Monday, April 13, 2015

Stuff I Grew Up With: The World Is Not Enough (Nintendo 64) (2000)

The World Is Not Enough Coverart.pngFew would argue that not only is Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64 arguably the best James Bond video game but that it's also simply one of the best video games period. There had been some Bond games before but it was that extremely popular, 1997 release, which stayed at the number one spot on Nintendo Power's most popular N64 games for an entire year, that ensured what has now become a long and successful video game career for 007. And since Goldeneye was only Pierce Brosnan's first outing as Bond, I think everybody was expecting the other films that he would eventually star in to be adapted into games that would be just as memorable and beloved as that one. That... really didn't happen. Brosnan's second 007 adventure, Tomorrow Never Dies, was adapted into a game that was solely for the Playstation and was nowhere near as profitable and acclaimed as its predecessor (since I didn't have a Playstation back then, the only time I played that one when I was a kid was on a friend of mine's system and even then, I don't remember much about it); his third, The World Is Not Enough, which was adapted into a game for both the Playstation and the Nintendo 64, was received a little better but was still hardly considered a classic, which is how I've always viewed it ever since I first played it. I can't remember how I first knew of this game since I don't think I ever saw it mentioned in Nintendo Power, although I was privy to the film since it's rather hard not to hear of the newest Bond movie, even when you're rather young and don't really keep up with the newest movies coming out (the fact that I had just recently gotten into watching the movies no doubt helped). I guess I must have seen it in a store when it was released or in a Christmas catalog or something but, however I became aware of it, I did put it on my Christmas list in 2000 and I did get it, along with just about everything else I asked for that year. When I got around to playing it, I did indeed enjoy it, although it was a while before I actually completed it since I walked away from it for a time, but, like everyone else, I didn't think it was as great and addicting as Goldeneye. The graphics were certainly better, as was the music, and there was actual voiceover dialogue, which was cool, but it just didn't have the same appeal as the older game and, all in all, felt middle-of-the-road (the multiplayer, which everyone, for good reason, raved about when it came to Goldeneye, was especially lacking here; I don't remember my friends and I ever playing it). I still think it's a good game, and is certainly worth a playthrough, but it should not be judged when compared to its far superior predecessor; it's ultimately an enjoyable but very typical first-person shooter.

This is the main menu for the Playstation version, which is
similar to that of the N64 version but with noticeable
differences at the same time.
Incidentally, for those who don't know, the reason I specified in the title that what we're going to be looking at is the Nintendo 64 version is because, from what I've read up, it's very, very different from the Playstation version, which I've never played. I always assumed that they were fundamentally the same game, with the only major difference possibly being better graphics in regards to the Playstation version, but that's apparently not the case; in fact, the only similarity between the two appears to be the overall story, as well as a couple of inconsequential things. According to Wikipedia, the Playstation version is missing a couple of levels that are in the N64 one, some other levels differ between the two in terms of layout and design, there are indeed differences in terms of the graphics (although, it seems like the N64 version wins out on that score) as well as the menus and in-game statistics, and the music is different, among other things. So, again, because of that, I felt I had to make it clear that we're going to be tackling the N64 version here; you'll have to go somewhere else for the Playstation one.

If you've seen the movie The World Is Not Enough, you know the story and so, I'll refrain from going into that until the walkthrough, when I will talk about what's going on in each level. As you can guess, though, this game does what any good movie adaptation does: it expands upon scenarios in the film in order to make for more levels as well as to make said levels longer and more detailed to maximize the player's entertainment. And plus, how much of an inferior game it is aside, one of the things that it does have in common with Goldeneye, as do many Bond games, is how the difficulty system works: you can choose from Agent (Easy), Medium (Secret Agent), and Hard (00 Agent) and not only do the enemies get tougher and more accurate in their shooting the higher you go but there are also more of them, less body armor and spare ammo, you often have more objectives to accomplish (there are base objectives that are given to you at the beginning of the level but, as you go on, there are more that you're informed of when it becomes necessary to accomplish them, which isn't nearly as annoying as it may sound) and more gadgets with which to do so, and there are also sometimes complicating aspects of the levels that weren't there before (again, I'll go into those specifics for the individual levels during the walkthrough).

Let's start with the controls and their mechanics. Overall, they're pretty good (it's great being able to strafe while manually aiming) and nicely smooth, and, like a number of other games, you can change their layout to best suit your individual needs. I do, though, have some issues with them. For one, there are so many different commands, particularly when it comes to cycling through your weapons and gadgets and then choosing their different firing modes to suit the particular situation, as well as some of the buttons having different functions, on top of everything else, that it can be very confusing when you first start out. When I played the game for the first time in a while in order to do this review, there was a moment where I desperately needed to change the mode on Bond's special gadget watch and it took a lot of frustration to figure out what button combinations made it do so. You can look at the control layout on the Options menu when you pause the game but, again, there are so many different controls that I had some trouble keeping them straight and this is not the type of game where it's advisable to keep pausing and looking up control combinations in the middle of the action. Speaking of the weapons, like a number of first-person shooter games, your character automatically targets your enemies but, even so, you can't rely solely on that because whether or not that works depends on where you and the enemies stand in relation to each other, so it's best to always be prepared to target manually (the auto-aim, however, often lets you know when there are enemies around a corner or behind a door, so it is useful even when you ultimately have to aim manually). And while we're on the subject, am I the only one who has a little trouble with targeting manually in these types of games? Maybe it's simply the tension of being caught up in a big shootout but, whenever I target an enemy manually, the control is always a little too sensitive and I have trouble aiming in the best spot to take an enemy out. Again, it's probably my nerves that cause me to over-exert the controls but I tend to find myself running into that a lot in first-person shooters. It also doesn't help that there are some levels in this game where the camera jumps a little bit when you're standing next to an angled wall and also that you sometimes have to struggle to keep yourself aiming in the spot you want to be while moving forward, anticipating exactly where an enemy up ahead will be standing. Reloading happens when you either run out of bullets in a clip or you press the B-button to do it manually but, however it occurs, you'd best take cover when you do so because some of the weapons take a minute for Bond to throw out the spent clip and get a new one in there. Unfortunately, there are a lot of situations where you won't have much cover to duck behind so you just have to deal with it (there have been plenty of times where I've been going, "Come on! Reload!", while some enemies have been baring down on me). Plus, while it's easy to forget during the heat of the game, you have to keep your eye on how much ammo you have in the clip you're using as much as possible because there's nothing worse than reloading just as an enemy comes guns-blazing around a corner. Finally, far and away the worst part of the controls here is the jumping. I always hate having to jump in a first-person shooter because you can't judge when you need to jump while taking a running leap over a gap but, while that is the case here, another, more annoying, issue is how difficult it is to simply jump over small obstacles in your way. You can't jump on top of them when you're right in front of them but have to be moving towards them from a distance of five feet or so and then jump to either land on top or clear them, which is not only ridiculous but, again, not something you have time to think about in the heat of the game.

