Here’s gold in your eye!
It is much, much easier to cut a game down than to raise it up, especially if
that game is the successor of a classic. It is also much easier to play through
The World Is Not Enough on Agent level (about as difficult as peeing and
hitting the ground) as opposed to Double-O Agent level (about as difficult as
peeing and hitting the moon).
But my job is to step back and look at this game with objective eyes. And
for you, gentle puppy-like readers whom I feed so caringly, I have done as much
as I could, and found that The World Is Not Enough is a passably good
game. It’s also worth your time (especially if you only own an N64).
The in-game story follows the movie plot like a British secret agent after a slinky, scantily clad Russian spy. While this doesn’t actually affect your enjoyment of the missions, it’s nice that the developers actually took the time to ensure that the story line made sense, as opposed to throwing in some visual filler meant merely to cleanse your pallet before embarking on the next mission.
One of your MI-6 friends has been murdered, and some info he had concerning nukes has been stolen. You, James Bond, are out to recover the documents and avenge the murder of your comrade. The plot has all the twists and turns of the movie, but nothing more. If you’ve already seen the movie, nothing in this game will surprise you.
The graphics in TWINE are great, provided you’ve got an expansion pack
(which everyone who has an N64 should) and pretty okay even without one. The
environments are decent for the N64; in some cases, the levels are simply huge.
The animation, of course, is some of the best you’ll find anywhere, with enemies
wincing upon taking hits and trembling in the throes of death.
The control is standard Goldeneye fare, except
for the top and bottom C-buttons, which now make your agent jump and duck. The
auto-aim is extremely sharp (and fairly cheap), sticking with your enemies even
if you happen to stray a bit. Then again, once you get into the Agent skill
level, the enemies are a little harder to kill. Auto-aim always aims for the
body, and the body requires a few bullets before it can be put down. You’ll
be looking to get all the headshots you can. Upon entering Double-O Agent mode,
auto-aim is turned off, enemy AI and voracity is turned waaaay up, and you begin
learning the limits of the N64 analog stick.
You also get all sorts of gadgets to play with, including four different watch
settings (darts, grappling hook, laser, and taser) and the usual assortment
of phone taps, cameras, data scramblers, and of course detonators. While some
of them are genuinely fun to play with (darts rule), many are just filler and
are probably only distinguished from one another to fit the story line (like
phone taps and covert modems).
The sound is great. The background themes make for excellent espionage, while
the sound effects add some punch (although not as much as the themes) to the
game. The voice acting is really decent as well, with John Cleese actually doing
the voice for M. The rest of the voicing, while not totally authentic, isn’t
bad or irritating and serves the game fine.
missions run the gamut. Some of the missions are really cool (especially at
higher difficulty settings), while others are pretty lousy.
For example, there’s a skiing level that is far too easy on Agent and damn
near unbeatable on Double-O. The problem is that you’re basically sent down
this gauntlet with minimal control over how you take it, and you have to kill
everything in your path before it kills you. What could have been a sleek, violent
dash down a mountain face turns out to be a slow, frustrating shooting gallery
in which you are the main target.
However, some of the missions are pretty cool. There are a few that depend
almost entirely on stealth, adding suspense to what is otherwise a fairly typical
shooter. Aside from sneaking around and slowly skiing, the rest of the missions
involve rescuing hostages and defusing bombs, basically doing everything else
you did in Goldeneye.
The multi-player is decent, but the only thing that would lead me to play
it over Goldeneye would have to be the change in weaponry. There are
some seriously cool guns in TWINE (and no klob!)…although the PPK isn’t
as stylish or as mean as it used to be.
In multi-player mode you can choose from several different game types and
weapons settings. The weapons settings are about the same as those in Goldeneye
with a few anomalies. While the different game types are a nice thought, but
don’t actually work out that well. You can only have four players on one map
at a time, and while this is fine for deathmatches, it just doesn’t work for
games like Capture the Flag. So even though the extra modes are in there, they
aren’t necessarily worth playing.
Also, any of the four players can be bots. This is a nice feature and adds
tremendously to games like two-player deathmatch, but it’s a shame you can’t
make the bots tougher or give them different designations like you could in
While TWINE isn’t a very original game and is definitely not the best
game of its kind, it is still a solid one, good for a few thrills and some good
hours. If there weren’t so many better games of the same ilk, I’d definitely
recommend this one. But there are, and TWINE isn’t at the top of the
stack. However, if you’ve got all the rest and you’re looking for more, then
you should absolutely give this game a shot.