No One Lives Forever II - A Spy Into H.A.R.M.s Way
Official NOLF2-Site -------> h**p://nolf2.sierra.com
To say No One Lives Forever 2 is "just" a First-Person Shooter would be one of the biggest understatements in the PC gaming community this year. Yeah, the game falls into that category, but don't ever believe that its nothing more than a shooting game. Besides intense running and gunning action, the gameplay incorporates elements of a role-playing, stealth, and tactics that will keep your eyes glued to the monitor throughout the entire mission. I've only completed the first three chapters of the game, and I already like it more than I did many of the FPS titles I've played this year.
To start off with what I like about the game most, its that you can actually upgrade your character. For completing missions and collecting pieces of intelligence, you are awarded skill points which can be used to upgrade attributes of Cate Archer (the character you play as). These attributes range from stealth to marksmanship, and I'm assuming that by the end of the game two people could have entirely different versions of the sexy Cate Archer. The possibilities are exciting, and this factor alone will definitely warrant playing through the game multiple times.
Next up is the audio and visual portion of the game, which I have to say are amazing in so many ways. The new Lithtech engine rivals the best looking games on any platforms (definitely over any other PC game), with only Unreal Tournament 2003 holding a few advantages over this stunning new engine. The texture work has left me breathless more than a few times, I find myself walking close up to almost every different texture I find just see all the detail put into making it look so real. The character models themselves look fantastic, the animations are generally fluid and the shapes are smooth and curved. One downside of the graphics, which can easily be overlooked and fixed in a patch, is that occasionally I have found a corrupt texture and bodies that display shadows improperly. Complimenting the beautiful graphics are music and sound effects that will encourage everyone with an under-performing speaker system to go out and buy one that sports heavy bass and 5.1 surround capability. Aside from the convincing sound effects and professionally done voice-acting, I love the music. It comes in at the right time, and fades out usually as the action does. No one could have asked for a job better done in the AV department than what Monolith has produced.
The missions themselves are comprised of required and optional objectives, what will keep you coming back is the fact that these objectives can be completed two ways: Direct or stealth. For the most part, you could complete an entire mission and go through four dozen enemies without killing a single one. There are exceptions, but the point this game makes is that stealth is definitely a smart option. I found myself replaying certain sections of a mission just so I could see the outcome of sneaking past most of the enemies or killing them all. In the end, I always moved onto the next mission satisfied.
The one complaint I have is that there is a serious lack of multiplayer options. I like the idea that there are cooperative missions that can be played with up to four people, but why only four levels? I'm hoping that in the future they will release new levels in the patches.
It is painfully obvious Monolith has put much, much time into NOLF2, the proof shines bright when you play the game. Even after playing awesome titles including Jedi Knight 2, Wolfenstein, and Medal of Honor inside and out, NOLF2 still feels like a fresh and ultimately more rewarding experience. At this point, though I have not completed the game, I heartily recommend it to any fan of the FPS genre.