No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way

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No One Lives Forever 2:
A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way
No One Lives Forever 2 cover.png
Developer(s) Monolith Productions
Publisher(s)
Distributor(s) Vivendi Universal Games
Engine Lithtech Jupiter
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Release Microsoft Windows
  • NA: September 30, 2002
  • EU: October 18, 2002
Mac OS X
  • NA: October 1, 2003
Genre(s) First-person shooter, Stealth
Mode(s) Single player, multiplayer

No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way (abbreviated NOLF2) is a computer game developed by Monolith Productions, and published by Sierra Entertainment. It was released on September 30, 2002. It is the second game in the No One Lives Forever series, an official sequel to the 2000 game The Operative: No One Lives Forever.

The story follows super-spy Cate Archer as she once again takes up arms against the international criminal organization H.A.R.M. This second game features even more exotic locales, such as a ninja village, a secret submarine base, and a trailer park in Ohio during a tornado. A whole new range of outlandish gadgets and weapons are also introduced, including a blowtorch disguised as a can of hair spray and a robotic bomb disguised as an adorable kitten. A spin off to the game, entitled Contract J.A.C.K., was released in 2003.

Gameplay[edit]

As in the first game, missions can be completed by pure action, by using pure stealth, by using gadgets, or a combination of all methods. In many cases, the missions are more open ended. While the original game contained several missions that required you not to be detected or to avoid setting off alarms, the sequel contained only a few objectives that required complete stealth (i.e. do not set off any alarms while in the proximity of a certain objective.) However, to counter this, NOLF2 utilizes re-spawning enemies more often than the original to encourage the player to complete the missions in a surreptitious manner. The enemies logic is determined through the use of a Goal Oriented Action Planning (GOAP) architecture, by where the enemies themselves have more control over the actions they perform.

Plot[edit]

The game focuses on tensions rising between United States and Soviet Union over the tiny, but strategic Isle of Khios. A year after the events of the first game, Jones, now the sole Commander of U.N.I.T.Y., is taking a vacation and leaves Bruno Lawrie, the Temporary Director of U.N.I.T.Y., in charge.

U.N.I.T.Y. agent Cate Archer is sent to Japan to investigate a rumored international crime convention expected to take place in the pastoral village of Inotakimura. There, she locates another U.N.I.T.Y. agent Isamu Hatori, who tells Cate to photograph the meeting's participants, including the Director, H.A.R.M.'s leader, without arousing their suspicion. After Cate photographs the meeting's participants, as Hatori tasked her to, she is stabbed by a ninja named Isako, who leaves her for dead.

After the opening credits, Cate is hospitalized by U.N.I.T.Y. and is restored back to health by U.N.I.T.Y.'s staff scientist, Dr. Otto Schenker. After Cate's recovery, the U.S. military advisers, Issac Barnes and General Morgan Hawkins, inform Cate and Bruno of H.A.R.M.'s and the Soviets' plan regarding Project: Omega to prepare their invasion for the small island of Khios. Meanwhile, H.A.R.M. agent Dimitrij Volkov is now immobilized in a full-body cast and using a wheelchair due to a skiing accident.

Cate travels to Siberia where she uncovers information about Project: Omega and sabotages the radio tower and power plant. After collecting information regarding Project: Omega, she is ambushed by H.A.R.M. and the Soviets, but manages to escape by destroying a bridge. After her mission in Siberia, Cate and Bruno learn that the Soviets and H.A.R.M. work together to turn the island into the world's first Communist vacation spot with a five-star hotel. Cate travels to Akron, Ohio, and investigates the house belonging to a man, Melvin Blitzny, a vacuum cleaner salesman who serves as a double agent between H.A.R.M. and U.N.I.T.Y. to imposterize former U.N.I.T.Y agent Tom Goodman. After she recovers information about Project: Omega, she is ambushed by Isako's ninjas as she escapes the Blitzny residence. A tornado hits the area and Cate takes down Isako's ninjas before following Isako to a trailer home as it lifts by a tornado. Cate and Isako engage in a sword fight until the trailer's ceiling rips off, sending Isako into the tornado.

