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Tomorrow Never Dies
Score: 88%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: EA Games
Developer: Black Ops Entertainment
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action

Graphics & Sound:
Because Tomorrow Never Dies is based off of the movie of the same name, instead of traditional FMV's, you are treated to actual movie clips, which is nice. The Bond character looks a great deal like his big screen counterpart, although he appears somewhat brawnier and has this Cro Magnon forehead thing going on. Maybe more like Bond's buff, but not so bright twin brother? Anyway, the characters were well done and nicely detailed, as were the levels. Pay special attention to some of the computer terminals and electronic equipment as they really look smooth. There are plot advancing scenes which help tie the movie clips and the game together. And the requisite Bond girls? Of course, one would expect them to be here, but they are not as hot as we're used to. You do interact with Paris Carver, the wife of Elliot Carver and your ex-girlfriend. But it's not very often. Then there is Wai Lin, who looks pretty good, but only shows up to help Bond out with certain missions and such. The voice acting is excellent, without even a hint of cheesiness and the sound effects are top notch. Thumbs up to Black Ops and EA for a high quality piece of work.

Very varied and tons of fun. You are Bond, on a mission to stop the nefarious plot of Elliot Carver, media mogul who is creating his own heinous news in order to always be the first with the story. Of course, this will keep you trekking across the globe. As Bond, you'll find yourself in many sticky situations, including reconnaissance missions, downhill ski slope battles, Bond style road rage (in style, of course in a BMW loaded with weaponry) and an occasional rendezvous with a beautiful woman. Did you expect anything less? Tons of henchmen are always present to make your life difficult and your gameplay more exciting and you are put in situations where you must use your brain (plus a few nifty gadgets from Q) and not just your firepower, to get out alive. There are also a few missions where you are able to play as Wai Lin, Bond's occasional cohort and this makes for a nice diversion. I personally didn't notice much difference in the way they handled, but it was a nice change of pace and the interaction of the two characters was interesting. As a whole, the gameplay is lots of fun and I was very impressed with the variety in the levels. It's just as a Bond game should be.

You can opt to play as Agent or 007, obviously 007 being the more difficult of the two. When you line up with an enemy, a target will appear to make it easier to shoot them. I liked this feature as opposed to the traditional auto-aim as at times, there were so many enemies on the screen at once, it helped you to keep things in focus and take them out one by one. As far as the missions go, some were easy, others just the right amount of difficulty, and still others were downright impossible. At one or two points in the game, I found myself at my wits end, searching the net for codes. : / But this was rare.

Game Mechanics:
At first, I found the handling to be very loose. Bond was running all over the screen and that's a bad thing. Over time, I did become more accustomed to it, although the game would have scored much higher had the handling been tighter. I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that some missions required stealth and others a Quake style free-for-all. Brush up on your shooting, sneaking, driving and skiing skills, because you are going to need them. As for weapons, whatever you need for the job, Bond has it. Gotta cap a bad guy from a long ways off? Pull out your trusty sniper rifle. Running around at night, trying to meet up with Q? How about a handy-dandy infrared scope. You name it, he's got it. Even down to glass cutting cufflinks. Thanks Q. :)

Despite this game's control issues, the developers put so much thought into the different missions and Bond's abilities, that it is still definitely a game to check out. If you are a Bond fan or 3rd person action/adventure lover, do yourself a favor and rent it. If the control works for you, buy it.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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