007: Agent Under Fire
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|007: Agent Under Fire|
|Developer(s)||EA Redwood Shores|
|Series||James Bond video games|
|Engine||Quake III Arena with Ritual's ÜberTools (FPS sections)
EAGL (Driving sections)
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 2
NA March 13, 2002 (GC)
|Distribution||DVD, Nintendo optical disc|
007: Agent Under Fire is a first-person shooter video game based on the James Bond franchise. Developed and published by Electronic Arts, it was released for PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox game consoles. It is the fourth Bond game which is not based on a film or book in the James Bond series, following James Bond 007: The Duel, James Bond 007 and EA's own 007 Racing. The game's story arc continues in the following sequel, Nightfire, released a year later.
Agent Under Fire features over 15 different types of firearms as well as other weapons. Each firearm is based on a real firearm, but is given a pseudonym, the same manner as the weapons in GoldenEye 007, and The World is Not Enough. Most of the gadgets are concealed in a mobile phone, including a decryptor, grapple, laser, and remote transmitter. Bond is also provided with a card that disrupts electronic signals, as well as a jetpack.
Starting with GoldenEye 007 and continuing on with The World Is Not Enough, multiplayer support in a James Bond game had become very common. The multiplayer mode in Agent Under Fire features up to four players, with several unique arenas to host multiplayer battles in. The multiplayer games can also be played with one player against an AI player.
CIA agent Zoe Nightshade, a mole in Identicon Corporation, based in Hong Kong, is discovered and captured. Identicon, a botanical research firm, is a possible front for a weapons-smuggling ring. James Bond infiltrates the facility in an attempt to rescue her, as well as retrieve a suspicious courier case in the same building. After freeing Nightshade from a submarine set to launch, the pair flee the facility with the courier case. Nigel Bloch, the head of Identicon, has his forces chase the agents through the streets of Hong Kong. The two steal a second case of vials from a nearby Identicon factory. They then rendezvous with R, who provides Bond with a gadget-laden BMW Z8. A limousine pulls up, as an assassin inside launches a rocket at the agents, killing Zoe, and steals the case. Bond gives chase, stopping an armored van which contained the stolen vials.
The vials contain nine blood samples, eight of which contained blood of world leaders. One contains the blood of British diplomat Reginald Griffin, serving in Romania, who is obsessed with protecting a room, outside of his jurisdiction, in the embassy. Bond investigates the embassy, and also meets a strange woman after bursting in her room. He acts like an security guard and obtains a security card. He also finds Griffin dead, before a similar-looking man attacks him. After overcoming him, Bond finds a message from Bloch on Griffin's computer that mentions Malprave Industries, based in Switzerland. Bond takes the information from the computer and escapes.
At the Malprave Industries' Switzerland branch, Bond poses as a journalist and notices that the woman that he accidentally met in the embassy is actually the CEO: Adrian Malprave. Knowing that she will recognize him, he plans the escape. After collecting evidence, he makes his escape from the faciilty. Analysis of the computer message from Romania mentions "Defective Mercandise", believed to be a codename for Dr. Natalya Damescu, formerly in the employ of Malprave, now under protection at the British embassy in Bucharest, in which Bond already went to. She also has inside information to offer. Carla the Jackal, an infamous terrorist who also killed Zoe, leads a raid on the embassy. Bond fights the terrorists before running into Damescu. After a confrontation with the Jackal, Bond kills her and picks up a data chip on something known as "Poseidon".
The chip leads Bond to an oil rig in the South China Sea. After running into Bloch, Bond follows him into Poseidon, an underwater base devoted to clone development. Bond seemingly kills Bloch and destroys his lab, he then escapes the complex by climbing onto a submarine bound for a Royal Navy aircraft carrier in Mediterranean. Inside the submarine, Bond finds Zoe, who reveals that the woman he "saved" from the Identicon facility was a clone meant to infiltrate the CIA, and that the Jackal intended to kill Bond.
Depending on whether or not the player picked up the verification code, Bond and Zoe are either captured or are taken to the carrier unharmed after having sex on the submarine. In either case, the pair investigate the ship. It is discovered that 8 world leaders have been cloned, and are to be replaced by the duplicates. Bond destroys the craft carrying the clones, and the pair make their escape. Bond heads back to the Malprave Industries building in the Swiss Alps, where he successfully saves the eight world leaders. Before he can escape from the base however, he encounters Malprave, who has set the base to self-destruct. She reveals that Nigel Bloch is still alive, and that Bond had merely killed his clone. After a firefight with him, Bond follows Bloch into Malprave's main office and shoots him with a rocket launcher, sending him crashing through a stained-glass window to his death. Just as Bond manages to leap free of the base before it explodes, Malprave appears and tries to jump clear too, but is consumed by the blast and dies. Bond lands on a military aircraft being commandeered by Zoe, and together they escape the smoldering base.
