Mike’s Likes: Everything or Nothing
Here’s the second entry into Mike’s Likes, the most narcissistic feature on the internet….
007 Everything or Nothing.
By now, if you listen to our podcast here on allyoucangeek (and if you aren’t, then what’s wrong with you?) then you know my feelings about recent Bond films and where my loyalties lie. Still, in case you don’t know, I believe Daniel Craig has done what countless international terrorists couldn’t, he has killed James Bond. Whether you agree or disagree with that admittedly inflammatory opinion is irrelevant because right now I’m letting you know about the under-appreciated swan song of the last real James Bond, Pierce Brosnan. No, it wasn’t the Halle Berry and cgi heat-ray sabotaged Die Another Day, the last thing Brosnan really did as Bond was a video game titled “Everything or Nothing”. I believe this game is the best Bond game since Goldeneye. In its own way, I think it is almost as good as that legendary game.
Everything or Nothing was a 2003 release on the PS2, Gamecube, and Xbox. This third-person action shooter predates Gears of War and Uncharted: Drake’s fortune but has the same type of cover system. Being this late in those consoles’ lifespans, the game looked fantastic and actually supported 480 progressive resolution.
Where the game really shines is the production value. This game has a better cast of real life actors’ voices and likenesses than any Bond movie. Brosnan lends both his voice and likeness for the only time in his career in EON, a fitting bookend on the Bond career of the man I consider the gamer’s Bond whose rough likeness first appeared in Goldeneye, one of the best games ever, and ends here with him being in a game full-fledged for the first time in Everything or Nothing.
Joining him are Hedi Klum, Shannon Elizabeth, and the R&B singer Mya as Bond Girls who lend their looks and voices to the game. Mya actually even sings the opening theme. And the villain? It’s none other than Norman Osborne himself, Willam Defoe. He plays a disgruntled apprentice to the classic Bond villain, Max Zorin. Now hold on for a second here and consider this. Max Zorin was played by Christopher Walken. Can you imagine Christopher Walken as Willam Defoe’s mentor? That’s some awesome casting. Additionally Judi Dench is there as M, Richard Keil actually reprises his role as Jaws, and John Cleese fills in his rightful role as Q, one he would still have if the gadgetless Craig didn’t destroy the franchise.
The high production value is seen in all aspects of the game. Great actors, solid, relatively innovative controls, great graphics, varied, intense gameplay, and a well paced story make for a great game. A level select feature adds easy replayability and incentive to do so with multiple awards unlocked for achieving better scores in levels and pulling off “Bond Moments”.
Even the multiplayer in EON is not just a tacked on afterthought. There is a one on one split-screen death-match and a four-player Powerstone-with guns-type death-match that somehow works despite its somewhat odd approach. But the real star of the multiplayer is its co-op missions which are a long, quite difficult, self-contained story that will take some time and effort to complete with a friend.
The game is so polished, it still feels and looks like a modern game when played today. In fact, many modern third person shooters seem like a step backwards compared to this game. The cover system is logical and it is easy to execute whatever maneuver you attempt to do. You can easily throw grenades and lock-on to enemies from cover, yet you can also easily hone your aim to adjust for head shots. There are stealth takedowns, melee attacks, the ability to crouch and walk stealthily, and a dramatic forward roll dodge. There is “Bond Sense” mode that is both an awesome bullet-time effect and also a precursor to Batman Arkham Asylum’s “Detective Mode” that highlights points of interaction and enemies. And finally, there are the coolest video game Bond gadgets ever, the little Q-spiders who are basically vent crawling little remote control cameras and mines.
As far as I can tell, this is one of the best, most complete third person shooters ever and it is a wonder that nobody ever makes a fuss about it. I highly recommend you get it now at a bargain price if you don’t already have it. If you have a Wii, try to find a dirt-cheap Gamecube copy of the game and then play it on your Wii in 480p. Instead of buying the new Wii cash –in on the Goldeneye name that is a slap in the face to the original Goldeneye, you should get this game if you want some genuine Bond fun.