Replay Value: 7.4
EA's Bond game finally arrives to the Playstation, despite the weirdly weak reviews this game gets, I found this game quite good. First off, this not a biased review, second of all I will not be comparing this game to Goldeneye, since they are two different genres. TND is 3rd person action, and Goldeneye is a 1st person shooter, but instead TND will be compared to the similar Syphon Filter. Now that that's been cleared I want to say that MGM, EA, and Black ops have spent a lot of time on this game, to make it as enjoyable as possible and as true to the movie as possible. Many say they didn't succeed, but I personally think they did a pretty good job.
Although it is not as graphically impressive as Syphon Filter, TND still looks quite okay. Saying the graphics are poor is an underestimation. I found the graphics very detailed (with the exception of some polygonal clipping), especially in the character models. James Bond's face and body is almost an exact replica, believe me when you see a face shot of 007 you will know what I'm talking about. I also enjoyed viewing the explosions, which I must say look very cool. But what disappointed me about the graphics was that the frame rate might occasionally drop at times, when there is too much action going on at one time you will notice some slowdown. Overall TND does not have horrible graphics if you compare it to a game of it's nature.
Tomorrow Never Dies does an excellent job of making it look like the movie. The stages are very similar to the areas found in the movie, and the intro after the first two stages is completely top-notch. Bond has an excellent arsenal of weapons, and the mini-stages they have is something that is right on the money. Driving a Beemer and shooting bad guys at the same time has never felt this good. What sets this game apart from others is that the game runs on 3 different game engines. The first game engine is the Action engine (the game itself), the second is the skiing piece, and the third is the driving point. I can't remember something like this ever being done in another videogame. Although the game is 3rd person, TND would sometimes zoom into 2nd person when there are enemies around. 007 also offers an auto lock on system, so for those of you who are as blind as a raccoon, no need to worry the auto lock system will help you out.
As many of you recall TND was expected to be 4 players, then later on EA said the 4 player is no good and it runs too slow. So they downgraded the game to 2 players and said everything was fine. I was quite disappointed when I heard that 007 was not going to be 4 players, but then I said "oh well at least it's 2 players". Later on EA decided to mainly focus the game on single player only. That's when I really got pissed! What was the point of scraping the 2 player death-match if it was running fine? 4 players, okay I understand RAM limitations, but 2 players what could possibly go wrong there. Tomorrow Never Dies would have received a score of 9.0 if it had a 2 player death-match, but it doesn't. What's more is that I found some of the 10 stages in the game a little short, but EA noticed that too so they added two secret stages. Although I understand that EA wants to make this game feel as close to the movie as possible, they should have expanded the length on some of the stages. Still never the less TND proves to be an excellently done movie-game, and unlike games like The Fifth Element, 007 survives.
What's very important in movie-games is high quality voice acting. And that's just what TND serves up, some of the best voice acting to come in along time. There is no break up in the acting, and the voice timing is perfect. Another important aspect in an action such as TND is good sound effects. The movie had ear popping effects, and the game has pretty much the same result. I also enjoyed listening to the official theme of the movie which is sung by Sheryl Crow, as well as the 007 theme it's self. As for the in game music, I must say that they have some great beats and will keep you hyped all through out the stage.
The control presentation could be a little more better, At first there are many things to be mastered. So adjusting to the control can get a little difficult at first, but soon enough you'll learn in. Unlike Solid Snake (the videogame character, mind you), James Bond is an all action type of guy, although sometimes he can get stealthy, but that rarely happens. Where I'm going with this is that James Bond moves pretty fast, and he has only a few stealth moves. His moves include a roll (left and right) and a stealth crouch. Although it's not much, his kick ass weapons, gadgets and mini stages make up for everything.
So in general I can summarize Tomorrow Never Dies as being a very good Action/Adventure title. Although it's no Syphon Filter, it's pretty close. The game has the best arsenal of weapons and gadgets in any videogame, it has scenes from the movie and the ability to Ski, Drive a BMW, and swim all in one game is great. While many critics may say the game is bad, that's because they are all comparing it to Goldeneye, and even compared to GoldenEye, TND is still very good in my opinion. Make sure to put this on your holiday list, it may be a little short but it's still a lot of fun.