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007 Racing: Metallic Foot
Company: EA Games

When you think of Bond (... James Bond), you can?t help but think of beautiful English (and German... and...) sports cars - built to run fast, and modified with the neatest techno-gadgets that ?Q? can dream up. While these cars are the same vehicles represented in 007 Racing, the graphics don?t quite do them justice. Mind you, the full motion video is extremely cool - very nice looking pre-rendered computer graphics that look like they could be from a movie (well, almost). Unfortunately, the in-game graphics are not nearly so sweet. The textures are quite pixilated, looking blocky even at reasonable distances. I understand that this is not a PlayStation 2 game, but I still expect better looking graphics on the PSX. The music is typical Bond, and there?s a lot of communications from Q (usually admonishing) and others, but these really don?t add or subtract much from the game; it?s the graphics that hold this one back.

The name is a bit of a misnomer. While the name is 007 Racing, it?s more of a mission based driving game (ala Driver), but with a James Bond theme. 007 Racing successfully explores a somewhat neglected aspect of the famously popular action film series. Some of the best parts of the James Bond movies are the extreme car chases/action scenes in technologically modified vehicles. 007 Racing brings this excitement into your PlayStation and puts you in the driver?s seat. The control is not as great as gaming enthusiasts might hope, being a little bit on the ?tight? side, but the action is definitely fun.

There are two difficulty settings in 007 Racing: Agent and 00 Agent. Those familiar with 007 will recognize that 00 Agent is the harder difficulty setting. 007 Racing has some parts that present a bit of a challenge, but a lot of the difficulty comes in resource management. It?s very important to make sure that you only use the weapons or devices you plan to (and when you need to). Some weapons have extremely limited available ammo - but are REQUIRED to destroy certain targets. Use them on the wrong target (or accidentally fire them) and you have no hope of success. This is made more difficult by the fact that upon picking up a new weapon pickup, your ?selected weapon? is changed automatically. The levels are difficult enough to keep it challenging, but not so hard as to make it (too) frustrating.

The idea behind 007 Racing is a very good one, and is (in most aspects) excellently executed. As James Bond, you get to put high-performance sports cars through their paces while pushing Q to within an inch of his sanity. The graphics are sadly lacking, and this is the major detraction from this game. The learning curve/challenge level is nicely balanced, and the game stays true to its license. If the graphics were better, this game would have been one of the best games out there. As it stands, the game is fun, but should have looked much better.

-Geck0, GameVortex Communications
AKA Robert Perkins

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