Who would have thought that I’d be playing a James Bond game eh? While the films leave much to be desired; the concept is pretty good for a video game. This one is actually a First Person Shooter, which is the first time I’ve played one since Metroid Prime if I recall correctly. It’s not my favorite genre, but as long as it’s better than the Eternal Ring…it should be fine. Let’s see if the game had what it takes!
The plot involves 007…AKA James Bond as he undergoes a mission. See, detailing the plot for anything James Bond related is tough because there are numerous plot twists and changes that occur during the story. You can’t really say who the main villain is without spoiling the character and the history behind it. Either way, it’s not ultimately important because the game doesn’t even have an ending. After you blow up the building (With a big character still inside) the game abruptly ends. I suppose that there is no longer a threat so it can be an “ending” in that sense, but it feels really sudden. The ending just comes out of nowhere and hits you like a flash.
While the plot is forgettable; the cutscenes will stay with you for a while. James Bond continues to make many wisecracks and one liners in these scenes. Some are pretty clever like what he says when one of the villains falls in a vat of acid. Others just remind me why I don’t like James Bond. He can never take his mind off of pleasure. It also leads to his demise more times than not. One of his allies suckers him into going to the base because he put a hologram of a shower with someone inside. Another person hired a lady to jump into a pool and when Bond rushed out to appreciate the view, he got tackled from behind. Bond never seems to learn from these mistakes as he’s back to normal in the next cutscene. The voice acting is pretty good and Bond definitely sounds similar to his voice in the films. There are other characters in the game, but none that are really memorable. This is a James Bond game after all! I could have done without the romance in the story, but it’s James Bond so I was prepared for it.
The FPS gameplay is about what you would expect. It can be a little hard to remember that the C stick moves you horizontally and I fell a few times from it. One can still jump, crouch, and use a lot of gadgets aside from the gun. FPS definitely isn’t my main style, but it could have been worse. Metroid Prime definitely wins with pure gameplay, but Agent Under Fire managed to stay fun through the levels. Aside from the shooting aspects, there are also a pair of levels where you get to drive in a car. Naturally, this was the most fun part of the game. The gameplay was really good for this part and it felt like Need For Speed, but even better. (My problem with Need For Speed is the lack of actual speed) You really got to zoom in these levels and the various weapons on the car made it fun as well.
There are 12 levels in this game. That’s not a whole lot and most of them can be finished in a few minutes. In that sense, it’s definitely a lot shorter than De Blob. (Another short game) It took me two sittings to finish all of the levels, but it was a considerable amount of time because of the later levels. There are rarely check points so if you lose; then you usually have to go back to the beginning. That can be tough after a while because of how long the levels can feel. I definitely could have used more check points in the game. A slight negative would be how vague the game can be at times. It took me a while to figure out that I needed to use my jetpack to get to the final boss and blowing up the ceiling with a rocket launcher that I didn’t even know I owned was another challenge. I randomly got lost a few times as well. Maybe this helps the game to be a more complete experience, but they could have added more details.
Agent Under Fire has a decent amount of replay value. You can keep on playing the levels to get all of the Platinum Medals and unlock a hidden video. I got a bronze and a gold or two, but getting all Platinums sounds pretty difficult. It would be a nice challenge, but one that I don’t really have time for. The game also has a multiplayer mode, which considerably increases its replay value. Nothing like challenging your friends to the FPS that was cool before Call of Duty showed up! I dare say that this one is a lot more fun than Call of Duty. (Haven’t played it, but it’s not my style)
The graphics are a little underwhelming. It has a retro Gamecube feeling, but it’s just too dark. As with the Mummy, you’ll need to increase the brightness settings on your TV if you want to be able to see well. In a game where sharpshooters can be found anywhere; this is pretty critical. I wouldn’t say that the graphics are terrible, but they could be better. I still have fun with them since they’re awkward in a good way. (Like Hotel Mario)
I know that I’ve been giving just about everything a lot of props for the soundtrack lately, but it’s just my good luck that the themes have been so good. James Bond doesn’t disappoint with the fun tracks and we have the classic one from the films, but also a great danger theme. When you run into some minions; the theme will quickly pop up and it’s a very fast theme that’s fitting for battle. It reminds me of some of the themes from the original Spider Man game for Gamecube.
Overall, Agent Under Fire wasn’t a bad game. The car levels were a lot of fun (I wish that there had been more of them!) and the FPS mechanics weren’t bad considering that I’m not usually a big fan of them. The story may not have been memorable, but the cutscenes were pretty fun at times. (Some much more than others. Naturally, I could do without the romance) I definitely recommend this game to all fans of Call of Duty and you should enjoy it if you’re looking forward to a good secret agent story.