James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing is EA's latest and arguably its most promising title to feature the James Bond license since the company first took on the classic franchise a few years ago. While we've covered the single-player offline game, we recently had the chance to try out the PlayStation 2 version's exclusive online multiplayer. We're pleased to report that, despite a few rough edges regarding connection quality, the mode is shaping up to offer a fun complement to the already solid game.
The game follows the now-standard setup for EA's online offerings, which require you to have a registered EA Online account. When you connect, you'll find four options: instant matchup, matchup lobbies, notices/agreements, and leaderboards. Instant matchup will automatically pair you with anyone who's looking for a game. The matchup lobbies option features four Bond-themed areas, named Goldeneye, Moonraker, Thunderball, and Octopussy, that you can go in to for meeting up with other players. The notices/agreements section features the standard offering of legal jargon and provides any important information on the servers. Finally, the leaderboards option lets you view three leaderboards that focus on the different online modes available, which include co-op, race, and overall. As with other online EA games, you're able to access your buddy list, use the EA messenger option to send messages to friend, and manage your account.
When you're playing online, you're able to use the PlayStation 2's headset to talk to your friend or, in some cases, your foe--depending on how you play. The mic is always on, so you won't have to worry about holding a talk button while going about your business. While the headset is a bit of a novelty in many games when playing online, it's pretty handy, and sometimes downright essential, in Everything or Nothing. As with the offline co-op, you'll find many places where you'll have to work in tandem with your buddy to make it through alive. Co-op is pretty standard and requires you and a friend to work together to complete the various missions M lays out for you. The "race" games aren't quite what we hoped, since we naturally wanted to tear down the road or tear through the air while blasting at our opponents. Instead, these games are just battles of skill that you and a friend have to try to get through quickly. (Yes, we're spy nerds.)
The game's performance online is pretty solid overall, although you'll experience some variance as you play depending on your connection. The frame rate moves along at a solid clip, for the most part, and the voice works well overall, although it will weird out if your connection hiccups. However, if tragedy does occur--in the form of a disconnect--the game will dutifully wait a few seconds before trying to reconnect (to set things straight.)
From what we've played so far, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing's online mode is shaping up to be a good complement to the single-player game. Slight performance hitches aside, the mode is fun and runs well overall. While it's a bummer the other console versions are missing out, PlayStation 2 owners will be pretty pleased by what they're getting. James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing is slated to ship for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox later this month. The online mode is exclusive to the PlayStation 2 game.