Step into the eye of the gun barrel as James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) in "James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing".

User Rating: 9 | James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing GC

James Bond. One of the most well-known names in cimema history and one of the most recognized characters in the field as well. Fortunately, the Bond name has also adopted a video game persona as well - so expectations for Bond games have been high.

Thankfully, "Everything or Nothing" delivers. EA has crafted a fine-tuned, amazing Bond game that caters to Bond fans and gamers craving for action and stealth alike. Everything or Nothing has a unique story just written for the game, and the developers made a smart decision incorporating the actual likenesses and voices of the real Bond actors. An awesome soundtrack has been composed for the game - and the game's self-titled main theme, featuring Mya Marie Harrison, is a neat inclusion from a real American R&B singer as well.

When a great story, an awesome cast of classic Bond characters, a well-composed soundtrack, and top-notch gameplay come together, you get James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing - a high-budget game that can really get your heart racing. You really do get to feel like a classy spy that foils the bad guy(s)' plan and saves the girl. Never before have I played a game like this. It really is an amazing experience.

The game opens up with a standard operation of "save the kidnapped professor". However, the story gets way more complicated than that. I won't explain anything else story-wise, but I must say that the writers behind the game, including Bruce Feirstein, an actual Bond screenplay writer (for the games and some of the movies), have done a stunning job. Bond's still got his sly and clever remarks, and he's still got his puns. It just makes everything more immersive and - well, "Bond-y".

Many Bond characters from the movies appear here, such as Pierce Brosnan (Bond), Judi Dench (M), John Cleese (Q), Richard Kiel (Jaws), and others. Let's just say some other Bond characters make surprise appearances along the way. Mya also makes an in-game appearance as well, as Mya Starling.

Bond's also got his classic Walther P99 pistol and a handful of gadgets, along with some sweet vehicles such as a Porsche Cayenne and an Aston Martin. Of course, these two vehicles are armed - and Bond can commandeer even more vehicles and even weapons, than just cars. Let me just say that Everything or Nothing has some of the most beautiful visuals for a GameCube game - ever. Especially in the Aston Martin driving segments.

The game sports a high budget, and so this can be seen in many parts during the game. The visuals are slick and the animations are fluid. The music is reminiscent of the main theme of Bond and it stays true to the classic Bond scores. The actors are there to portray their likenesses and voices for the game. Even THX stepped in to help with sound. You can tell a lot of high-quality work has been done on each and every level of the game. The levels are open and expansive, and detail has been given to each and every one of them to make them varied and unique.

The levels themselves are amazing. Some of them are linear, but all of them urge you to explore the environment to search for hidden weapons, ammunition, and health pickups. "Bond moments" make a return in the game as well from "Agent Under Fire" and "Nightfire". Bond moments are Bond-like interactions during levels. Some of these Bond moments can be achieved by clever thinking to take out groups of enemies, or by staying stealthy and out of sight for a duration of the level.

Each level has a difficulty. There's Operative (Easy), Agent (Normal), and 00 Agent (Hard). Upon completing a level, a ranking is given to you - and these can be either Bronze, Silver, or Gold. Netting several Golds on missions will unlock new content within the game, such as production stills, new costumes for characters, vehicle upgrades, gadgets and more. When you complete a mission on 00 Agent, however, you can clear the level again on Platinum - and gaining Platinum rankings on levels will net you some neat cheats.

All of this makes Everything or Nothing a replay value-heavy game. It gives you a reason to come back again and again to unlock everything. To put it short, this is the ultimate completionist's game for a Bond fan, or any fan of the genre.

Of course, completionists are never alone. The game also features offline multiplayer with up to four people. There's a cooperative mode as well with a plethora of awesome missions. The cooperative mode alone branches off into two different modes, such as Race and Scramble. These two modes pit the players against each other for points and such, but the two still have to cooperate to complete the mission, adding a sense of agent-to-agent nature. Then there's the Arena mode - a mode in which you can beat up your friend on a small map. This is where the multiplayer falls short, because it lacks a pure deathmatch mode. The Arena mode feels like a last-minute attempt to expand the multiplayer in the game, but it holds up pretty well with friends.

And yes, the cooperative modes have even more unlocks. You can unlock new characters from the story mode to play as in cooperative and Arena modes, or Arena maps - further boosting the already-awesome replay value of the game. It'll take some devoted time to unlock everything in the game, because the game is quite challenging. Enemy AI is smart and level designs for the most part are tricky. Enemies will hide behind corners, or will conceal themselves behind boxes in a dark room, forcing you to use thermal goggles. There are several moments in the game where the objective is unclear and little detail is given on how to accomplish, which can slow down the pacing a little. Some moments in this game will make you frustrated, however - especially in the later levels.

The controls are rather difficult to master, but once you get the hang of it, it's like second nature. You can utilize the game's smart cover system with the tap of a button, and changing weapons and items are a breeze. James Bond seems to have perfect aim, as the lock-on system functions quite well, though there are times where the lock-on system will make you frustrated. Sometimes the lock-on button will mysteriously activate the "fire" button simultaneously, and so you'll be randomly shooting whenever you're looking for a target to lock-on to.

Although it might get you far, blindly shooting without taking cover won't get you anywhere. It's knowing each of the weapons and items' limitations, however, that will get you where you need to go. Pistols will have much less range than an assault rifle, but an assault rifle will not the benefit of a silenced weapon and will take longer to reload. Knowing the current circumstances and the requirements for stealth or not results in quite a rewarding experience when you get the job done.

Electronic Arts has really outdone themselves with Everything or Nothing. What they have created is an authentic, interactive Bond movie that captures the spirit of the high-budget movies. The story is top-notch and the experience itself is like no other. While it does have its minor issues, Everything or Nothing stands out as an action-packed and stealthy title for the GameCube.