Review: James Bond 007: Nightfire
On October 31, 2020, the world of cinema suffered a huge loss – at the age of 90, the famous actor, Sir Sean Connery, passed away. This great Scotsman played a huge number of memorable characters – he trained Conor Macleod in Highlander, in the image of Allan Quatermain he collected the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, was a cool super spy in the wonderful action movie The Rock. But he is best known for his role as James Bond, also a great special agent, about whom a large number of games have been made, many books have been written and more than two dozen films have been shot. Paying a final tribute to Sir Sean Connery, in Dusty Shelves, this time we remember the game James Bond 007: Nightfire – one of the highest quality shooters dedicated to the adventures of agent 007.
Project Night Fire
The plot of James Bond 007: Nightfire is very similar to the plots of many other James Bond films. There is a “branded” intro video showing the heroes and villains of the project, as well as the MGM logo with a roaring lion, and even a gorgeous title song – it is clear that the developers really wanted to convey the style of the original films, and completely succeeded.
The main villain Rafael Drake, who heads the industrial company Phoenix, decided to take over the orbital missile defense station orbiting our planet. Equipping it with a mysterious weapon called Night Fire, Drake intends to bring the entire planet to his knees. James, who this time has the face of Pierce Brosnan is instructed to stop the villain, using whatever is required for this. In the arsenal of Bond, as usual, a solid assortment of weapons and all kinds of spy gadgets, from time to time he is helped by loyal allies. Against the main hero are Drake’s legions of thugs, who are also supported by ninja and yakuza fighters. This is how the next deadly battle between good and evil begins.
FPS from the early 2000s
When you launch Nightfire for the first time, you immediately realize that this is an old-school shooter. This in no way means that the game is bad, on the contrary, Nightfire in the compatibility mode with Windows XP plays well even today. It’s just that if you expect from this game the standard linear formula “run forward from point A to point B and shoot at crowds of enemies” – you will be disappointed.
Nightfire is, above all else, a great game. There are quite large levels with many doors. The weapons and body armor are scattered across all locations. Often you have to solve puzzles to advance further, and in many chapters, you have to shoot no more often than watch videos and run through the levels in search of another exit. There are guards at locations, and they almost always need to be killed, but in many situations, you decide for yourself whether you should run ahead, or whether it is better to hide behind cover, eliminating enemies with the help of machine guns and pistols with silencers. There are also completely peaceful missions, as at the very beginning, in an alpine castle, where you just need to wander around the level and take pictures of guests in tuxedos and evening dresses. At the same time, there is plenty of action in Nightfire.
A slight disappointment is the lack of casino mini-games that are available in many parts of the James Bond gaming series. Fortunately, it’s not the early 2000s and there are many places where you can play casino games and pokie machines. For example, you can play pokies at Casinonic, or play such a wonderful game as Baccarat and feel like James Bond on an adventure.
The only weakness of enemies is that they cannot notice the protagonist from afar, so enemy fighters can easily be flipped from a sniper rifle, if, of course, you have one (besides, the game has a system for calculating damage when hitting – a headshot immediately kills the enemy, but a couple of bullets in the body are not lethal for the enemy. Otherwise, the enemies behave quite competently, constantly hiding behind covers, throwing grenades at you – given that most often you are alone, and there are many of them, it becomes quite difficult to play. And if on an easy level of difficulty, it is still possible to arrange a local war with the enemy, then on a hard-mode you have to hide in the shadows more often.
“Cinema” here is manifested in beautiful levels. In alpine locations, light snow is pouring; on a tropical island, you can admire palm trees. And besides this, there are also shootouts in a skyscraper, in a training camp for mercenaries, in an estate made in Japanese style – in total, the game has nine large chapters, subdivided into short sublevels, and the developers tried to make all the chapters as diverse as possible. The cinematic atmosphere of the James Bond films will really appeal to fans of 007 agent. At your service is a laser hidden in a wristwatch, a fountain pen that shoots sleep darts, a mobile phone that plays the role of a grappling hook, and some other clever devices, allowing a great variety of level walkthrough. The plot pleases with a typical Bond adventure with aristocratic villains and beautiful women.
Bottom Line: An exemplary James Bond game of the early 2000s, combining the most iconic features of films with the strongest sides of the shooter genre. Even today, it is a great option for spending a couple of free evenings.