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James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire
Score: 95%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: EA Games
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1 - 4 (Multitap)
Genre: Miscellaneous

Graphics & Sound:
As 007 makes his debut for the PS2, James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire will blow you away from the second you pick up the controller. The player models look amazing at all times, especially when they are talking to each other. And for the fellas out there, let me be the first to say that the women are hot, much like any Bond flick. Scenario wise, things follow the Golden Eye format from the N64. Each level has gorgeous background scenery, whether it is in Hong Kong, the Alps, or any other place. Plus, let's not forget the explosions. All of this is what makes up a Bond-like masterpiece.

Unfortunately, Pierce Brosnan didn't join the party and lend a helping voice for AUF. Nevertheless, the game didn't suffer at all because of it. The music sounds phenomenal, although I got sick of hearing the theme song every time I did something good. Still, the music follows the play of the game, which makes it even more cinematic. The sound effects are loud and overdone, just the way I like them to be. Explosions will knock you over, and the breaking glass will make you cover your ears.

Let's face it, the gameplay of Golden Eye nearly single-handedly kept the N64 around for a few more years than it should have been. That was followed up by a couple of crappy versions on the PlayStation, neither of which had the caliber of the first. Well fear not Bond lovers, because James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire will take you back to the days of skipping class and playing into the wee hours of the morn. This 1st person shooter is everything like before, except that it's not always an FPS. It's also a racing game, much like Spy Hunter. This lethal combination will provide hours of fun, well after you've beaten the game.

The story line for AUF is an original one, since we've been without a Bond flick for a couple years now. James' arsenal of weaponry and gadgets will get you through 12 fun levels, where you have the chance to unlock cheats if you pass a certain criteria of scoring. Not every level has a boss you need to beat, but each will have an action-packed ending, such as jumping over a river with your BMW, or blowing away a couple tanks with one of your own.

Of course, the most important feature of Golden Eye that kept gamers coming back for more was the multiplayer mode. So guess what EA has brought back? That's right, get together with three of your friends and shoot each other until the sun comes up. There are five different modes to choose from for multiplayer, so your itchy trigger fingers should be satisfied.

Agent Under Fire has three different degrees of difficulty: Operative, Agent, and 007 Agent. Obviously, the harder the level, the more difficult it is to kill enemies, along with being a lot more of them. The one flaw throughout the game is the fact that EA doesn't give credit to gamers to try things out on their own. Every once in a while, it will go to a cut shot, where it'll expose what we should be looking for, such as a gas tank to explode or where to climb up a building. Let us figure it out, that's the point of the game!

Should you master each level to the best of your ability, you can change some options around to add to the difficulty, such as auto aim, or turning the cross hair off.

Game Mechanics:
The controller handling for James Bond is complex, but not really confusing. It just takes a little practice. I do wish there was a quicker way to select the weapon or gadget I want, instead of cycling through each one. The good news is that the loading time is minimal and saving on the memory card will take close to nothing. During the multiplayer mode, don't worry about the framerate slowing down at all. Everything stays at a good steady pace, making it fun for everyone.

It's too bad EA decided to release this now with other anticipated games coming out at the same time, because it may get overlooked. Agent Under Fire may not follow a Bond-movie storyline, but it's definitely worth the price of admission.

-Red Dawg, GameVortex Communications
AKA Alex Redmann

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