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Fast cars, exotic locations, crazy gadgets, ridiculous villains, guns, action, beautiful women – that’s the 007 franchise for you. And it sounds like all of that could make for a good video game if implemented properly. There have been numerous 007 games released over the years and it’s one of the few licensed game franchises that I think highly of because the games are usually more than just pale imitations of the source material. Usually. And I thank GoldenEye for that. It set a standard. Besides GoldenEye, there’s been some other great 007 games like Nightfire for example and I usually hear positive things about Everything or Nothing. Well we finally got the chance to play it. Developed and published by EA, 007: Everything or Nothing was released for GameCube, PlayStation 2, and Xbox in February, 2004. Griptonite Games developed the Game Boy Advance version which was released in 2003. For this review, we played the GameCube version. We tried playing through the Xbox version numerous times but ran into recording issues due to the game changing resolutions. After a while we got fed up and decided to try the GameCube version. It did allow us to use the CARBY adapter designed for the system which basically allows you to display video through an HDMI adapter. If you’re interested in the adapter, the website can give you the full details.
Players take on the role of the iconic British secret agent and slick ladies man, James Bond. The story here focuses on Bond stopping terrorists from unleashing Nano Bots, capable of eating through all metal but platinum, on the world. This crazy scheme is masterminded by Nikolai Diavolo, a former KGB agent with ties to Max Zorin. As expected, Bond travels to various locations around the world getting into firefights, car chases, and he gets involved with an American geologist named Serena. The plot is okay. It’s kind of what I expected from a 007 video game. However, the game does have quite the voice cast with several actors from the films lending their voices like Pierce Brosnan as Bond, Judi Dench as M, and John Cleese as Q. Shannon Elizabeth and Heidi Klum also lend their voices along with Willem Dafoe, who I feel gives the best performance, as Nikolai. While it’s nice hearing several of the actors reprise their roles, I felt the voice acting was a mixed bag overall. Most of the performances sound fine but during several interactions it sounds like the actors are not playing off of each other resulting in some dialogue and conversations sounding odd.
Everything or Nothing includes both single player and multiplayer components. The single player component consists of the main campaign and the multiplayer consists of a separate cooperative campaign and different modes to play through including an Arena mode where up to four players can compete against each other. We did play through the separate cooperative campaign which does tie into the main story somehow. But we didn’t try the competitive multiplayer modes like Scramble or Race. In the cooperative mode, you work together to complete objectives and missions. In the Scramble mode, players try for the best score. And in the Race mode, the objective is for the players to try and set record times.
Everything or Nothing is primarily a third-person shooter. In the single player campaign, you play as Bond, and in the cooperative campaign, you can choose to play as one of several characters. All of the playable characters can walk, run, crouch, dive or roll, take cover, pick up objects, and perform melee attacks. You can beat foes to death, throw them, counter their attacks, and take them out silently from behind. In single player, you can activate Bond sense at any time which basically highlights important or shootable objects and can be very helpful if you get stuck. There is no Bond sense in the cooperative campaign, both characters share lives, and you’ll want to share resources like weapon, ammo, and vest pick-ups. There is a lock-on system and it’s kind of clunky. You lock onto enemies and can move the reticle around for more precise shots but when up against a group of enemies, it didn’t always lock onto the one I wanted and in some scenarios, it didn’t lock-on at all. At least you can cycle between targets. Furthermore, the camera isn’t perfect and doesn’t always position itself in ideal spots forcing you to control it manually. With the default controls, it took me some time to get used to them because they do feel a bit convoluted. Crouching and take cover are tied to the same button, there’s multiple ways to scroll through weapons and gadgets, and using certain selected gadgets like throwing a coin grenade is not tied to the fire button.
In addition to engaging enemies on-foot, there are numerous vehicle missions and sequences in the single player campaign. You’ll get to drive cars and tanks, ride bikes, and fly a helicopter. Of course, these are all weaponized. They’ll often be equipped with things like rocket and/or missile launchers, machine guns, plasma guns, nano shells, and while on a bike, Bond can whip out a shotgun and activate flamethrowers. Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. The vehicles and aircraft control well enough and several of these missions have you driving around small but open areas to complete objectives. In fact, these somewhat open areas only seem to exist for one or two missions that let you drive around freely. It’s kind of a shame these somewhat open-ended environments weren’t utilized more. The game does include some cool set pieces and sequences. For example, one sequence has you driving a limo above a certain speed limit otherwise it explodes. I, too, enjoy the movie Speed. There’s a cool on-rails sequence where you’re in a tank and have to blow away enemies. Many of the vehicle and aircraft missions are action-packed and it’s when you’re obliterating foes or firing missiles at them at high speeds that these missions really shine. Any other time, like when you’re just driving to an objective which results in brief a cut scene is not quite as exciting.
