One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M.s Way is one of the most
fun-filled, engrossing action experiences gamers can hope to find this
year. Lighthearted content aside, this game has a real handle on the ins
and outs of a quality spy title. Players will quite literally be doing
it all, from infiltrating Russian weapon installations to sobering up a
drunk pilot whos your only hope of escape. Sierra and Monolith have
just blessed us with a perfect model of what happens when everything
falls into place. This game is a well-oiled machine that wont let you
go until youve beaten it.
story behind No One Lives Forever 2 remains lighthearted, much like the
first installment. While the game heavily lends itself to the clichéd
spy of the 1960s and 70s, its story nonetheless provides all the
necessary components that make you want to stick around. You can tell
the developers had a lot of fun making this game as you follow the story
between missions. Obviously theyre not taking themselves too seriously,
but perhaps unbeknownst to them, a compelling storyline emerges that is
perfectly suited for this game. This game is about action and some
serious spy work and while the plot doesnt take a back seat, it sure
shows up some other popular stealth based games out there.
title implies, Cate once again finds herself in the crosshairs of the
villainous group, H.A.R.M. Not to be denied their evil schemes, the
leaders of H.A.R.M. have contracted some of the most strange and deadly
assassins in the world to knock off our beautiful Ms. Archer. Opening
scenes pit Cate against a very Zhang Ziyi-like ninja whose lethal talent
is manipulated by her masters in H.A.R.M. As you progress through the
first level youre reconnaissance work yields bits of information about
the girls troubled past and why she fell in with such a villainous
crowd. Meanwhile the Americans catch wind of a Soviet super-weapon and
want Cate to find out what the Russkies are up to. If theyre building
what the Americans suspect they are, everyones swinging days are over,
baby, courtesy of World War III. Can you find out whats going on under
all the snow while dodging H.A.R.M.s assassins?
would a great spy game be without interesting locales? Players will be
whisked off to places such as a mysterious Japanese village, a
snow-covered Soviet military base, and Akron, Ohio. What? Akron, Ohio??
The games sense of humor is steady and true. The funny thing is that
during your stay in a luxurious Ohio trailer park a twister touches down
along with several H.A.R.M. agents. The action is never far away and
believe me, Monolith made sure that getting some action never looked so
One Lives Forever 2s visual presentation holds true to and surpasses
its predecessor. The environments are rendered very well and really make
this game easy to get into. The characters are detailed and exude a
tremendous amount of personality, as if this game needs any more of
that. Animation is satisfactory and youll appreciate that better when
you see your enemies start rolling, weaving, and ducking to avoid your
gunfire. The cinematic scenes are handled with the in-game graphics,
which adds a lot of credibility to the developers talent. Each
characters mouth is in sync with his or her voice, which seems like a
small thing, but when done badly sticks out like a sore thumb.
of the voice acting in this game, I must say that the sound quality of
No One Lives Forever 2 is easily top notch. The casting of the voices in
this game is well done and no one sounds out of place in their
character. Often youll pick up snatches of conversation as you sneak
through a location and the dialogue is always entertaining. Obviously,
being a spy title, sound figures heavily into how you approach
situations. Control over how much sound you make is always easily
controllable thanks to the sneak option at your disposal. All it takes
is the press of a hotkey and your steps are muffled, preventing any
nearby guard from hearing you. Still, it seems at times that the enemy
has a touch of omniscience and will find you despite your best efforts.
Believe me, though, Id much rather deal with that than with overly
stupid guards you could tap dance around.
delectable agent Archer is bound to have the upper hand, though, with
the myriad of gadgets and weapons at her fingertips. Naturally, several
of her weapons center around stealth, but occasionally matters do call
for heavy weaponry and she certainly wont be lacking in that area
either. Archers weapons range from crossbows and silenced pistols to
submachine guns and acid grenades. Some weapons will prove both
effective and humorous like the ever-useful banana peel or the angry
kitty proximity mine. We all tend to find a favorite weapon, but the
rigors of No One Lives Forever 2s missions will oblige you to always
make use of all your assets. Nothing you carry is useless.
elements are present as well. You earn experience points for
accomplishing various tasks such as simply gathering information or
other tasks directly associated with your current mission. As you accrue
these points you have the option of using them to enhance your skills.
Skills include things like marksmanship, stealth, stamina, and weapon
proficiency. As you spend more points towards a certain skill, your
ability in that area will increase and so on. This really adds an
incentive to being nosey because there is an awful lot of information
you can gather that isnt necessarily crucial to your mission, but will
earn you points. You also may be able to unlock certain side missions
based on the information you uncover.
options are available depending on your desire for an internet based or
LAN based scenario. Rather than a frag-fest players can opt to work
together cooperatively to accomplish special multiplayer missions
against the computer AI. Of course there are options which allow you to
rain "friendly fire" down upon your fellow agents.
that No One Lives Forever was the action game of 2000. This years
competition is stiff, but No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M.s
Way is definitely up to the task of bringing home the gold. This game
has plenty of the action and suspense required in any good spy game, but
at the same time maintains a lighthearted feel that will refresh gamers
that perhaps are tired of life in the trenches.