007: Nightfire (PC)
007: Nightfire is a first-person shooter video game developed by Eurocom for sixth generation home consoles, by Gearbox Software for Microsoft Windows (with Aspyr's macOS port of Gearbox's version), and JV Games for the Game Boy Advance. The game is a part of the James Bond series.
While the home console versions were very well received and are well loved by fans, the PC version wasn't as well received by fans and critics alike. The PC version was later ported to macOS only in Europe in 2004.
This article will focus on the PC version.
Why It Sucks
- Rather than being a simple port of the console version of the game, Gearbox was tasked to make their own version of the game on a modified GoldSrc engine (the same used for Half-Life) which makes the game extremely outdated for 2002.
- As a result of the GoldSrc engine, the game looks poor for 2002 standards, but somehow it manages to look worse than other GoldSrc games such as Counter-Strike: Condition Zero which came out two years later.
- The weapons lack any feedback, making it feel like you're shooting nothing but air.
- Speaking of the weapons, there are very few of them, only about 13 weapons are in the game which is a star contrast to the console version which had a lot of weapons.
- The story despite being similar to the main version is different. In that it takes different turns and plot choices, for example Drake betrays Rook at the end of Hidden Agenda (this version's Chain Reaction) and Bond fights Drake in a space station at the end of the game rather than on a space platform in the middle of space, neither of these changes are good ones.
- The voice acting is all over the place. There are some lines exclusive to this version of the game with low audio quality.
- Speaking of sounds, the gun sounds are pretty bad with none of them sounding really satisfying at all and only add onto the issue of the guns lacking any kind of feedback.
- The game lazily reuses some music and sounds from Agent Under Fire and the PlayStation version of The World Is Not Enough.
- Driving levels are entirely absent in this version, in their place are very badly made stealth levels that are more or less trial and error.
- The enemy A.I. is bad, often standing there to let you shoot them or in the case of multiplayer, they often run into walls and get stuck, this makes having a serious and competitive multiplayer match almost impossible.
- The A.I. in singleplayer also relies on hitscan, which was common at the time, but it's a design choice that has aged poorly as it means enemies can get unfair hits on you as long as they can see you.
- Speaking of multiplayer, there are hardly any modes in comparison to the console versions: All that's offered here are Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag. Compare this to the 12 modes that the console version has and this version's MP is quite lacking to say the least.
- Staying on the topic of multiplayer, James Bond is not playable in the retail version of the game's multiplayer mode, instead he is replaced by a generic blonde man in a suit. James Bond himself being unplayable in a James Bond game is quite unacceptable on many levels.
- Max Zorin and Nick Nack are not available in this version's multiplayer despite Mayday and Scaramanga being available, which makes the roster feel incomplete considering that Zorin is synonymous with Mayday as is Nick Nack with Scaramanga, and both characters are playable in the console version's multiplayer mode.
- The level design in single-player is really poor, with many maze-like levels that are easy to get lost in and have poorly designed sections where you might die unless you know exactly what to do at a moment's notice, leading to more trial and error.
- Some multiplayer maps are also poorly-designed, with some maps being way too big for traditional multiplayer games or having places where you can seemingly get stuck such as the Caviar Factory.
- Speaking of getting hit, the only way to really know you are being hit is to hear the hurt sounds or to watch the lifebar, otherwise you wouldn't know you are getting shot.
- The first person arms never change based on Bond's apparel, and in multiplayer Bond's tuxedo sleeves are always used, as opposed to its console counterpart which has custom arms for each Bond outfit.
- The Fort Knox multiplayer map is a pretty good map and is a nice recreation of the actual set used in the movie Goldfinger.
- You can play as Zoe Nightshade and Q in multiplayer: Two characters who aren't playable in the console version.
- The game is available to download for free nowadays on nightfirepc.com and features fan made fixes and lets the player play as Bond in multiplayer, as well as still play online after the servers were shut down in 2014.
- There are some fan made mods to the games as well as custom MP maps available to download.
- At least there are Quick Saves in the Campaign which can make getting through it slightly less of a chore.