After being recovered from the tornado incident, Cate and her ally, Magnus Armstrong, head to India where they meet Armstrong's old friend, Kamal, a former member of H.A.R.M.'s Indian branch. With Kamal's help, Cate is hired by H.A.R.M., and gains access to their vault, where she collects more documents about Project: Omega. Soon after, Cate and Armstrong are captured by one of H.A.R.M.'s most deadly operatives, Pierre, the self-proclaimed Mime King. Cate and Armstrong escape by welding one of the cage's bolts, and fight their way out of India. During their escape, Armstrong tries to grab Pierre but only succeeds in removing his heavy black cloak and mask, revealing his true form as a mime midget riding a unicycle. Cate and Armstrong try to chase him riding a tricycle, but fail to apprehend Pierre.

Later, Cate and Armstrong head to Antarctica to explore a base there and uncover H.A.R.M.'s intentions with Project: Omega. There, Cate learns that Project: Omega consists of turning soldiers into Super-Soldiers, which were indestructible cyborg-like fighting machines. Cate encounters with the first test subject, a Super-Soldier named Lt. Anders, an ex-military officer who believes Cate as his daughter, Abigail. Lt. Anders chases Cate and destroys large parts of the base, but Cate manages to escape after Armstrong heroically grabbed it, allowing her to escape before H.A.R.M. arrives.

Meanwhile, the Director learns of Cate's efforts in India, and sends a team of Super-Soldiers to destroy H.A.R.M.'s Indian headquarters as punishment. The punishment also provides H.A.R.M an ideal field test for the Super-Soldiers before they are sent to Khios on their primary mission. Cate immediately returns to Calcutta, India, but finds that the Super-Soldiers already arrived. The only thing Cate can do is try to get everyone to safety.

Cate then returns to U.N.I.T.Y. and gives Doctor Schenker the technical specifications she recovered from the Antarctic facility so that Doctor Schenker can devise how to stop the Super-Soldiers. Doctor Schenker loses his glasses, so after Cate finds Doctor Schenker's glasses in a café, the U.N.I.T.Y. headquarters is attacked by Pierre's mimes. Cate takes down the mimes and then proceeds to rescue Armstrong, who is reportedly captured and located at a H.A.R.M undersea base, unaware that Pierre placed a telephone bug in Doctor Schenker's office. Cate arrives at H.A.R.M.'s undersea headquarters and makes her way to the lower level to rescue Armstrong who is trapped in a Super-Soldier pod. Cate takes down Pierre and his mimes, but after she frees Armstrong, Lt. Anders, who is also freed from the pod, destroys parts of the undersea base, causing it to implode. Cate and Armstrong escape the drowning base, but as they reached the Director's private deck they discover that the escape pod is jammed. Armstrong himself releases the pod as he travels to surface in the drowning undersea base. The escape pod is then captured by a H.A.R.M. submarine on its way back up to the surface.

Cate is now held in H.A.R.M.'s secret artificial volcano lair, and escapes after she recovers additional plans for Project: Omega and sabotages the lair. Cate reencounters and defeats Volkov, who falls into a lava pit. Cate reaches the surface, and discovers that H.A.R.M.'s lair is built directly beneath the Japanese village of Inotakimura. There, Cate battles Isako and her ninjas, and defeats her. The Director arrives and attempts to kill Isako but Cate saves Isako by throwing a ninja star at the Director, disarming him.

Cate is then sent to Khios, where she embarks on her final mission to stop Project: Omega. Unfortunately for her, the island is being overrun by H.A.R.M. and Soviet troops with Super Soldiers. The U.S launches a nuclear missile to destroy the Soviet held Khios, prompting a Third World War. Cate uses the specially devised Anti Super-Soldier Serum (ASSS) to defeat the Super Soldiers, drowns the H.A.R.M. submarine and successfully repels the invasion. Project: Omega is put to a stop once and for all when Lt. Anders, who escaped the submarine, destroyed the missile before it crashed in the island as he plummets to the ocean below. In a short cutscene after the game credits, the Director's mother rebukes his actions and Volkov tells the Director he quits. The game ends with the Director swearing revenge for Cate and U.N.I.T.Y.

It is unknown whether the franchise will be continued, presumably due to uncertainly with franchise rights.[1] Several plot threads were left unresolved in NOLF2.

