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Here's what I liked:
Gameplay - (...) Some of the levels are really intriguing and you will need to think hard if you want to get through them. There is a strong emphasis on stealth, and this is very well implemented (...)
Storyline - "Cate" (...) Archer is a female British spy in a man's world. She's eager to go on more exciting missions than her male bosses have sent her on up to now. (...)
Atmosphere - This game really succeeds in creating the atmosphere of what it might have been like to be a female spy in the 1960s. The night club mission is a great example of this. The scene on the space station was also great, like a cross between a James Bond film and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Music - NOLF has the best music of any game I've played. I loved those really groovy 60s sounds. It's a shame there isn't a CD of the soundtrack available, I would buy it.
Humour - This is perhaps the best thing about this game. If you laughed at the Austin Powers films (at least the first two) you will love the humour here. Some of the characters are very outlandish (e.g. Frau Wagner, the tone-deaf Opera singer). (...).
Here's some (minor) criticisms:
Cut scenes - The cut scenes in NOLF go on way too long. Of course, you can always press the space bar and skip them, but they often contain useful information. Cut scenes in NOLF 2 are much shorter and to the point.
User interface - The other criticism is that you can't easily select a particular gadget. Instead, you have to cycle through all gadgets and weapons. Again, NOLF 2 is much better in this respect. Also, there is no way to toggle crouching on or off. Instead, if you want to move around while crouched you must hold down the C (crouch) key whilst using the movement keys. This is obviously a little awkward. But in NOLF 2, the Ctrl key acts a toggle for crouch, so you don't have to become a finger contortionist.
Overall conclusion: Don't let these minor criticisms put you off. This game rocks (it didn't become Game of the Year in so many people's opinions for nothing). You may not need a monkey, but you do need to play this game! (...)
"Excuse me sir," a passing salesman says to the guard, "but would you like to buy a monkey?"
If that idea makes you laugh, you will probably find NOLF one of the funniest games you will ever play. It uses a classic approach to humour that is similar in style to Austin Powers, but is far better than anything in the most recent film. Every enemy, every location, every person you meet will almost certainly make you laugh out loud.
Other than that, the gameplay is excelent, and the graphics are good, though they are now looking a little tired with age.
Do not play this in public places for fear of embarrasing yourself.
You have been warned.
Its also one of the most under-appriciated games of recent years - this is the finest single-player experience since Half-Life. With the exception of one of the later levels (which feels rushed and unrealised), the level design is superb. The SCUBA sequence, which sees you investigating a deep-sea shipwreck, has to be the best single level in the hsitory of gaming.
Buy it. Love it. Then buy the sequel
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