As I mentioned earlier, the enemies become tougher the higher the difficulty level and that's not simply due to their more precise aiming or the fact that it takes more shots to kill them, including those who couldn't possibly be wearing body armor under their clothes, but also due to their AI. They become much more adept at acting like they're about to keel over after you shoot them, which can cause you to drop your guard, and then pop back up and start shooting at you again. That especially sucks when you're dealing with enemies armed with rocket and grenade launchers that can kill you in just a few hits and when you're forced to shoot two or more from an awkward angle because it sometimes feels like they just won't go down, no matter how many times you shoot them. It can also be hard to predict a patrolling enemy's behavior when you need to sneak up on them, as I'll go into more detail on later when we get into some examples. (But, on the same token, those aforementioned enemies with the grenade and rocket launchers often very stupidly try to shoot at you even when the angle where you're standing makes them aim at a wall that's right in front of them, resulting in them blowing themselves up. Plus, there are often instances where enemies who are part of a cluster won't react until they see you, even after you shoot one of their allies that are like two feet away!) Unfortunately, the AI of your allies and other characters don't appear to be as smart as your enemies' is most of the time, which sucks since there are some levels where you either have to keep civilians and allies alive or escort someone to a certain location (I've said it before and I'll say it again; I hate those kind of levels!) and they have a bad habit of running right in front of you when you're in the middle of a firefight. If you accidentally shoot them, you fail the mission and have to start all over, which is all the more frustrating when it's a mission that forces you to do some trivial things at the start before moving on. (In the case of those images I put in as examples, I think those players either shot those characters on purpose just to get some screenshots or really didn't know what they were doing since I don't think I've ever ended up shooting them accidentally in those particular situations).

Let's get into the weapons and gadgets you have to play with here. Your default weapon is the Wolfram P2K, which might not have the greatest range or inflict the most damage but is definitely a good weapon to fall back on when you run out of ammo for your others (it is possible to run out of ammo for it as well, especially on the higher difficulties) and you can attach a silencer to it in situations where you need to make as little noise as possible. The Deutsche M45 is a nice submachine gun that has a fair amount of stopping power and medium range, while the Deutsche SA90 is a very useful and lethally accurate rifle with a long-range scope that makes it ideal for taking out on enemies on rooftops or in the distance. The Frenesi Special 12 is a very powerful shotgun but, unfortunately, it's marred by a very limited accuracy range and can only wound your enemy if you shoot him from afar (this is not a good weapon to use when saving hostages because you can very easily hurt them in the process). The Ingalls Type 20 is a silent but lethal heavy-machine pistol that can down a number of enemies in seconds but eats up a lot of ammo in the process. The MB Pow 90 is another useful machine gun with a large clip that can hold up to 50 rounds and a nice range, but reloading the thing takes a while. One of the best weapons is the Meyer Bullpup, a very efficient, accurate rifle with a telescopic sight that enables you to shoot from a long distance. The Meyer TMP is another machine pistol that, while it does inflict a lot of damage, more than makes up for it with a high loading capacity and a respectable range. The Raptor Magnum is a semi-automatic pistol that is very lethal when shot directly at an enemy but has a limited range and can only carry up to eight rounds, so you have to be selective in using it. The Mustang .44 is a more powerful version of the Magnum and comes with a useful scope that makes it ideal for rescuing hostages, but its rate of fire and very slow reloading time make it very hazardous to use in standoffs. Probably the best weapon in the entire game is the KA-57, which has both a great range and is very, very efficient at stopping enemies dead in their tracks; unfortunately, ammo for it seems to be scarce on the higher difficulties. Another really good weapon is the Suisse SSR 4000, a small but very useful, silenced sniper rifle that has the longest range in the entire game with its telescopic lens and can easily down an enemy, no matter where you shoot them; you only get five rounds a clip, though, so you have to make your shots count. The Mustang MR-4 is a rare but very powerful assault rifle with a scope that will have to thanking God profusely when you come across it (you don't find a lot of ammo for it, though). The Seamaster Speargun can only carry two spears at a time but, man, when you aim it accurately, it skewers your enemies like nobody's business and often puts them down in one hit. The same goes from the Delta Mag 900 crossbow, which has the added luxury of a scope, but the downside is that it takes a little bit for it to reload. The GL-40 is a grenade launcher that often comes with only one grenade at a time and, while they say it has a nice range, I've never found a good use for it; now, the RL22, which is a rocket launcher, is much more useful since the rockets travel in a straight line, making them much more accurate, even though they can only hold one rocket at a time. The AT-420 Sentinel is a handheld missile launcher that may look cool but, as I'll get into when we get to the specific level where you make use of it, it has a lot of annoying drawbacks, no matter which mode you switch it to. Going back to grenades, there are some that you can use by themselves, like a Sticky Grenade for clearing out rooms and a Stun Grenade for temporarily incapacitating your enemies, although I don't know why you'd want to do that other than as a last resort.

As far as gadgets go, your most standard one is your watch, which has four different functions. One is a stunner which electrocutes an enemy and incapacitates them long enough for you to take them out. It's ideal for instances where you're completely out of ammo for all your weapons, as well as when non-lethal force is necessary (punching someone out after using it doesn't always count as non-lethal force in those situations, though), and while the thing does have a limit, its energy can never be completely depleted and it recharges when you're not using it. Much more ideal for non-lethal force is one of the watch's other functions, where you can shoot tranquilizer darts. The downside of that, though, is how pathetic the thing's range is, that you have a limited amount of darts, and that the incapacitated person won't stay down permanently. There's a grapple line that you can use to attach to specific sections on the ceiling and then climb up in order to get out a pit or something similar. And finally, the watch has a laser that can cut through locks on doors, which I find to be kind of useless since you can just shoot them off. Also, while it's not technically a gadget, throughout the game you come across body armor that is a freaking godsend, particularly on 00 Agent, since, like a lot of Bond games, you don't have a way of replinishing your health or getting extra lives. Other gadgets in the game you're only given at the beginning of a level that either calls for its specific use or can be made easier with it. Sometimes, you get a pair of special X-ray glasses that allow you to see through walls at close-range and are very helpful in levels where you have to navigate your way through without being caught. Other times, you get night vision goggles that allow you to see what's up ahead in very dark levels (even if your TV's brightness is turned up pretty high, you still have to make use of the goggles in some levels due to the background haze effect present in much of the game). They have a limited battery capacity that slowly drains while they're in use but, like the laser watch, they recharge when you're not using them. You sometimes make use of a camera to take photos of evidence, a covert modem to relay information back to MI6, a phone tap to listen in on covert conversations, a data scrambler to destroy information on computer hard-drives and disable security cameras, a finger-print scanner to copy someone's fingerprints in order to get through a door with a security lock, a keypad decryptor to get through doors with that type of lock, and a safe cracker to get into safes. There are other gadgets that you receive in the game that you only make use of individual levels and are not supplied to you by Q-Branch, so I'll wait until the walkthrough to mention them.

