No One Lives Forever

No One Lives Forever follows the current “Max-Payne” trend of making short, but sweet PC games. Unfortunately the days of NOLF 1, Half-Life, Thief and Deus-Ex length/quality games are over it seems. If you can wait for the bargain bin, you might get your money’s worth because it’s just too short to justify a new-release price.

Gameplay: The best way to describe No One Lives Forever gameplay is by stating what is missing from NOLF 1… which is a shame, because there’s a lot. Most notably: no plentiful and varied environments, no unique environments (like underwater, outer-space etc), no unique boss encounters (they all go down via gunfire), and no more than a handful of interesting missions (no jumping out of planes here).

The worst part is that they took a chapter out of Halo’s book of level re-use — which is bad enough considering the game is short already. All in all the game just feels too compressed without any of the rollercoaster rides you got in NOLF 1.

The most laudable comment I can make is that the arch-villain is very inspired; as are the rest of the new characters. But considering there’s not many new characters (and re-use of the characters from NOLF 1), it’s not really a glowing comment. I also liked the ending.

Graphics: I had the graphics cranked to max with quincunx AA and they looked nothing short of phenomenal. The shader lighting is superb. Although there’s obviously still some light-mapping going on it’s very smoothly done compared to older engines like Q3 and the original Lithtech engine. The textures and models remain top-notch just like they were in NOLF 1.

Sound: Positional sound problems. I also had to fidget with my nforce2 Soundstorm system to get it to work well with No One Lives Forever. Obviously there are some sound issues because there is a FAQ at the No One Lives Forever official site. The music was pretty darn good, but I like that 60s retro rock/jazz fusion. Sound effects were ok.

The conversations are still a big part of the game’s entertainment.