E3 2002: James Bond 007: Night Fire impressions

The new 007 game for PC is on display at EA's booth, and we got to check it out. Read on to see what we thought.

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Gearbox Software and Electronic Arts have teamed up to bring us another first-person shooter based on the James Bond franchise, and this time they're extending their efforts toward the PC. Since GoldenEye's unbridled success on the Nintendo 64, Bond shooters have become something of a staple on consoles, but so far the PC has been neglected. With James Bond 007: Night Fire, Gearbox is fashioning a Bond game that will take advantage of the PC's FPS-friendly control scheme and networking capabilities.

007: Night Fire is being developed by Gearbox using an enhanced version of the id/Valve engine seen in past titles like Half-Life and Counter-Strike. Despite the age and relative obsolescence of this technology, Night Fire's visuals are actually pretty impressive. Night Fire features both indoor and outdoor environments--during the brief demo, we saw a snowy mountain roadway at night that was rife with guards and a posh mansion interior. Though the game won't stand up to newer titles visually, it looks good in the same way Counter-Strike continues to look solid.

The run-and-gun action in 007: Night Fire seems somewhat reminiscent of GoldenEye--lots of head shots, pistols, and the like. Night Fire also lets you go double-fisted with your side arms in a nod to John Woo. In addition to the impressive armament, Night Fire will give you access to plenty of those amazing gadgets that make James Bond cool. For instance, we saw Bond put on different kinds of sunglasses. One provided an infrared display that made enemies easier to identify at night. Another more interesting pair of glasses gave Bond a blue-tinted view that effectively provides X-ray vision, revealing not only the skeletons of other characters but also any concealed weapons they might be carrying. Between the various guns and interesting toys, Night Fire should offer plenty for players to do. We're told that the game will have more than 20 missions, focusing on both single-player and multiplayer, and that the PC version of the game will have bonus content that the Xbox version won't.

Unlike GoldenEye and most other 007 games, Night Fire features an entirely new storyline created separately from the movies in the series. Bond will be battling a new villain, Rafael Drake, throughout the game, and, of course, he'll be wooing a new Bond girl; this time she's named Dominique. Stay tuned to GameSpot for more details on 007: Night Fire.

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