Design-wise, the game is certainly more advanced than Goldeneye, with better graphics, character designs, and better quality music and sound effects. The graphics are still rather polygonal, as was common with video games around that time, but they're noticeably more advanced than that of Goldeneye, especially in terms of the characters (whose faces this time around look more natural rather than painted on, as they were in the previous game) and the environments, the latter of which seem to have slightly more vibrant colors than that game. There are instances of shakiness, particularly with how the characters sometimes move, but it's still a well-designed game, albeit still ultimately rather middle-of-the-road whereas Goldeneye felt much more ground-breaking. Normally, I would complain about the haziness of the far distance in this game, which a number of N64 games an issue with, but since it only happens in outside environments where it feels more natural, I'm not going to take issue with it. As for the quality of the sound, a major step-up is the addition of actual voice-overs for the characters, and while John Cleese is the only actor from the film that does the voice of his respective role here, they all sound decent enough and are adequate substitutes for the actual actors, particularly Tim Bentinck as Bond (since I wasn't as familiar with Pierce Brosnan's voice at that time, I assumed that it was him), David Robb as Renard, and Caron Pascoe as M (okay, Adam Blackwood is a little over the top as Zukovsky but everyone else is good). The sound effects also sound much more crisp and aren't as generic as those in Goldeneye, particularly the sounds of the weapons and the bad guys yelling and grunting in pain when shot.

The music in the game also sounds better than in Goldeneye, even though are a couple of memorable themes there, but, that said, it is mostly generic in its orchestration. There are some themes that I genuinely enjoy, like the music you hear during the Start menu and during certain parts of the actual game, and especially the nicely cool, quiet piece during the Nightwatch level (which is based on an actual bit of music from the film), but other than that, it's mostly just run-of-the-mill, spy video game music, with a lot of synthesizer sounds and texture to it that were probably perceived as cool back then but feel dated now. What's really weird about the music is that I don't remember hearing the James Bond theme or even a facsimile of it during any part of the game. That's not only odd but a shame since the version of it in Goldeneye was hardly the greatest and it could have sounded a lot better here with the more advanced sound processing. There's not even an instrumental version of the theme song, The World Is Not Enough, by Garbage here. Granted, there wasn't any version of Tina Turner's Goldeneye song in that game either but it's strange how, given that none of the other pieces of the film's score, except that one I mentioned, are sampled here either, the game's music has so little in common with that of the movie it's based on; it feels like just another dime-a-dozen, first-person shooter in that regard, which I think is a mistake for a Bond game.

And with all that said, let's get to the walkthrough.

Courier: Bond arrives at a Swiss bank in order to retrieve Sir Robert King's money and to find out who killed an MI6 agent who originally had the report King paid for. After an innocuous opening where you have to fetch some items, including an appointment card, from a safety deposite box in a nearby room and a cut-scene where Bond's attempt to find out who murdered the MI6 agent results in the middle-man, Lachaise, being unexpectedly shot by one of his employees and Bond detonating a flash-bang gun in order to stun everyone, the level really begins. If you're playing on Agent, your only concerns, besides avoiding civilian casualties, are retrieving Sir Robert King's money from the vault and escaping; on the higher difficulties, you also have to use a data scrambler to destroy the security footage of what went on in Lachaise's office. Another complication on 00 Agent, besides there being more enemies who are tougher to take down, which is a given, is that there are a number of bank security guards (who all wear green, police-like uniforms) around whom you can't kill since they count as civilians. The best thing to do with them is put them out using your watch's tranquilizer function (electrocuting and punching them will result in failing the mission the same way that shooting them does) but they're often accompanied by the real enemies with much nastier weapons, meaning you have to be very, very selective in who you go after first. The fact that the tranquilizers wear off after a little while means that, when going back down the halls after completing an objective, you'll probably have to tranquilize them again. Speaking of enemies, you have to keep your eye on the guy who falls unconscious on the floor after the cut-scene because he gets back up after a bit and starts shooting at you. The real challenge of this first level is simply going through the different rooms, clearing out the enemies while taking as little damage as possible, and also being careful not to hurt the bank guards or the other civilians who get caught in the crossfire. You really have to watch it when, after getting a security swipe card from a safe in one of the rooms, you make your way into the security room to use the data scrambler because there are enemies inside waiting to cut you down, including a bank guard on 00 Agent. Once you've gotten to that point, however, all you really should have to worry about are the bank guards you'll have to incapacitate again when you either try to head downstairs to leave or head to the vault to get the money if you haven't already done that. Once you make it back downstairs (you can either actually take the stairs or use the elevator), all you have to do is put away your weapons and walk back out the door you came in.

King's Ransom: Upon arriving back at MI6 headquarters and meeting Sir Robert King for the first time, Bond has a little chat with M about her longtime friendship with King when an explosion rocks the place. Turns out the building is under attack from terrorists and you have to make your way downstairs and find King. Once you start by exiting M's office and entering Moneypenny's (if you talk to her, she'll give you a pen grenade), a security guard that you need to activate the emergency lockdown in the security center. Said center is on the opposite side of this particular floor and you have to wade through a bunch of heavily-armed terrorists who come crashing through nearby windows and flying around the corners while spraying bullets at you. There are other security guards on this floor who can help you in taking down the terrorists but, more often than not, they end up getting killed so you shouldn't rely on them (needless to say, you also have to be careful not to shoot them in a firefight). After making your way to the security center and initiating the lockdown, blast doors will seal the windows and sections of the hallways, giving you an advantage over the terrorists. If you're playing on the two higher difficulties, when you start back down the hall, you'll be informed by Moneypenny that M is being held hostage in her office. You have to make your way back there, shooting through more terrorists that'll be in your way, and save M, which is actually quite easy to do since the terrorist holding her at gunpoint focuses squarely on you when you enter, enabling you to shoot him dead without endangering her. Once you take the terrorist out, M will ask you to lead her to the security center, which is also not that hard even though you do have to take down some more enemies on the way (as always, you have to be careful of M because she will sometimes run into your line of fire). Once you've escorted her to safety, you can head downstairs in order to search for King. After dealing with some terrorists waiting around a sharp corner (it's best to strafe around and shoot them as quickly as possible), you have to take the stairs downwards after shooting some terrorists who repel down some ropes through a hole blasted in the ceiling. On the way down, you also have to shoot some terrorists waiting on a couple of sections of the stairs and when you reach the bottom, quickly deal with more who come down the ropes.

