Review: 007: The World is Not Enough (N64)

In this review, we run, shoot, and jump through the N64 first person shooter game 007: the World is Not Enough.

This game was released in 2000 and is the next Bond game on the console after Goldeneye 007.

The plot is pretty much the same as the movie. MI6 was attacked and Bond must protect Elektra King as he stops Renard from attacking Istanbul with a nuclear submarine.

A lot of what is found on Goldeneye returns in this game. Bond has a limited amount of health and it’s possible for him to obtain body armor in certain levels. Aiding him are his team from MI6 including Q, M, and Moneypenny. Also aiding him are a range of devices ranging from bomb diffusion kits, data scramblers, and a watch grappling device to name a few.

In most levels, you start with little more than your standard issue pistol. However, as you advance through the various levels, you’ll be able to pick up other weapons and ammo from fallen enemies that include shotguns, semi-automatic rifles, and other types of handguns. The range of what you can pick up is quite impressive to say the least.

You are given a set number of objectives such as freeing hostages, pursuing assassins, and preventing civilian casualties. Before exiting the level, you have to ensure no objective is failed. Some objectives can only be completed after exiting a level, but most must be completed within the level. Your objectives are typically quite limited at the start, but you’ll frequently encounter additional objectives as you move through the level.

Some objectives simply require you to activate something or collect certain items. Other objectives are more elaborate such as obtaining a rocket launcher and taking down an armed helicopter. Some levels have particular attributes such as skiing down a mountain as you take out both enemies and depot’s.

The level design towards the beginning of the game is quite interesting. Most, if not, all levels contain elements found within the movie. However, as you progress to the later levels, some levels can range from decent to outright confusing. The final level took me forever to figure out only because everything looked the same.

Another element returning are the difficulties. The difficulties are Agent, Secret Agent, and 00 Agent. Agent is the easiest and contains the fewest objectives. There’s also more leniency in completing the objectives you do have and enemies are easiest to kill. 00 Agent is the hardest and generally contains the most objective, enemies are harder to kill, it’s easier to fail objectives, enemies are more accurate, and you lose more health when you do get hit.

In terms of overall gameplay, I think I prefer Goldeneye over this game. The reason was that the levels were more elaborate and the difficulty of the game didn’t hinge on confusing the player as much with the level design. This game had a much more tighter level design in that alternate routes were focused down to simply going through a different room to a hallway.

Some gadgets are required to use and the obstacles found in this game were a bit more forced. It lead me to feel that the sole purpose of the obstacle was so that you had to use a particular device more than it being a natural flow. The first moment the grappling device is used in the game is one such example in my mind.

Still, one positive element is the multiplayer that you can play either alone or with other players. While there are some small imitations to what you can do in this, it was still very nice to see.

There are innovations such as the laser guided rocket launcher. Still, I thought this game could have been more innovative. Most of the ideas found here seemed to be more about taking from other games at the time. The features are great, but Goldeneye did a lot of innovation, yet this game just seemed to just add a small feature or two that seemed unique that played a very small roll. There could have been more to this.

While the load times were small, I thought they did weigh down the overall experience. This is, after all, a cart game. I wasn’t expecting there to be so many loading screens.

While the previous game utilizes the watch to activate gadgets, the menu system is just a boring list of options. I thought it was disappointing that the pause menu didn’t continue on with finding a creative way of popping up.

So, generally, this game was good. It kept with 007 traditions in gameplay, but it wasn’t exactly super exciting either.

Graphically, this game was good, but not great. While the special effects of the X-Ray vision was great, I thought a game like Perfect Dark beat this game by quite a bit in this regard. The cut scenes were nicely done. The guns and the action were nicely done. So, I thought the graphics were good all around.

The voice acting was a real highlight in this game. There are a number of games by this stage with some voice acting, but fewer games contain this much voice-work both in the cut scenes and in-game. The enemy interaction is another good example of this. The sound effects of everything was nicely varied and worked very well. While top points are earned in sound effects, the music left so much to be desired. The only real highlight was the menu music. Once you got into the levels, all you got was the occasional fast-paced piano sounds and a few lightly audible stringed instruments. Absolutely nothing was memorable as far as music was concerned in the levels themselves.

Overall, this was a fairly solid game. It does seem to live in the shadow of the more superior Goldeneye 007, but there are good points to be made about this game as well. This game has a nice weapon arsenal. It also keeps with the traditions of level difficulty and multiple gadgets with their own purposes. The graphics are improved, but pale in comparison to some other games that were released in the same year. The sound effects and voice acting were very well done, but the quality music in the levels was decidedly absent. So, I would say this was a good effort and worth playing if you’ve already gotten tired of some of the bigger first person shooters that were released at around this time.

Furthest point in game: Beat game on agent. Beat King’s Ransom on Secret Agent and beat the first level on 00 Agent.

General gameplay: 19/25
Replay value: 7/10
Graphics: 7/10
Audio: 2/5

Overall rating: 70%

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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