There is a decent arsenal of firepower and you can unlock all kinds of gadgets as you progress. Bond usually always has his P99 equipped and you can find more weapons throughout the environments. They’ll also be dropped by fallen enemies. It can be easy to run out of ammo and I think that’s the game’s way of keeping you moving because staying in one spot to pick off enemies will only last a short while. There’s numerous gadgets Bond can utilize, some of which are actually required to progress. You can rappel up and down walls, toss coin grenades, control the Q Spider or Spider Bot, put enemies to sleep with the dart gun, activate a Nano Suit to temporarily become invisible, and one of my favorites is the Network Tap which allows you to take control of certain devices like turrets and use them against enemies. Bond will often be outnumbered and the gadgets can prove to be extremely helpful in sticky situations. Enemies don’t exhibit super intelligent behavior but they are aggressive and can take you out easily if you don’t utilize cover. Standing out in the open is always a bad idea and even if you are in cover, enemies will often rush your position. You should always try and keep moving. You can get through some areas silently but once an enemy spots you, all enemies in the vicinity seem to know where you are. They’ll shoot at you, throw grenades, some fire rockets, they’ll rappel down ropes, and later in the game, you’ll be up against dudes equipped with what I guess are Nano Suits since they can turn invisible, making them a pain in the ass. The co-op campaign will throw a crazy number of enemies at the you unless you both work together to be stealthy. If you don’t, the gameplay turns into shoot everything that moves. It can actually become quite frustrating. Enemies will surround you, rapidly draining your health with gunfire – things can get tough quick.
There are numerous difficulty modes and the higher the difficulty, the more objectives you’ll have to complete, and the more challenging the enemies. Armor is health and vests are scattered throughout the environments. Some missions are very short, others are a bit longer and there’s no checkpoint system so if you die, you have to restart the mission over from the beginning which can be frustrating. Some missions are split into two what I’ll call sections but most are not. That split is where the checkpoint would be and it usually happens when there’s a significant battle like a boss battle. With that said, the boss battles (if you want to call them that), are not very difficult, at least on the Agent difficulty. Throughout the missions are Bond moments that can be completed. These are like optional tasks or special things you need to do like finding a certain weapon or driving off a certain ramp, killing an enemy in a specific way, things like that. You are scored at the end of missions based on your performance and you can be rewarded with bronze, silver, and gold medals along with production stills and characters and arenas for multiplayer. You can also earn platinum medals by meeting specific requirements but you have to beat a mission and earn a gold medal before you unlock the platinum challenge. Earning platinum medals will unlock cheats. Needless to say, there’s a good amount of replay value and things to unlock.
The single player campaign will take you to a good variety of locations in Egypt, Peru, New Orleans, and Russia. And the cooperative campaign will take you through locations in Egypt, Tunisia, and the Andaman Sea. Bond will infiltrate a nuclear bunker under the Kremlin, participate in a race, shoot his way through a mine, and stop a truck full of Nano Bots from destroying New Orleans. Many of the vehicle missions are linear and the ones where you can drive around freely let you pull up a map to see all possible routes to a destination. The on-foot missions are also linear and the game does funnel you in specific directions so it would be hard to get lost. Also, M and Q will often chime in if you’re taking your sweet ass time. You’ll have to complete numerous objectives like getting to a specific location within a time limit, interact with things, and destroy things.
Everything or Nothing looks okay. The character models are good reflections of their real-life or on-screen counter-parts and the environments are all visually diverse and detailed. Muzzle flashes look good, the enemy death animations look dramatic, and there are some neat visual and particle effects peppered throughout the game. Unfortunately, reflections on things like vehicles look odd at times, there’s a ton of jaggies, and some of the cut scenes appear blurry on modern televisions and monitors. And remember, we were playing this through the CARBY adapter. On the plus side, the game does support widescreen. In coop, the screen is split horizontally when playing in fullscreen, and vertically in widescreen. The soundtrack consists of what I refer to as cinematic and dramatic sounding songs that compliment the cinematic style and action-packed gameplay nicely. And the game does have it’s own unique theme song. Of course, the classic 007 tune can be heard as well. The sound effects are solid thanks to satisfying weapons-fire and explosion sounds, enemies will scream when they die, vehicles roar as you speed down roads, and there’s nice loud bangs and clangs when vehicles land from jumps and/or crash into things. The frame rate will dip frequently when there’s a lot of action and effects on-screen and the game did crash on us twice.
I had fun with Everything or Nothing and out of all the 007 games I’ve played so far that toss in vehicle sequences, I think this does it the best. They could be better but there’s an arcade feeling to the vehicle and aircraft missions and they usually end up being ridiculously action-packed, even though some sequences are clearly scripted and hold your hand. I did enjoy the on-foot missions more and, overall, it’s a solid albeit clunky third-person shooter. It took me a bit of time to get used to the controls but once I got the hang of it, I was able to get through areas without too much trouble. That is until the second to last mission which I had to replay through several times. Everything or Nothing feels like an attempt to replicate the cinematic feel and style of the films and for the most part, it succeeds. It’s also fun to play. It’s got intense firefights, action-packed vehicle chases, a ridiculous villain, and beautiful women. Everything or Nothing is packed with quite a bit of content and gives you plenty of reasons to return. The multiple difficulty modes, scoring system, platinum challenges, unlocks, and multiplayer modes should keep you occupied for a while. The coop campaign can be a lot of fun if you can work together but if you can’t it can be very challenging and frustrating.
I would absolutely recommend Everything or Nothing to fans of the 007 franchise and action games. I think this one of the best 007 games out there. It’s fun and contains plenty of content. You can save the world as Bond or with a friend, you can try for high scores and better medals, there’s numerous things to unlock, and if you have the Game Boy Advance version and the GameCube-Game Boy Advance link cable, there’s even more content to check out. Although, we have no idea what that content is since we don’t have the Game Boy Advance game. Regardless, Everything or Nothing is a great action game. Definitely check it out if you haven’t already.