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Ever since EA first acquired the Bond licence, the resulting roster of both movie tie-ins and original titles has constantly suffered comparisons to the standard-setting N64 game GoldenEye, and in most cases fallen short of the mark. Well it's about time this stopped as, aside from the fact that its protagonist is the legendarily suave British agent, this latest Bond-em-up has nothing at all in common with Rare's most famous of first-person shooters. And this is mainly down to the fact that Everything or Nothing is more of a Bond 'experience' rather than just a game, featuring a host of different gameplay elements, involving original narrative, and some of the highest production values we've ever seen.
From the moment you finish the first level and the intro credits kick in, you kind of get the idea that you're in for a very 'film-like' experience. And you are - the original storyline (written by Bruce Feirstien, responsible for the Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough films) is witty, humourous, camp and centres on the threat of world destruction at the hands of an unpronounceable eastern European. The cast, including Pierce Brosnan, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Shannon Elizabeth, and John Cleese, have all lent their respective face scans and voice talent to the game, and, throughout, the game powers along, full of all the typical high-speed action, death-defying scenarios and plenty of silver screen cinematics.
As mentioned before, Everything or Nothing is built up of various different gameplay styles, the main being the new third-person perspective, designed to showcase all the Bond moves at their best. This sees you take control of 007, Splinter Cell-style, as you explore, shoot and fist-fight your way through the game's assorted levels, whilst taking cover behind various parts of the environments in an element reminiscent of kill.switch. As with a lot of recent Bond titles, the game features a great deal of driving-based missions but, this time they're a welcome addition to the proceedings - rather than the tacked-on compulsory levels we've experienced in the past - that benefit from EA's Need For Speed engine and thus deliver plenty of high-speed racing action. As well as this, Everything or Nothing also features hand-to-hand combat, stealth-based scenarios, and a host of different weapons and gadgets, including a remote-controlled spider bomb that you take control of in order to explore some of the levels' nooks and crannies.
With past Bond titles it's clear that EA has long been trying to bring the world of games and movies closer, and thus give players the chance to actually be 007 rather than just play a game with him in it. Everything or Nothing is the closest it has come to achieving this goal and also by far the company's best effort to date.