This game, although dated now, does a better job of making you feel like Bond than any other Bond game I've ever played.

User Rating: 9 | James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing XBOX
First off, let me get this out in the open. I'm reviewing this game from the perspective of a nerd in 2009, used to Unreal Engine 2 graphics, Mass Effect-caliber voice acting, and KotOR-level stories, so if I seem to be a little harsh on those aspects of the game, please understand.

Everything or Nothing is a game in which you take the role of the most famous secret agent of all time (or he was, until Bourne took the title) It is packed full of ridiculous stunts that defy the laws of physics, hot girls, (and guys, if Pierce Brosnan counts), and sharp, varied gameplay. Over the course of this game, I found myself flying a helicopter, driving a tank, jumping off a cliff without a parachute, rappelling down the side of a dam, and scoring with Heidi Klum. (Sadly, this being a T-rated game, there are no real sex scenes, as such.) And that was just the first third of the game.

The story is solid, if a little light, and the mission structure leaves painfully little time for exposition. I won't spoil it here, but it follows the basic Bond Plot: 007 discovers bad guy plot, meets hot girl, then blows up bad guy plot while having sex with hot girl. (Sometimes, literally simultaneously.) The cutscenes are very brief, with spartan dialogue made up mostly of blatant innuendo or cheesy puns, and the voice acting is rather flat, but they are still well done, and entirely appropriate to the genre. (The first game I ever played was KotOR II, which featured incredible voice actors and a stellar story and script, so maybe my standards are too high.) At any rate, the game's meat isn't in it's cutscenes, or in it's story at all, but in it's gameplay. (And a bizarre sort of X-Factor, which I'll get to in a bit.)

The gameplay consists of a roughly even mix of on-foot sections (which utilize the same sort of firing-from-cover gameplay that we see in many games today, but which was all but unheard-of in those days, as well as some superb but repetitive CQC mechanics.) and driving sequences (which confound me to no end. Who in their right mind would come up with a vehicle-based stealth mission?! And who would have thought that it could actually be sort of fun?) Previous Bond games (and later Bond games, if Rogue Agent and Quantum of Solace are any indication.) focused on Bond's skill with weapons to the exclusion of all else. While the bulk of EoN is spent fighting and otherwise Blowing Stuff Up, there is a fair degree of open-endedness to the missions. During the aforementioned rappeling-down-the-side-of-the-dam mission, I found my way blocked by several well-armed guys. With no cover lines between me and my objective, I knew that a head-on approach would be suicide. So instead, I dropped into "Bond Sense" to take stock of the area. (Bond Sense is a nifty little conceit that allows you to slow the game nearly to a stop while you rifle through your inventory, and it highlights enemies and objects you can interact with.) Lo and behold, there was a convenient switch to open some damaged steam pipes that flooded the area with scalding steam that left my enemies blinded and dazed, and I waded in to Judo-chop their asses. These moments where you act, not like a special forces recruit, but like Bond are called, fittingly, "Bond Moments," and they do a darned fine job of making you feel like a badass. Driving a car through a hotel lobby might not make much sense, but it looks cool and it gets you to your objective faster. (M even commends you for it!) This brings me to my favorite part of the game: the way it makes you feel like a badass superspy even when you aren't racking up Bond Moments. During the first driving mission, I blasted through plate glass windows on a motorcycle after shooting them with missiles, causing the glass to explode out in front of me cinimatically. It wasn't a Bond moment, but darned if it didn't look cool. I jumped off the side of a mountain after a pretty girl and blew up half a dozen guys on the way down with a missile launcher, took on six guys at once completely unarmed, in pitch darkness (The thermal visor definitely helped.), and got caught up in a sniper match against a guy with a missile launcher and finished him by sniping him from half the map away. (To my joy, the game apparently recognizes incredible feats of accuracy, and followed the bullet as it toppled him.) I skidded through several lanes of traffic, missing the other cars by inches, while blowing up the rocket buggies in hot pursuit. None of these were Bond Moments, but they did a fantastic job of getting me immersed in the game. What's more is that I can jump into the game at any time and feel the same sense of unstoppable badassery crossed with seat-of-pants-flying that makes Bond movies so entertaining. I can rely on the game to spontaneously generate moments like that, and do so consistently. That is the game's ultimate triumph, and why I gave this game a 9.

(Also, I would like to point out that my summary comes to exactly 120 characters. I have no idea how that happened, but it's a neat bit of trivia.)