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     " Man Crates. When one of the foot soldiers does a bad job, he's mooshed into a box. This box will then try, quite humorously, to attack you. Now that's quality. "

      Title: No One Lives Forever 2 by Fox Interactive

      Format: PC FPS

      Reviewing Monkey: Chimpan-A

      The Hype: How do you follow up a multi-award winning game, a game with a good fan base and with a name to uphold? Well, duuuh. You release a sequel. And that's just what this is. Follow the continuing adventures of Kate Archer, the Operative. H.A.R.M. is back and looking for vengeance for their failure in the last game.

      What This Monkey Thought...

      Graphics: This is a very pretty game. The lithtech engine has come a long way since the first game. Character models are great. The first time I saw Armstrong's beard, I wanted to go pick lice out of it (… What? I'm a monkey!), it looks that good. The buildings and environments are all quite pretty, although you won't find quite the variance that you did in the last game. They also reuse a couple of levels. Though I can almost forgive it in some cases, like going back to the bridge you set explosives on to see it explode. All in all though, the characters and enemies look great and the game is quite pretty. 4 out of 5

      Sound: Once more there is a great selection of music in this game, with interactive levels. Heavy situations cause heavy music and etc. Cate Archer's voice actress does a good job (although she's less Scottish in this game, a shame). The rest of the acting is quite good as well. And we have the return of the funniest henchmen ever. Conversations about how to get an appropriate evil laugh and memos about the copyright infringement of the evil plan names are the norm here (memos aren't a sound, I know, but they're related). It's funny and well acted. 4.5 out of 5

      Playability: Well, to start we've got your standard FPS action: Lots of guns, lots of enemies. The game maintains its spy theme with cool spy gadgets for your use, although not as many cool gadgets as the last game. NOLF 2, though, adds in the skill point system. Keeping up with the trend of adding RPG elements to today's games, intelligence items and completing missions will give you skills points. Use the skill points to upgrade Kate's abilities. This is a great system, mostly because it helps people to play the game in whatever way they want. If you want to play a stealthy assassin, put your points into stealth. If you want to go around ripping the nuts off of your enemies, put your points into nut ripping… Okay, so that skill doesn't exist, but you get the point. The system works well and adds an element of customizability to what would otherwise be a standard FPS. The controls are all standard and respond fine. The game asks for at least a PIII 500 with 128 Megs of RAM and runs smoothly when it gets what it wants. No real bugs were noticed during our test run here. Smooth sailing. 5 out of 5

      Multiplayer and Replayability: Okay, there are two sides to this coin. First off, the multiplayer for NOLF 2 features- (gasp in awe here people) cooperative mission play *insert reverb*. What this means is that you and three other people can gather together to tackle an actual storied mission together. The only player killing that occurs will occur because one of you is a prick and shot the other one in the back of the head. This is uber cool. Especially since the cooperative missions take place around the story of the single player game. Very few games do this anymore and it's vastly overlooked. The bad part of this is that cooperative is the only style of multiplayer here. And even though it's cool, sometimes you want a little deathmatch action, especially with the prior game, which gave you a Golden Eye-like plethora of character models. Add all of this into the fact that there aren't nearly enough people who actually play on the servers provided and you come up with a bit of a dud for multiplayer. Which is too bad, considering the major potential.
          As far as replayability goes, there are definitely missions you'll want to replay. The game is fun and the level layout is interesting. The lame thing about replaying the game is that you don't get skill points when you start a level out fresh. The game lets you select any chapter in the game, but it doesn't give you any skill points for that level. This means that the later levels are exceedingly hard to play. A few cheats will keep you in line, but you shouldn't have to cheat to enjoy playing your favorite levels. 3.5 out of 5

      Story/Dramatics: Like I said at the top, H.A.R.M. is back. And this time, they're mad. This time around the NOLF storyline is far less ludicrous and far more serious parody. This time the mysterious leader of H.A.R.M. (whom some of you may remember from the ending of the first game) is running the show. The Operative is called in to stop their nefarious plots. I was almost disappointed that the game would devolve into a nuclear weapons scare, but was mollified at the last moment, although it was still a little too cliché for my tastes. The story is still a lot of fun and the plot is still held together well, it's just not as silly as the last game. And I like how silly the last game was. 4 out of 5

      The Verdict:

       This is a mighty game. You've got great graphics, great gameplay, good story, a $300.00 check for buying it (go on check your mail, I'm sure it's out there) and seriously funny circumstances. The game has a few flaws here and there, but they're easily overlooked. Here, as with the first one, only the multiplayer holds it back from being the greatest.

      The Good: Great gameplay, excellent game, excellent multiplayer idea

      The Bad: Lack of multiplayer variety, a story that takes itself too seriously

      The Overall Ugly: Man Crates. When one of the foot soldiers does a bad job, he's mooshed into a box. This box will then try, quite humorously, to attack you. Now that's quality.

      What it's Worth: Pay full price, it's worth it.

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