When you reach the ground floor, you're told by a security guard that you'll have to manually activate the sprinkler system in order to put out a fire in the lobby, while another one asks you to activate the security lockdown here as well. After that is when the action starts up again because you have to wade through more terrorists (some of whom you see chasing down a technician) and then activate the sprinkler system and the security lockdown, the controls of which are at opposite ends of a T-shaped hall. Once that's done, you go back to the main hall where you came across the second security guard (who's probably been killed by this point) and head down the hallway you haven't been down yet, killing more terrorists on the way. Incidentally, the only piece of Body Armor on 00 Agent is in a room here that has two terrorists inside but, if you're like me, you're almost out of health by this point so it's well worth the risk. After going past the medical center and killing more terrorists, you come to a vault area where, on the higher difficulties, a guard asks you to go get the doctor to help some critically injured technicians. You have to go back to the medical center, blasting through more terrorists on the way, and get Dr. Warmflash (I don't remember if she was actually called that in the movie but that really is her name here; and you thought Pussy Galore was less than subtle). Like M, you have to lead her back to the vaults while shooting down any terrorists that pop up but, also like M, she can blunder right in front of you while you're shooting so you have to watch her. Once you get her to where she needs to be, you head to the back of the vault and find King, who gives you the pen that acted as the detonator before immediately dying. That's when Q rings in to inform you that the suspected leader of the terrorists is escaping right outside of the Q Labs. Once you make your way back to that spot (the blast door to the labs is down and locked when you first come through), shooting down more terrorists on the way, you can end the level by entering the labs, leading into the cinematic where you see Bond take poor Q's boat while he yells that it's not finished.

Thames Chase: After a cinematic where Bond engages in a small boat chase with the assassin that ends with both of them crashing onto the docks of the Thames (no, you don't get to actually play the memorable boat chase from the movie, which is a shame), you start the level off with a viewpoint of your target running straight across the docks. You objectives are the same on all three difficulties: chase the assassin without killing her and rescue any hostages that the terrorists you run into throughout the level have captured. What's funny is that I was originally going to say that you don't have to worry about actually killing the woman because the only time you can actually get a shot of her is this brief point at the very beginning and I've never once hit her when I shot at her before just as a gag... that is, until I played through the level right before I sat down to right this. For the first time in the fifteen years that I've had this game, I did manage to shoot and kill the assassin, causing me to fail the mission and forcing me to restart. I was stunned. Figures that I manage to do that right before you can't do it, isn't it? In any case, while the number of objectives don't change on the other difficulty levels, that doesn't make the level any less easier there, especially on 00 Agent. As you make your way through the level in order to catch up with the assassin, you have to deal with numerous terrorists around every corner, on rooftops and boats in the distance, on scaffolding that you can run past without even knowing it was behind you, and even scuba divers who show up on one section of the docks to shoot you with spearguns. In short, you have your work cut out for you, particularly on the highest difficulty level, but the good news is that you come across plenty of weapons to help you through, with the best being Deutsche SA90, which is great for taking down snipers on rooftops and in the distance with its long-range scope. A major problem in trying to kill those enemies in the distance, though, is that it can be hard to tell whether or not you actually got them since they often crouch down when shot like they're about to keel over but then get back up and start shooting again, which is why the SA90's scope is so useful (unfortunately, due to the limited amount of bullets it can hold, you more than likely will have to shoot some of those far-off enemies with other weapons). In addition, when you come across terrorists with hostages, you have to act fast to kill them once they spot you because they'll eventually turn on the hostages and cause you to fail the mission. Things really get tough about halfway into the level when you enter a boathouse where four terrorists come charging in through a door on the scaffolding above you and take up positions around the room, including on the bit of scaffolding right behind where you come out. If you're lucky, you can focus on the doorway with a Deutsche M45 and mow them all down as they come running in (I have managed to do that a couple of times before). Once you get rid of them, you have to jump up some crates and deal with another who comes running in and his partner who either stands right by the door or crouches down on the walkway to the right of it (two more enemies on the rooftop across from the door make the latter scenario all the more difficult).

After that dilemma, you enter into a warehouse where, after killing three more enemies in the short hallway leading to its door (I say three but, again, the game tends to randomize how many are there on a given playthrough), you have to clear out some enemies throughout a small maze of crates, including one on the scaffolding above the main area and another holding a couple of people hostage down there, and then use your watch's grapple feature to get up on the scaffolding to continue. If you look around the room once you get up there on 00 Agent, you will see the level's sole bit of body armor at the very back of the room on a small, upper section that you can only reach by jumping across the crates. It may take some effort to get but, trust me, you probably will need it in order to complete the level. Getting back up to speed, once you go through the doors on the scaffolding that lead back outside, you'll be told that the assassin is getting away. Now, here's where something weird happened to me one time when I played this level on the harder difficulties: I, somehow, kept failing the mission even when I wasn't getting killed. You have to fight your way through a number of more enemies, including a bunch on the stairs leading to and on the patch of road in front of the subway the assassin ducked into but, just when I was clearing out the terrorists in order to more safely reach the entrance to the subway, I would get a mission saying that I failed the mission. My only thought was that I was taking too long to reach the subway after getting that message about the assassin beginning to move away from current position, so I tried to get there faster, which is easier said than done with a bunch of heavily armed terrorists trying to shoot you to pieces, but every time, I still failed. I tried one time to ignore the enemies and simply go for it but that inevitably led to me getting killed before I could reach the stairs. The only way I finally did beat the level on the higher difficulties was to watch how much damage I took on the way there, grab that body armor I mentioned, and get there as fast as I could while still shooting any enemies who got in my way when necessary. I almost got killed but I finally made it. Now, the thing is, I don't know if that's just a part of the level on those difficulties or if my game was just glitching up during that playthrough (no online walkthrough I've read has ever mentioned it) but I just wanted to mention that in case that's happened to someone else and tell them how I managed to overcome it.

