it goes already. Balloon explodes, Bond falls, no one's very happy about it. Onto the next level etc.
You know, I think that the N64 version of World is Not Enough is fundamentally a better game than the PSX one, but it keeps trying to sabotage my enjoyment by throwing in civilians and time limits and stealth levels and escort missions and other ways to instantly fail. I lost so many missions so many times over while taking these shots, but besides that bomb I never once managed to get Bond killed. And that was self inflicted. To be honest I'm sick of it.
But the N64 game also has another advantage over the PlayStation game: it's got split screen multiplayer, GoldenEye style! With bots! Finally Bond fans get to play as characters such as 'Moneypenny', 'bank clerk', and 'that bloke played by Colin Salmon who always hangs around with M but I'm not sure ever got named on screen'. Though for some reason 'good' characters can't fight other good characters, so three out of four players would be stuck playing the villains. Which is of course really dumb.
Tune in again tomorrow for part 10: The World is Not Enough! Yes, there's a third game.