007 - The World Is Not Enough © 2000 Electronic Arts.
If you're an action freak, The World Is Not Enough is plenty enough.
Mark my words, James: Stealth matters.
Let's get the inevitable comparison out of the way: The World Is Not Enough (TWINE) is a jolly good game that stands tall next to GoldenEye 007.
Developer Eurocom has wisely stuck close to GoldenEye's winning formula, even dubbing the three difficulty levels "Agent," "Secret Agent" and "00 Agent," just as in the original game. Like Rare's instant classic, TWINE contains tons of cool gadgets and guns, ever-changing mission objectives, and, of course, the opportunity to play as the world's most famous secret agent.
But there are clever innovations, too. Eurocom has spiced up the gameplay with one level (Cold Reception) that is a rail shooter on skis and another (Night Watch) in which Mr. Licensed To Kill is not allowed to hurt anyone.
Most notably, generous use of voice-compression allows for many dramatic cinema sequences as well as in-game transmissions from R that propel the action forward, since you don't have to pause to read about your next objective. The voice compression technology was licensed from LucasArts, another developer that knows the value of voice in games based on top-drawer movie licenses.
The Expansion Pak supports crisp graphics and a smooth frame rate. You can play TWINE with the standard 4 megabytes of memory, but expect much loss of detail.
Production companies MGM-UA and Danjac (which has produced every 007 flick starting with Dr. No) contributed mightily with movie set blueprints and photos and even vetting the game text for that proper Bond touch. Because EA also snagged the rights to actors' likenesses, Pierce Brosnan's handsome mug graces the TWINE box and Pak, while those of Dame Judi Dench (M), Robert Carlyle (Renard) and other TWINE thespians appear in the game.
EA scrimped on the voice and music licenses, but the results are generally satisfactory. John Barry's classic 007 theme is missing, but the replacement score is Bond-ishy cool and compelling. The anonymous voice talent is quite good. Cheers to EA, though, for forking over the bucks for one big name from the movie. John Cleese is a world master at conveying exasperation and his peevish transmissions as R add much humor to the game.
All in all, TWINE is a crackerjack Pak that should appeal to both first-person veterans and newbies.
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