Underground Uprising: The terrorists working with the assassin you've been chasing have planted a bomb in London's subway system and have also taken a number of civilians hostage. You start with, at the most, five minutes and thirty seconds, depending on the difficulty, to find the bomb and diffuse it with a bomb disposal kit some cops outside gave you before starting the level. That might not sound like very much time but it is actually just enough if you keep moving. Like the previous level, your objectives are the same on all difficulties: rescue the hostages, diffuse the bomb, and continue chasing the assassin. The biggest challenge here is to avoid shooting any innocent civilians. Not only do you have to save a number of them from the terrorists holding them hostage (again, you have to be quick once those particular terrorists spot you or they'll kill their hostages), you also have to watch out for civilians who come running around the corners to make it back to the surface. If any terrorists shoot them, you don't fail the mission; you just have to make sure that you yourself don't shoot them when you get caught up in a firefight with the terrorists. There's one group of hostages being held in a section off of the main path, to the left of the ticket booth at the beginning, so you have to make sure you've checked everywhere before moving on. What's really frustrating is that some of the terrorists stand directly in front of their hostages, forcing you to really watch where you shoot when they crouch down or move to fire at you (the Raptor Magnum's laser sight is really helpful here) and you also have to keep any of the hostages from being hit in a firefight, even if you do manage to free them, because that does result in failing the mission. There are a few instances where you'll go down an escalator and have to shoot some terrorists who are coming up, which is tricky to do since your auto-aim has trouble locking onto them in these scenarios, forcing you to do so manually more often than not (it's best to wait at the top of the escalator for them to come up). The trickiest section starts when you reach the first set of train tracks. First, you have to save some hostages, some of which are being held far off on the other side of the platform next to the tracks, forcing you to shoot the terrorists from a less than convenient distance since they won't give you time to get closer; then you have to get across the tracks without getting run over by the trains (the amount of time between them gives you just barely enough time) in order to reach a door on the other side; after that, you come to another set of tracks with a train car sitting on them that's full of some more terrorists that you have to kill; and finally, when you get to the other side of the car, you have to once again act quickly to rescue the last group of hostages, with some of the terrorists forcing you to again shoot them from a difficult distance, which is made even harder by how aim suffers when you stand on the edge of the train's door. After all that, diffusing the bomb is pretty easy. It's hidden in the last stall in the men's restroom and when you find it, after killing any terrorists hiding in the other stalls, all you have to do is equip your bomb disposal kit and press the B-button repeatedly while aiming at it. You have to watch how quickly you press the button since the bomb has an anti-tampering device that will set it off if you do it too fast (a couple of bars on the screen show how you're doing, with the bottom red bar showing how close you are to setting the bomb off) but it's not that difficult to pull off. Once that's done, all you have to do is run upstairs, killing some terrorists while also jumping over a blown up section of stairway, and once you get outside, run up to the rope hanging from the assassin's hot air balloon to complete the level.

Cold Reception: After meeting up with Sir Robert King's daughter, Elektra, and joining her to check the survey lines of her oil pipeline, she and Bond are ambushed by a squad of terrorists on skis and flying parahawks, with Bond having to draw them away while Elektra skis to safety in a nearby gulley. This level is unique in that it's like a rail-shooter: you're constantly skiing forward and the only control you have over yourself is your speed, aiming and firing, and strafing either left or right using the C-buttons, which often means the difference between taking a path filled with enemies or one that's not as tough and might have some helpful items strewn about it. Again, your objectives are the same on all of the difficulties, with the only ones you have to worry about being blowing up a couple of fuel dumps and when you come up on those things, you'd better shoot as quickly and accurately as you can or you'll end up passing by them and failing the mission; otherwise, your only concern is to stay alive by shooting everyone that comes at you (thankfully, there are no civilian skiers to worry about). The way the enemies attack you here is very varied. Most either just stand in your path or hide amongst the structures you come across and shoot at you but there are others on skis and in snowmobiles that come up from behind and pass you, with the former dropping stuff to trip you up when they get far enough ahead of you. It's pretty much impossible to kill every terrorist that you see, even with your auto-aiming, but it's not necessary since those you end up passing on the trail won't chase you and your auto-aiming does make it easy to hit those who pass in front of you. There are also a number of parahawks gliding throughout the level but they don't really attack you until near the end of the level so it's best not to waste your ammo trying to take them down (in case you're wondering, I find the KA-57 to be the best weapon to use here, although the Meyer Bullpup is useful in picking enemies off from a distance). What's really cool is that a number of the stationary enemies make the dumb mistake of taking cover around fuel drums and the like, giving you the opportunity to take them out with a few shots to said cover (it's not exactly easy to do given the nature of the level but it is best to try whenever possible). And in case you're wondering, there is some body armor to be found here, even on 00 Agent, but it can be difficult to grab due to its placement so you have to be good at strafing. The final stretch of the level involves you having to blow up a line of fuel drums in order to make it to the end and, again, while you're given ample time to do so, it can be tricky given the level's nature. Overall, the only real strategy for this level is to stay focused on what you're doing and keep your cool.

Night Watch: Remember when I said that I like the music in this level? Well, that's the only thing about it that I do like. This level is a major pain in the ass, with the biggest problem being that you have to sneak around while trying to avoid getting caught and that you can't kill anyone. You have to either put them out with one of your watch's tranquilizer darts or use the stunner to incapacitate them and then punch them out (the game almost seems like it's trying to bait you to shoot them since you can still pick up their weapons after you punch them out). The former is obviously the best to use when you have to get someone from a short distance but the downside to that is how quickly they regain consciousness, forcing you to deal with them again if you have to come back through where they were. What's more, there are some guards who will cause you to automatically fail the level if they catch you, and this is where the X-ray glasses you're equipped with here come in handy since you can see if there are any enemies on the other side of a wall and wait for them to turn their back to you. But even then, the guards' movements can be tricky to predict given how they tend to stop unexpectedly while they're patrolling and look around, among other actions (there's one guard by a swimming pool who tends to turn around and scratch the back of his leg, resulting in me getting caught even when I was sure he had his back turned). The head guard, Gabor, patrols around the first section of the level and you can't knock him out or even take out any of the other guards while he's around without failing the mission, making things even more difficult. In addition to the guards, there are cameras placed in certain spots that are controlled by small, security bunkers that are often close by and you have to sneak your way inside those bunkers and deactivate the cameras using your data scrambler in order to get by those spots without being spotted. Doing this is what usually leads to you having to knock the same guards out more than once since these security systems are always off the beaten path and there's one last security system near the end of the level that's easy to miss if you're not paying attention, as I found out the hard way one time. And, as if that wasn't enough, you have more objectives here than simply avoiding being caught. You have to plant wiretaps on telephones and photograph evidence that the head of security, Davidov, is a traitor. While these objectives are the same on all of the difficulties, the difference is that you have more invidual phones and pieces of evidence to find and either tap or photograph on the higher ones, including one phone that's in the very room you start in and can't get back into if you sneak out and forget to tap said phone. This can also lead to you having to knock the same guards out twice since you have to exit the building where you have to do this stuff the same way you came in. In short, this level requires a lot of patience and nerves of steel, neither of which I have that much of, which often leads to me getting caught. It's especially nerve-wracking at the very end when you reach the last security center, which has one last phone to tap and a couple of more pieces of evidence to photograph, and as you get inside, you see a short cut-scene that shows you that Davidov is walking down the path to the center, meaning that you have to work fast and then get back outside and hide behind the building. Once the game acknowledges that you've completed your objectives, you have to sneak into the back of Davidov's van, which you have to wait on doing if Davidov is in sight by this point; when he enters the building, then you can go for it.

