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MGM Interactive
EA Games
Action
1-4
03.29.02

007: Agent Under Fire


James Bond has always been the #1 action hero of all time. With cool gadgets, slick guns and fine looking women, James always found his man. Now, Electronic Arts finally brings the ever-so-popular James Bond action game to the Xbox. And Nintendo 64 "Goldeneye" fans, you're in for a treat.

Graphics

The graphics in 007: Agent Under Fire are astounding compared to others we have seen. Yes, this game is a direct port from Playstation 2, but the visual quality of the game overall is a lot better due to the nVidia graphics engine. Compared to the Playstation 2 version, the Xbox graphics seem very well cleaned up, crisper, sharper, more colors, while on the other hand the frame rates also seem to stay up in at least or above the 30's. One mission allows you to drive the BMW Zed8, the Bond car for the game. The car sports nice reflections during the action scenes, and other objects like buildings show nice detail. Seeing the graphics during the car racing scenes shows you the potential that Grand Theft Auto 3 for the Xbox can have.

Sound

007: Agent Under Fire supports Dolby Surround 5.1. If you are a James Bond fan, it is worth turning up the sound on this one. The game has full blown gunshots and explosions in high quality audio. One problem I noticed with the sound is it is lower than normal. In comparison to the Playstation 2 version, the volume in general seems lower, making you turn up your speakers. This can create humming noise and distortion, something we don't want to hear while playing. And where would James Bond be without his famous background music. The game sports some of the movies' best soundtracks, like the famous "James Bond" theme and some of the best in-game scores to be heard. The music in the game, however, differs from the Playstation 2 version somewhat. In the Playstation 2 version, when you would open a door it would do the "James Bond just opened a door" music, long and pretty loud. EA must have realized this mistake and lowered the volume for Xbox.

Gameplay

James Bond is invincible. Period. Getting shot in the game is like the enemies are just throwing tennis balls at you. You seem to live forever whether you are being shot at by machine guns, pistols or shotguns. To help ease that difficulty level, this game has Auto Aim. No one likes auto aim because it takes the fun out of first person shooters. In 007, having auto aim changes the gameplay to "blast whatever the target is on." This hurts it a bit since it takes a lot of the fun and skill out of doing it yourself that other Bond games had like Goldeneye. The standard controls in 007 are quite odd if you are used to Halo. Unfortunately, the buttons can get confusing. For example the B button is used to your gadget and using the gadget, but to switch back to a weapon you must pull the trigger or switch weapons using the thumb pad. The left thumb stick generally makes you look around while the right thumb stick moves you. These controls can be tricky and very uncomfortable. The options menu DOES allow for controller changes. The game comes with 4 different presets, allowing you to change the way the controls move. Luckily, there is a setting that swaps the assignments of the thumb sticks. The game offers two play modes: Single and Multiplayer. Single player consists of 12 missions. Although short missions, the game has a lot to offer because the action is pretty high and intense. Each mission has mini missions, or sections to it, usually 2 or 3. Multiplayer is similar to "Goldeneye" for Nintendo 64 in a way that it supports 4 players. As for the depth of multiplayer, some fans may not get the same excitement as in Goldeneye. There are 12 exclusive maps and CPU controlled bots, both not found in the PS2 version.

Bottom Line:

007: Agent Under Fire is a great game in general. This may be just a rental for some people due to the short single player missions, but for others, it may be one to buy for the long run multiplayer fun that comes from it. The graphics and sound are definitely the main reasons to give this game a try. And like I said before, some Nintendo 64 "Goldeneye" fans will love this game for the multiplayer fun, while others will turn away.

-Brian Dappolone




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