- James Bond: Also known by his codename '007', Bond is a British Secret Intelligence Service agent, and the protagonist of the game, sent to investigate the beholds of Identicon, associated with Malprave Industries and track down the vials containing the blood samples of many world leaders. Though the likeness of then-current James Bond, Pierce Brosnan had been used in the three games prior to Agent Under Fire, Bond's character model in the game is rather generic. Claims have been made that the design of Bond in the game was intended to be an amalgamation of all the actors who had portrayed 007 up to that point. Other sources have claimed that the design was modeled after Andrew Bicknell, the actor who voices Bond in the game.
- Zoe Nightshade: A CIA agent, went missing in action while investigating Adrian Malprave. She was cloned after her capture, whom Malprave would use to infiltrate the agency she works for. The clone was killed at the early stages of the game by Malprave's henchwoman, Carla The Jackal, with a missile, which was meant for Bond and not her. Later, she was found by Bond in a submarine, to whom she reveals Malprave's deadly schemes. She is said to be modeled after an unknown Canadian model, and was voiced by Sydney Rainin-Smith.
- Adrian Malprave: The main antagonist of the game who's the head of Malprave Industries, intending to take over the world by cloning eight world leaders and replacing them. Despite being the evil mastermind, she never battles Bond personally but rather sends her henchmen. She is voiced by Corina Harmon.
- Nigel Bloch: The secondary antagonist of the game; Bloch is an international terrorist who poses as the CEO of a botanical research corporation named Identicon, which is a subsidiary of Malprave Industries. He secretly works with Adrian Malprave in her scheme for world domination and acts as her proxy in battle, attacking on her behalf when confronting Bond. Most likely a holdover from the production of the failed PS2 & PC ports of The World Is Not Enough, Bloch's design bears great resemblance to its villain, Renard. He is voiced by Denny Delk, perhaps most notable for also voicing the memorable role of Murray in the Monkey Island series of video-games.
- Carla The Jackal: Malprave's extremist henchwoman; Carla is determined to kill Bond in order to satisfy her pride and prejudice. Her name is a play on a real life criminal named Carlos The Jackal. She is voiced by Erin Cahill.
- Reginald Griffin: A British diplomat, working in the British Embassy in Switzerland, is a world leader himself whose blood sample was found in the vials. He was killed before Bond could get to him, who in return was encountered by Reginald's clone, whom he neutralizes in the process. Investigating his profile and personal computer in his embassy headquarters, Bond learns about Malprave Industries. He is voiced by Joe Paulino
- "R": He is Q's personal assistant and second-in-command in the Q-Branch, reserved for providing Bond and every other 00-Agent with the latest high-tech gadgets and vehicles for his assignments. He is voiced by Miles Anderson.
- "M": She is the head of the British Intelligence or the rather known MI6 to which Bond works for, often briefs 007 his missions and contacts him through earpiece for further information to be supplied with during a progress. Her character is modeled after Judi Dench's portrayal of the character, which had been introduced in GoldenEye, but never makes a physical appearance. She is voiced again by Caron Pascoe, who had previously voiced M in the video game adaptations of Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough.
Agent Under Fire originally started as the PS2 and PC versions of The World Is Not Enough, and was based on a modified Quake III Arena engine. In 2001, the PC version was cancelled, and the PS2 version was remade as Agent Under Fire. Before going further in development, the studios' original plan was to bring Roger Moore to reprise his role as Bond. In the end, however, the behaviours between Moore's interpretation of the character and the one in this game shared identical attitudes.
EA stated in several gaming magazines that Bond would be going "back to its roots," as the game was originally designed to be a true successor to Rare's 1997 GoldenEye 007. Early promo screenshots of the game reflected this, featuring the renowned GoldenEye healthbar.
007: Agent Under Fire received mixed to positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 2 version 75.38% and 72/100, the GameCube version 73.40% and 74/100 and the Xbox version 71.63% and 71/100.
The Cincinnati Enquirer gave the PlayStation 2 version three-and-a-half stars out of five and called it "Slick, sexy and jam-packed with action — but this adventure is short with limited playability over time, except perhaps for its multiplayer modes." However, it later gave the other two versions a score of four stars out of five. FHM gave the PS2 version three stars out of five, stating, "There is the usual mix of chick[s], cars and guns to keep even the most special of agents happy." Maxim also gave the PS2 version six out of ten and stated that "At last you’ll infiltrate the secret lair, where you’ll discover…you’ve been playing a very standard-issue game."
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