Midnight Departure: Stealth is once again a key factor here, but the good news is that you don't have to hold back like you did in the previous level; the stealth is mainly to keep an alarm from being raised, which would send heavily armed reinforcements after you, as you navigate your way through the dark woods in order to find and eliminate Davidov and take his place on the plane he's planning to leave on. You can kill Davidov early on if you manage to catch up with him by taking a path that skirts around and ahead of the main one but, if you don't, you'll get your chance to do so when you reach the airfield at the end of the level (when you do kill him, though, you have to walk over to his body and pick up his phone in order to accomplish one of your objectives). Again, your main concern is to make your way through the enemy-filled woods, attracting as little attention as possible (there's a bridge right near the end of this first section that will be guarded by an armored convoy if anyone sounded an alarm while you were heading that), and finally reach the airfield. While there are indeed a lot of baddies to deal with, you come equipped with a useful pair of night vision goggles, the weapons they drop tend to be either silent or long-ranged, the most useful being the completely silent Suisse SSR 4000 sniper rifle, and their radios will blow up and kill them if you shoot them. If you're playing on the higher difficulties, you'll also have to look for a wooden shack where you'll find Dr. Arkov's ID badge and when you reach the airfield, you have to find a sports bag that you'll need to get aboard the plane once it lands. The airfield is no less dangerous than the woods were, though, so your SSR 4000 will get another workout when you arrive here. Once you've cleared the area of guards, you can enter the flight control tower, which is where Davidov will be if you didn't kill him in the woods. There are also some civilians in there, including the air traffic controller whom you need to get the plane to land, so it's best not to get trigger-happy. Once the plane has landed, all you have to do is bribe your way aboard and the level ends.

Masquerade: This is a fairly short level that starts off innocently enough but when the shit hits the fan later on, it becomes very crazy and challenging. You start off pretending to be Dr. Arkov, appearing to be working with the terrorists under Renard, and after you show the officer in charge of the installation the transport documents and then meet up with Dr. Christmas Jones (who looks about as much of a nuclear physicist here as she did in the movie) and show her the same documents, you can take an elevator down into the underground weapons area. Once you get down there and Christmas tells you to go on ahead while she "checks something," you can head through the blast door and make your way through the place until you find the blast pit. After watching a cut scene where Bond confronts and almost kills Renard but gets interrupted when the soldiers come barging in with Christmas, the level really begins. You start out in the blast pit, which you must escape using your watch's grapple feature, preferably after killing some of the enemies up top that are at war with the soldiers. The good thing about the soldiers is that while you do have to avoid killing them yourself, they won't attack you like the bank guards in the first level. After getting out of the pit and picking up all the weapons and ammo that you can find, including any that the dead soldiers dropped, you have to make your way down a corridor while pushing a big, wide metal cart that acts as something of a shield against the enemies up ahead but, on the same token, can make it hard to shoot them through the small openings between the handlebars. While going down this corridor, you come across a hallway off to the right with a lone terrorist whom, if you're playing on the higher difficulties, you must kill in order to get the stolen nuclear warhead's locator card. Back in the main corridor, you eventually come to a blast door that closes around the cart and from there, you have to go forward without it, killing all of the enemies until you come across Renard in an elevator. If you've seen the movie, you know what comes next: Renard manages to escape and a small cinematic shows you that there's a nearby bomb about to blow up. Once you see that, you have to turn around and run for and grab a yellow and black railing, leading to a cut-scene of Bond using it to outrun the ensuing explosion (the first time I ever played this level, I had no clue what to do and instead ran back down the corridor, which always led to me getting blown up); if you grab the railing too late, however, the explosion will catch you. After that, the rest of the level simply entails you going back the way you came while mowing down all enemies that get in your way. Other than a spot where you have to climb around a patch of fire and an alternate hallway where a group of soldiers and terrorists are in a firefight, there's not much else that gets in your way. Once you've cleared out all of the enemies, you need only join Christmas in the elevator in order to escape.

City of Walkways I: The big action scene at Valentin Zukovsky's caviar factory from the film gets spread over two levels here... two very difficult levels, I might add, especially on the higher difficulties. In this first one, after you sneak inside and meet up with Zukovsky, one of his guards comes in to warn you that a big squadron of helicopters and armed mercenaries are heading your way. Zukovsky then decides to cooperate with you, saying that all of the information he has on Renard and Elektra King is stored on the other side of the place. Now, your task is to make your way over there, fighting through the swarm of heavily-armed enemies while also making sure not to harm Zukovsky's men, who fight with you. It might sound simple enough but there are two major reasons why that isn't so. The main one is that the weapon you end up using the most throughout the level is the Meyer TMP, which isn't the best when it comes to using ammo sparingly, meaning that you often find yourself running low more often than not. Even on Agent, I typically end up running very low or even out of ammo near the end, forcing me to use weapons that aren't the most practical, like the GL40 grenade launchers and RL22 rocket launchers that you come across. That leads me to another major problem with this level: there are a good number of enemies carrying heavy artillery like that, which can sap away at least half of your life bar if you take a direct hit. Enemies sporting the rocket launchers are especially troublesome since it's easier for them to fire directly at you and from a great distance no less, which makes the level's last quarter a nightmare since there are a number of guys with those launchers there. And finally, even though I said that they fight with you, in this first level, Zukovsky's men don't serve much purpose since they typically just stand around, doing nothing, and often prove hazardous for your progress when you're forced to use the explosive weapons in enclosed areas (as happened to me near the end of the level one time, which was very frustrating since I was playing on Secret Agent and it took me many playthroughs to get to that point; incidentally, it's on the higher difficulties when they start appearing in spots they weren't before). All in all, this level can really give you fits, even though there are instances where you can pick bad guys off from behind useful cover and clear out areas where you'll later need to go from above, as well as the fact that you're equipped with the night vision goggles, allowing you to see what's up ahead in the dark. By the time you make it to the top of the building housing the computer, you'll be more than ready to use your covert modem to get the data and escape (watch out for one last terrorist after you do this who is just waiting to kill you and force you to do the level all over again. Unfortunately, the hell has just begun.

