14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2003
The first game, No One Lives Forever, was a truly excellent game for its time (in fact I was playing it again only a week ago) and never really got the sales it deserved. But the developers went back again and produced a second adventure for UNITY agent Cate Archer, titled A Spy in HARM's Way - this game. It should be a brilliant hit, but I can't help but feel a bit nonplussed about it. What went wrong?
First off, the graphics have been well and truly cranked up, and I can honestly say that this is possibly the best-looking FPS on the market, even now! The designers have spent a lot of time of the character models and it has paid off; Cate, her opponents and her surroundings are all lovingly detailed and it's a real pleasure to dash around the levels and see what's going to come up next. The weapons are now handled more like a typical FPS, with Half-life style weapons groupings and access. My only complaint is that the amount of ammo you can carry is seriously reduced, although Cate is supposed to be a spy, not a Tank. Still, I would have appreciated some amount of choice in initial loadout, as was the case in NOLF1, especially with the opportunity to pick up bolt-on accessories such as scopes and silencers. The experience system is a real hit, you can tailor Cate's abilities the way you want to use them. And finally the interface is hugely improved, with keys now in much better places (it used to drive me potty).
Problems? Well, the game feels too short when you finish it. The original was a really long piece, an epic that could take hours to play through even on easy settings. The set-piece missions are just TOO scripted, in that your options for dealing with problems or opponents are too limited. Previously you had choice, as with the brilliant "Thief" games you had the option of duking it out, stealthily infiltrating with a silenced pistol, or just sneaking through a level as you saw fit. This time there's often just one way through, and it detracts from the play value somewhat, as well as sometimes making the game much more difficult than it really wants to be. And while the graphics are way, WAY improved, the game feels dark. The first was a burst of technicolour 60's brightness. This feels grim by comparison. There aren't half as many funny intelligence items like you used to be able to pick up, or half as many inane conversations between guards like you used to be able to listen in to (and sometimes learn useful hints). Some enemies can't be killed (I cannot emphasise just how much that annoys me). Some respawning borders on the ridiculous, and you can't methodically clear some of the levels of enemies. And, I just want to raise this again, you have no choice over your initial loadout.
So, despite some really good improvements, it feels like it has still slid back a bit. It's much grimmer and offers less choice than before, as well as sacrificing game length and a lot of comedy features that I loved so much. A third game, brightened up a bit, given a bit more comedy and given back some choice of gameplay would be more valuable to me than Deus Ex 2. Overall, it's a good game in itself and is worth Four Stars, but it's really a victim of its predecessor's success.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2002
There have been many new additions to NOLF2 including the ability to search people and pick them up and hide them out of site from other enemies. The new lithTech graphics engine makes the outdoor and indoor sceenery look like you are really there and the invention of new gadgets makes the game a whole lot more enjoyable to play.
The AI has advanced from NOLF and this means that the gaurds react faster and also plan team attacks and seek cover from gunfire. The voice acting is superb and if you are planning to attack silently you will often find yourself hidding in the shadows listening to guards conversations and laughing out loud to yourself. There is no longer a deathmatch multiplayer game but now there is a new co-operative game that you can play with up to four people online.
The only disadvantage with this game is that you need a high spec PC to play it on but it is well worth the...[price]...you have to spend to get it. A highly enjoyable game either way
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2004
One of the most unusual mysteries of PC games this. Immersive, amusing and enjoyable, it seems odd how poorly this game sold.
So, whats on offer? Well, if you played the first NOLF this newer version shows a definate increase in most areas, AI and mission desgin prominantely, and the naff accents have been cut out. Well mostly anyways. This game is unique in its choice of opponents, theres no denying that. Ok, Russian conscripts and sten gun stooges are pretty commen, but when was the last time you fought mime assasins armed with 1920s tommy guns (who also see the need to perform mime acts while being shot at), virtually indestrucable super soldiers or the frankly hilarious super villan boss in a full body cast and who attempts to run you down in a motorised wheelchair equipped with a missle launcher?
Weapon wise this game also has an edge over most others, your arsenal ranging from the common AK-47 and sidearm to the missle launcher in a handbag and robotic kitten proximity mine, with even the humble banana becoming a weapon in the right hands, it seems.
This games only real weak point is its ability to complete missions using either the tried and testing frag-a-thon of going in guns ablazing, or creating distractions and lurking in the shadows. While this in itself isnt a flaw in any way, the later option is often the more difficult to pull off than it was in the original or in other games such as Invisible war.
Genually amusing, original throughout and graphically sound, this is not a game you want to miss out on.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2002
As everyone else has mentioned already, this game is awesome. The graphics are great, gameplay immersive, sound and music better implemented than in any game I have ever played. The ability to improve skills such as stealth or proficiency with weapons as you go adds an interesting RPG edge to things too. Most of all though, this game, like the first one, is VERY VERY FUNNY, which for those who get bored with endless runnin' and gunnin' is a huge bonus. The only cons are the length (c15 hrs), an easily fixed sound bug, and some really annoyingly hard levels. All in all tho, completely worth it!