Characters[edit]

  • Cate Archer: A British covert operative recognized as UNITY's top agent, formerly a cat-burglar, sent on a mission to prevent a world-wide catastrophe to be caused by the notorious terrorist organization called HARM. She is modeled after Jean Shrimpton and was voiced by Jen Taylor.
  • Bruno Lawrie: Former UNITY field agent, now temporary director of the agency as the sole primary director, Mr. Jones, was gone on a vacation. Lawrie always represents himself as unsure on whether he could lead the agency on his own, but ends up being successful at it. He is voiced by John Patrick Lowrie.
  • Dmitrij Volkov: HARM's most famous assassin, a bald Russian with an eye-patch, with his body completely covered in bandage resulted by a ski-problem caused by his former employee John Jack. Volkov, however, is determined to send as many men as he can to witness the death of Cate Archer as he orders her head to be brought on a platter. He is voiced by Jock Blaney.
  • The Director: Addressed as Eustace by his mother, often seen talking to her through a telephone, to which he is never pleased. He is the leader of HARM, in charge of the operations overall, who also appears to have promoted himself to 'Sensei' over the years, with little of what is seen of him bearing the skills of a master. Often amused by the surroundings around him, and rarely gets angry with something that bothers him. He is voiced by John Armstrong.
  • Isako: A female assassin with the moral codes of a ninja, is often sent to kill Cate Archer but fails miserably due to the latter's strong competence. She appears to have a long story short past with The Director whom she addresses as her Sensei. She also leads a group of female ninjas like herself, on HARM's account. She is voiced by Jen Taylor (who also voices Cate Archer).
  • Magnus Armstrong: A Scottish brawler, muscleman, retired military man, and formerly a HARM operative, often seen wearing a kilt to show his devotion to his heritage and speaks heavily in Scottish accent. Recruited by Cate Archer to UNITY in order to help her stop HARM's notorious plans to start a World War III. He is voiced by André Sogliuzzo.
  • Gen. Morgan Hawkins: A US Military General and a patriotic American, accompanied with a colleague to settle in England for a short while as he witnesses involvement with UNITY's operations which matters to the US Government, as well. He is also seen to be obsessed with smoking a large cigar, and doesn't really mind to see his country fall out with the Soviet Union. He is voiced by Ken Boynton.
  • Isaac Barnes: An American Intelligence officer, who accompanies with General Hawkins to come into UNITY and report their latest discovery with HARM's plans to start a World War III, requesting the former's help. He is voiced by David Scully.
  • Dr. Otto Schenker: A high-ranking scientist, once worked for the Soviet Union in Berlin, defected to England with the aid of Cate Archer, and was eventually employed by UNITY. He submits a major and tiresome research about the Super-soldiers HARM created for their, with the blueprints provided to him by Cate herself. Subsequently he succeeds in developing a serum that could disable the super-soldiers. He is voiced by Jeff Steitzer.
  • Santa: The head of advanced field tactics within UNITY, is never seen in person, nor referred to by his real name, although contacts Cate through a robotic bird, and supplies her with all the information she needs, along with the development of her gadgets and their usage in the field. He is voiced by Ken Boynton.
  • Pierre: Refers to himself as The Mime King, employed by HARM to terminate Cate Archer at all costs. Like Isako, he leads his own group of mimes who are very muscly and dangerous in spite of being light-hearted humorists. He is, once again, voiced by Ken Boynton.
  • Mr. Jones: The primary director of UNITY, who puts Bruno Lawrie in charge of the agency, and departs onto a vacation throughout the game, but returns in the end. He is voiced by Nigel Neale.

Development[edit]

Release[edit]

The source code for the game engine was released by Monolith Productions and Sierra Entertainment as part of the No One Lives Forever 2 Toolkit for "allowing you to create your own levels, models, music, sounds, and more, for MonoLith's FPS."[2] It is available for download.[3] Visual C++ 6.0 is needed for compilation.

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings 90.67%[4]
Metacritic 91/100[5]

No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way received critical acclaim upon its release with an aggregate score of 90.67% on GameRankings[4] and 91/100 on Metacritic.[5] It also won several awards, including Game of the Year from GameSpy.[6] The game also received a nomination for the prestigious Excellence in Writing Game Developers Choice Award, but lost to Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]