City of Walkways II: You know you're in for it the minute this level begins when you see those helicopters with the saw blades and how they slice open the building that you start out in. The good news is that there's quite an arsenal for you to pick up there, most notably KA-57 and body armor, as well as that you generally come across much better weapons here. Unfortunately, you still have a lot to deal with here. While those helicopters with the saw blades don't actually chase you except for a moment at the very beginning here when you cross over a bridge, you still have to avoid them as best as you can because getting hit by them means instant death. Moreover, there are a couple of instances where they slice through the walkways you need to cross over, forcing you to either walk across some cut sections that swing back and forth or find a less than suitable vantage point from which to pick off some enemies waiting for you up ahead. Zukovsky's men do help out more here but they still tend to be more trouble than they're worth, either running in your line of fire or causing you to fail when you accidentally kill them while using an explosive weapon nearby in an attempt to clear out some enemies, as happened one time in a spot near the beginning when I tried to use a sticky grenade for that purpose (and note how it's always the same two guys and how they pop up in a spot further on even if they got killed before!) There are some more enemies with grenade and rocket launchers here but they're much fewer and easier to deal with. You still have your night vision goggles, which is nice since there are some moments where you have to take some enemies out from a distance and this level has a fair amount of ammo and (on Agent, anyway) armor lying around but that doesn't change the fact that you have a very challenging confrontation with an attack helicopter at the end of the level. You first run into this thing early on when you have to take cover when it shoots at you through a warehouse but it really gets after you when you reach the walkway leading to the platform that Zukovsky's car sits underneath. When you reach this spot, you have to take a ramp down below, grab an AT-420 Sentinel missile launcher from the car's trunk, and then head back up to fight the helicopter. This is a very frustrating fight due to how the helicopter constantly passes back and forth above you and how inefficient your weapon can be. Its "Guided" mode is virtually useless since it only fires one missile at a time like that and they travel so slowly that they typically pass under or above the helicopter by the time they reach it; Automatic is more useful since you can shoot your missiles one after the other very quickly but it can still be difficult to score a hit and you have to hit the helicopter three or so times to bring it down. The good thing is that you can go back to the car to get more ammo when you run out but it's still a very frustrating battle. And even when you win, you still have to kill a few more enemies before you finally reach the end of the level. In short: these levels are pure hell!

Turncoat: This is basically a faster and more intense repeat of the Thames Chase, with a lot more on the line and more hazards to avoid if you don't want to fail, particularly on the higher difficulties. The objectives all remain the same: you have to chase down Zukovsky's traitorous driver Bullion, who planted in a bomb in the building Bond and he were in during the previous cut-scene, rescue any hostages the terrorists have captured, and avoid civilian casualties (for some reason, they also say that, "Christmas must survive," but it's really pointless since she stays behind the whole time); the trick, as usual, is that they're much harder to accomplish on the higher difficulties. I must confess that I've only played this level on Agent so I haven't experienced how hard it is on the other difficulties but according to what I've read, it's very, very frustrating. Apparently, the biggest problem is avoiding civilian casualties. All throughout the chase, frightened people come running around corners and not only are you liable to shoot them if you're not careful but now, in contrast to previous levels, if any of them get gunned down by your enemies, you automatically fail. It was already frustrating trying to save hostages before they were executed, especially on the more difficult versions of the Underground Uprising level, but the fact that you now can't let anyone die has to be absolutely maddening and so, maybe it's a good thing I've never unlocked the higher difficulties here. Speaking of which, apparently you have do have to save hostages on the higher difficulties, which I've never had to when playing Agent; again, it's probably a good thing too because I grew to hate the hostages on that aforementioned previous level. Even without those added difficulties, this level can be frustrating even on Agent. For one, unlike the Thames Chase, if you let Bullion get too far away, you fail (if you get a message from R reminding you that M's life is on the line, it means you'd better pick up the pace), and for another, this level has a lot of twists and turns that can lead you in the wrong direction and to dead-ends, with the paths you need to take sometimes being hard to discern in the heat of the chase (there's a moment where you think you'd run to and jump over the edge of a roof but you actually have to take a hard right and climb up a ladder). On top of that, there are a few times where you have to jump from one roof to another, which, as I mentioned at the beginning, is hard to do in a first-person shooter; you have to run and jump at exactly the right time and if you miss, you die instantly. There are a good number of heavily-armed enemies here, some of which are dressed in a way that could momentarily fool you that they're civilians, and you often find yourself blundering into a room full of them, wherein you might have to run past some of them and take some shots in order to not lose Bullion. The most common weapon you end up using here is the Mustang .44, which is a good gun and more often than not kills enemies in one hit but its small clips and very slow reload time can prove hazardous to your health if you get caught in a firefight. Speaking of weapons, you start the level completely unarmed because Bond left his Walther P2K in his haste, forcing you to stun the first enemy you come across and take his weapon. It's a tricky level even on Agent and given what it's like on the harder difficulties, I'd say that you probably need a lot of patience to get through it in one piece.

