" Ach, listen ta yoo cry like a wee lit'le baby "
Title: No One Lives Forever by Fox Interactive
Format: First Person Shooter for your PC
Reviewing Monkey: Chimpan-A
The Hype: Austin Powers showed us that not only were 60's spies sheik but sexy too! Now take on the role of Cate Archer, the Operative in this fun playful romp through a 60's spy thriller. Featuring a slew of levels and weapons, not to mention wacky villains, this game delivers what it promises.
What This Monkey Thought...
Graphics: The graphics for this game are excellent. Although the color palette is garish at best, it's all fitting for the sixties genre. That's right; get ready to see a lot of mood dresses. The game is driven by the lithtech engine, which makes for some very nice looking character models. No blocky guards here, everybody moves smoothly. Cate, our hero, is also...um...appropriately curvy in her tight spy outfit. 5 out of 5
Sound: I don't think I can say enough good things about the sound. All the gunfire sounds perfect for the guns. From the naturally silenced "pop" of the Hampton Carbine, to the heavy sounds of the AK-47. The voice acting is definitely above par for most games out there. The game takes place all over the world, so there are a variety of accents for the voices to play with (one of my favorites is the Scottish villain! "Ach, listen ta yoo cry like a wee lit'le baby"). The game has a significant stealth portion to it, and as you are discovered, or stride boldly into battle, the music changes appropriately. The music is excellent and definitely sixties. The music is so good in fact that they felt like putting it on a CD for your listening pleasure (as an extra). Oh, and lest I forget, this game also features a line needed in more games- "You look like you need a monkey!" Don't we all? 5 out of 5
Game Play: This game is some solid fun. Levels can be beaten with either stealth or chutzpah, depending on your will at the time. This means that you can have just as much fun beating a level by sniping away at your terrorist enemies from the shadows as you can running balls to the wall (pardon the expression) guns a blazing! A multitude of weapons is provided for every style. Plus, as of course any 60’s spy needs, the game is chock full of clever little gadgets- into which they obviously put a lot of original thought. It’s truly mighty. The controls are all familiar for those of us who have been playing FPSs for a while now, and work quite nicely. The "dynamic targeting" can take a little getting used to, but once everything is seen in action, it's actually quite a useful tool (and for those of you who don't like being told you can't shoot the civilians, it can be turned off too). The game keeps track of all sorts of things during your mission. Including where you are shooting your enemies, how many times you've been spotted (even if you aren't going for stealth, it's always fun to see just how many people spot you before they go down in a blaze of gunfire), etc., and reports them after each mission. It is, plainly, an excellent game play all around. 5 out of 5
Level and Environment Designs: This game ranges all over the world. From Morocco to Oregon to the (now almost required) lunar base…everywhere a scantily clad spy babe should be! Better yet, and now a-days almost shocking, all the levels look good doing it! Everything is appropriately retro, from the Berlin Nightclub to the room of the "Danger Girls". The environments are just beautiful, with expansive landscapes in some levels that just seem to go on forever! All of course thanks to the lith-tech engine, which does the great outdoors wonderfully. The design of the levels is great as well. Plenty of places to go, everything makes sense. With no auto map feature, it can get a little hard to navigate some of the more complicated levels. Still I only ran into a few levels that got me completely lost. 4.5 out of 5.
Multiplayer: If the game has any minor stutters, it's with the multiplayer. There aren't a whole lot of maps to choose from and only two trite modes of play. They’re your normal Deathmatch and the game specific multiplay- HARM vs. UNITY. In this version, you pick a side, either H.A.R.M. or U.N.I.T.Y. and the two sides go at it in a kind of modified capture the flag. Only instead of capture the flag, you're trying to take a picture of your enemies intelligence, a semi-interesting twist on an old standby. The game does provide a slew of characters to choose from (everything from Cate to innocent bystanders). Also game finding is fast and easy with support from Gamespy. Still the game plays out well in multiplayer, and the modes will entertain for a bit. 3 out of 5
Replayability: With the ability to do most missions in a couple of ways, it's always interesting to go back and see what happens if you hadn't tripped the alarm and accidentally had to shoot those forty-three guards. Unfortunately this is generally the case with missions. Still the gameplay is fun enough that playing a level again is never a particularly bad thing! Also you get the choice of which level to play on, so you don't have to play the whole thing. Multiplayer doesn't extend the life that much, what with its lack of great variety. 3.75 out of 5
Story/Dramatics: With the ability to do most missions in a couple of ways, it's always interesting to go back and see what happens if you hadn't tripped the alarm and accidentally had to shoot those forty-three guards. Unfortunately this is generally the case with missions. Still the gameplay is fun enough that playing a level again is never a particularly bad thing! Also you get the choice of which level to play on, so you don't have to play the whole thing. Multiplayer doesn't extend the life that much, what with its lack of great variety. Story/Dramatics: I must admit, for the first time, I was actually interested in the story of a FPS! We follow the exploits of The Operative (and feminist) Cate Archer, as she hunts down answers to what the terrorist organization H.A.R.M. is up to. Which for those just dying of curiosity involves giving people explosive gas. And yes, I do mean like after you have eighteen plates of refried beans, only meaner. We track the path of intrigue surrounding our buxom persona, as she tries to sort out exactly who's lying to whom. There are plenty of twists and turns, and dramatic deaths, etc. The story may be a bit silly, but it 's all in good fun and will definitely keep you entertained and playing on to find out what happens next. 5 out of 5
Instructions and Learning Curve: The instructions are quite comprehensive; giving all the info you need to keep yourself afloat. The game itself is played much like every other game of its genre and so learning the nuances doesn't present a problem. You'll be in and blazing in moments. Even the use of the various gadgets is fairly self-explanatory, and the games in game tutorial that precedes most of the missions (for training you with new equipment) will make sure you know how to use it all. 5 out of 5
Installation and Real System Requirements: Well, the installation was a little bumpy, requiring a disk change to the second disk. Normally that's not that bad, but when the second disk is a music CD that might start playing and interrupt your installation, that's not a good thing. The minimum requirements for the game are posted as: Win 95 & up, Pentium II 300, 64 megs RAM, 400 megs hard drive space, and of course a 3D card. Don't be fooled though, anyone trying to run the game on that system better be prepared to play a seriously toned down game. The game recommended system includes a Pentium III 500, 128 Megs of ram. The maximum includes a Pentium III 800 with a 32meg 3D card. Still, once you get it properly tailored for your system, it runs just fine, with only a few instances of slowdown seen (test system AMD K3 400). 2.5 out of 5
|No One Lives Forever is an absolute riot. Not only does it feature a hot main character, but it also has some of the most intelligent goons ever! Don't be surprised to hear a discussion on the socio-psychological mindset of criminals coming from these guys. The game is one of the most story driven FPS’ I've played in a long time. The variety of weapons, and ability to be stealthy or noisy as you see fit makes this game a definite recommendation.|
The Good: A great 60's spy romp, with a star that's definitely got the right qualifications.
The Bad: Not much multiplayer variety, beefy system requirements.
The Overall Ugly: Definitely worth it for anyone who's even a remote FPS fan.
What it's Worth: market