17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 13 December 2002
I bought this game on the back of some excellent reviews, and the fact that I had £30 burning a hole in my pocket. I wasn't expecting much, as I'd never been a fan of the first game. I found being forced to rely on stealth just didn't suit the game as it did for milestones in stealth such as Thief and Deus Ex. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to find I'd bought one of the best FPS's of this year. It is one of the first games I've played to faultlessly incorporate humour and action, especially impressive as this is generally a fast paced game. Added to this, stealth in this game again plays a part, but this time far more successfully. This is due to the fact that most of the game can be simply blasted through in typical FPS style, leaving the decision to use stealth totally up to the individual. As a side note, I would recommend using stealth, as if you try to get through every level as quickly as possible you will miss out on some of the comedy; for example when you see two guards, it is almost certain that they will be having some sort of amusing conversation. However, as the title to this review suggests, this game is far from perfect. Up until the final levels, the weapon selection is extremely low. Compare this to recent shooters such as Return to Castle Wolfenstein and it seems positively bland. Some mistakes made in the first game also manage to creep back in. In mission four for example, the respawning enemies are some of the most frustrating things I have ever come up against in a game, especially on the higher difficulty settings. Just when you think it is clear to make your move, a three or four enemies suddenly materialize, guns blazing. But however much I nit pick at this game, the simple fact is that nothing is perfect. The positive points far outweigh the negative, and if you enjoy shooters and 60's spy thrillers consider this an essential purchase.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 26 November 2002
Fantastic game, largely overlooked the first time around, is something no consciencious and self-respecting gamer should be without.
Humour is fast and furious, with kitch and period-relevant weapons, gadgets and scenarios. Angry kitty proximity mines, laughing gas grenades, bananas and cyanide 9mm pistols are just some of the weapons on offer
Contains the best chase scene ever in a PC game(chasing a boss through an Indian town), and the mime (think guys with white faces waving their arms about) baddies are laugh-out-loud funny.
Get this game, its that simple. And buy the first one too.
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on 14 October 2002
The game is just awesome! For those who never played the first title: Try both. It's a real innovative first-person-shooter. You play Cate Archer, secret agent for UNITY in the sixties and your mission is to save the world once more from H.A.R.M., a worldwide terrorist network.
The graphics really has improved. There's also a new skill system - you can improve your abilities to sneak, your health etc. The enemy AI is also better than in NOLF1.
A must play if you liked NOLF1 or any first-person-shooter with comic-like graphics and missions with quests!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2012
This is one of the best games I have ever played. With a great sense of humor, great gameplay, funny characters and a fantastic design, this is one very fun game to play.
Although it was released a decade ago it is still one of the best first person shooters anyone can play today.
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 2 December 2002
General/Summary: NOLF 2 improves upon many aspects of the original: more flexible, easier stealth missions; better gadgets; shorter cutscenes; and better graphics. It's production values are great, oozing with 60's style, from the great voice acting to the campy music. It's only downfall are the somewhat dry moments of gameplay, near the end of a mission.
Gameplay: The action, humor, and style of this game make it addictive and entertaining throughout its 15 hour length. Missions can be finished by either stealth or guns blazing, and unlike its predecessor, the sounding of alarms doesn't mean inevitable death; you can usually blast your way out of a massive enemy firefight intact. However, the "find the document/find the password/find the exit/find the briefcase/plant the third explosive" style of missions really bring the game down.
Some of the missions are downright genius in their scope; the Siberia mission is well-intended, spanning about 2 hours, and featuring vehicles to travel on. But there are times when it DRAGS. You may clear out an entire enemy force and then be slowed down for 15 minutes, searching every corner and filing cabinet for the item that moves the mission along. At times it feels like Resident Evil where you have to constantly click so you don't miss any critical items. The Calcutta missions in the game are also exciting at times, but brought down by monotonous "filler" missions like scrounging the area for posters.
When nearing the end of the game, in a submarine setting, it becomes maddening searching through corridors, checking every desk and piece of metal for a shred of paper with essential intelligence.
It's interesting enough to play through and enjoy, and laudable for some of it's clever missions (the escaping Ohio level with the tornado is a real looker), but the constant "find the item, move along" style of gameplay becomes very tedious.
Graphics: I never thought the Lithtech engine would look this good. The outdoor environments are some of the best I've ever seen in a game. Facial animations and expressions are amazing, with lip-synching technology that nearly works. Graphics and effects are strong throughout the game, and the textures, especially in the Calcutta levels, are extremely detailed.
It's framerates are decent, and it appears to be CPU bound with a Radeon 9700. I ran the game at 1280x960 with all the details up, with 2x AA and 16x anisotropic filtering at a constant 45-75 fps.
Sound: Unlike the recently released UT2003, the sound in this game is great. Voice acting is done very well, and the way the dialogue is delivered really adds to the humor. The music fits the 60s theme, as do the environmental sounds.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 10 April 2013
Can't beat the first one in my opinion, but mostly because I played it as a kid and felt incredibly nostalgic playing it several years later. This one is a great follow up - improved gameplay with that great cheesy NOLF experience.