Fallen Angel: Compared to some of the previous levels, this one is fairly easy. After Zukovsky sets you free when he's fatally shot by Elektra, you begin the level with him asking you to avenge the death of Nicholai, his sub captain nephew, before keeling over, and if you head up the stairs that Elektra went up earlier, one of Zukovsky's men tells you that she went through a security door with a fingerprint-activated lock. After clearing out the baddies in the area around said door, R contacts you when you get close to the door and he tells you that one of your gadgets, which you pick up in the nearby room, is a device that can scan the fingerprints of someone who has clearance in order to bypass such a lock. The person you want is down around the docks at the base of the tower, which you reach through the room behind the one you started out in. After making your way down there, killing a bunch of enemies and getting their weapons (one of which can turn out to be the very powerful Mustang Mar-4) on the way, you kill the guy who takes cover behind a blockade on the docks, scan his fingerprint (as well as deal with other enemies down there and ones who come up behind you when you walk out there), and make you way back to the security door, killing enemies who get in your way when you head back. When you get through the security door, you end up in a section that becomes sealed and starts filling with toxic gas. You have to use your watch's grapple feature to climb up through a hole in the ceiling but the bad part is that, even so, you'll lose a lot of health in the process (it's best to equip the grapple before you enter the room) and wind up with your back turned to a lot of enemies when you climb up a ladder afterward. You can bypass this death trap if, when you enter the room, you destroy the camera in there but I typically forget to do this in the heat of the game. Either way, after killiing more enemies, you come across the prison area where M is being held. After shooting the lock off her door, you must enter the cell in order to continue the game. Following a cut-scene where Elektra comes in and takes M away, leaving you to deal with Gabor without your weapons, you have to beat the guy up (which is hardly difficult because he's such a wimp) and follow Elektra on up the tower through the door she leaves open. After killing two more guards, you come across Elektra and M, leading into a cut-scene where the former shows you how confident she is that you won't kill her. The best way to get rid of her without her alerting Renard is to stun her with the watch and punch her at the same time (I've heard that you can shoot her but I've always failed the mission when I've done that). Once she keels over, the level ends.

A Sinking Feeling: This mission starts out with a bit of stealth, as you have to get aboard the submarine without an alarm being tripped by one of the guards (note how the ending cut-scene had Bond leaping off of the tower to the water below and yet he somehow ended up at these interior docks). You have to equip your Walther's silencer, then use your X-ray glasses in order to see a guard patrolling the area, and wait for the opportunity to shoot him in the head. You then have to kill two more guards, one of whom is standing right by the alarm and another who patrols back and forth along the edge of the docks, and then choose how to get aboard the sub. You can actually jump into the water and climb aboard the sub covertly, making sure not to be seen by the guards on the other side, and then jump down through the hatch on the tower. I, however, always play it safe and use the Suisse SSR 4000 that one of the guards at the beginning has to silently pick off the guards around the walkway to the sub on the side of the docks you start on and then climb aboard. Either way, once you get on the sub, you can either continue to try to be covert and go around silently killing the various enemies you see but you'll be spotted and have to bring out the big guns eventually, so you have to decide how you want to go about doing what you have to. Besides avoiding killing the crew members who have been taken hostage (which isn't that hard), you have to find where Christmas is being held, which also isn't too much of a chore with the X-ray glasses, although she's in a different room on every playthrough. Once you do find her and kill the guard holding her at gunpoint, it's best to wait on actually going in and getting her because you then have to lead her to the mine room, which is much easier to do after you cleared out all of the enemies on the way. Still, leading her there can be tricky because it's easy to get turned around in the sub's narrow, twisting corridors (which can make shooting a bunch of enemies very difficult) and Christmas also tends to walk directly behind you, which makes her a real pain when you reach a dead-end and have to turn around. In any case, once you get her to the mine room, all that's left to do is reach the control room and blow up the sub's steering controls, disabling it and ending the level.

Meltdown: Well, here we are at the last level and, man, did they save the most disorienting, frustrating, and annoying one for last. Even on Agent, this one is an absolute bitch to complete, and it's not because of a large amount of heavily-armed enemies or some very tricky objectives; it's due to how you must maneuver your way through the level. You have to swim through the disabled sub in order to reach the reactor chamber that Renard has sealed himself in to cause a catastrophic meltdown that will destroy Istanbul and while that might not sound too difficult, think about this: have you had to swim at any other point in this game? Unless you used the more covert way to get aboard the sub in the previous level or fell off one of the other docks you've been on, nope. Well, now you have to learn very quickly, which causes you to realize just exactly why this genre of gaming isn't made for swimming levels. It's extremely hard to swim through the corridors of the sub which are now tilted at various angles due to several reasons: one, you're constantly having to turn yourself around in a specific direction whenever you go from one angled hallway to another, which is very tricky to do because of the controls, two, you can very easily end up turning your POV around in circles when swimming in a long straight line, and three, it's very easy to get stuck when you try to swim through a door or opening that's angled horizontally. Even worse than the mechanics of swimming is how downright confusing and disorienting it is to figure out where to go. The sub's interiors are so bland and indistinctive that you can very easily either get turned around or reach a dead-end, both of which are very hazardous since you have an oxygen meter that runs out all too quickly, leading to you gradually losing your health afterward. There are pockets of air where you can surface to replinish your oxygen but that doesn't change the fact that, on top of everything else, you have a limited amount of time to reach the reactor chamber. There's a meter at the top of the screen that slowly fills up as you go on, showing how much time you have left to find and stop Renard, adding to the pressure. Eventually, after a lot of confusing twists and turns and much gasping for air (I've read that it is possible to get to where you need to go by following the green lights on the wall but I've always been too confused to think to do that), you reach a long, vertical shaft leading to a spot where you can break the surface of the water. You have to kill two enemies in this room, grab the body armor you find, and then use your watch's grapple feature to climb up to another room that has two more guards waiting for you. Here, you can use your grapple to climb up into the reactor chamber, where you can push a button to send the rod that Renard is slipping into the reactor flying back into his chest, killing him and stopping the meltdown. Now, all you have to do is escape by continuously using your grapple, climbing, and jumping to nearby ledges (you have to be careful where you jump because you can easily die and have to play the level all over again), while at the same time killing the enemies who get in your way, until you reach the end, leading into a cut-scene of Bond and Christmas escaping the sub and a final one with them celebrating their victory.

The World Is Not Enough may not be as memorable, groundbreaking, or as entertaining to play as Goldeneye or some of the later Bond games like Nightfire and Everything Or Nothing but I do think it has some merit. The graphics, both for the characters and the environments, are better than in Goldeneye, as is the music (even if there aren't that many really memorable pieces) and the sound effects, the addition of spoken dialogue is a plus, there are plenty of cool weapons and gadgets to play with, and while the gameplay can be frustrating on the higher difficulties, it's not enough to where you want to just give up and never come back to it. It still has its fair share of flaws, like the shaky, glitchy nature of some of the graphics, some annoying control issues such as the sheer number of different commands to keep straight and the jumping and swimming, how long it can take to reload a weapon, a very lackluster multiplayer mode that doesn't hold a candle to Goldeneye's, and the fact that it's, overall, a very middle-of-the-road first-person shooter, but I still wouldn't completely write it off, especially since it's hardly one of the worst movie-based gaes. If you're a fan of first-person shooters and you're simply looking for a way to kill some time, I think you could do a lot worse than giving this game a whirl.

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