Games I Own: No One Lives Forever

Posted on 11th Feb 2009 at 09:24 by Joe Martin with 19 comments

Ah, No One Lives Forever. Definitely one of my favourite games ever and it has been ever since I played the singleplayer demo ages ago. The demo was three full levels long, which I remember thinking was unprecedentedly lengthy at the time.

Mostly though, I remember being wowed by one level in particular that takes place on a pilotless passenger plane, which you have to jump out of without a parachute. The aim of the next level is to grab a ‘chute before your freefall comes to an abrupt end.

Essentially Austin Powers: The Game, Monolith’s super-spy extravaganza is set in the middle of the sixties and casts players as Cate Archer – the only female operative in the secret Unity organisation. Also, after a string of assassinations from a group known only as HARM, the only operative actually left alive.

What makes NOLF such a great game, other than its length, is the sheer irreverence that it treats itself with. Everything is a stereotyped caricature of itself, from the leather cat-suited Cate, right through to the cycloptic Russian assassin, Volkov.

Games I Own: No One Lives Forever

To dismiss No One Lives Forever as nought but a humorous shooter though is to do it a great disservice, in my opinion. There’s so much more to the game than that.

For one, the game steadily allows players to expand their arsenal and improve their skills. You can collect bonuses for completing missions in certain ways, find extra weapons to carry over into the next level and search for intelligence about your enemies. Playing stealthily you can even sneak up on your enemies and listen to some of the funniest in-game conversations you’ll ever hear.

On one of the early levels in fact you can even open up a totally new area if you can get to it undetected, going deep into a secret Berlin-based laboratory to find their mystery project – a cloned goat that’s three stories tall.

Games I Own: No One Lives Forever

No One Lives Forever consistently refuses to pin itself down to one play style too, with infiltration levels and interrogations popping up later as you try to uncover more and more information about your enemies and their plot to...take over the world!

No One Lives Forever has everything that you’d see in a good spy movie. There are great gadgets, like the perfume knock-out gasses, dozens of weapons with multiple attachments and ammo types. There’s some fantastic level design too, with Cate journeying through foreign cities, into space and deep down into the centre of the earth. There are big explosions, sexy ladies with open-neck tops and hundreds of evil henchmen in shellsuits for you to mow down.

If you’ve not played it and you even suspect that you might like it then you owe it to yourself to play it. You can buy it in most places for less than £5 now. It’s also worth mentioning that NOLF features my favourite gun from any game ever, the Shepherd’s P38. It just feels great to use.

Random fact: There are different skill bonuses available in the game for completing missions in different ways. One bonus that I’ve never figured out the benefit of though is the Reputation Bonus, which you get if you give nice replies all the way through a mission briefing. If you think you know then please tell me.

Number of Times Completed: Countless times – at least ten.

Joe, Out.


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DougEdey 11th February 2009, 09:34 Quote
Definitely an awesome game, never ages, but I forgot what the goat looks like

steveo_mcg 11th February 2009, 09:34 Quote
I always meant to pick this up. How does it behave with widescreen?
Spiny 11th February 2009, 09:37 Quote
Superb game, absolute classic & very funny
Silver51 11th February 2009, 10:03 Quote
This and Deus Ex are my all time favourite games. In fact, it's been installed on every machine I've owned since the game came out.
Whalemeister 11th February 2009, 13:49 Quote
One of my al time favs too, great shooter from start to finish and the humour throughout is side-splittingly funny!!
Vode 11th February 2009, 15:42 Quote
I bought the sequel a while ago and played it fine, and loved it, on Vista 64-bit (Once I worked out how to get audio, had to turn off all hardware accelleration)

Have to find the original to pick up somewhere.
Bladestorm 14th February 2009, 01:30 Quote
Love it, though only played through it and the sequel properly once each. Might have to give it another go sometime to see that goat :D.
DougEdey 14th February 2009, 07:58 Quote
Works off the bat in Windows 7, just the standard WS hack
steveo_mcg 9th March 2009, 22:25 Quote
Finally got round to installing this. The stealth is a bit frustrating is it worth bothering or just start shooting folk?
CardJoe 9th March 2009, 22:38 Quote
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
Finally got round to installing this. The stealth is a bit frustrating is it worth bothering or just start shooting folk?

On the levels where you can shoot, it's totally up to you. There's benefits to both ways. You won't find the goat without stealth, but it'll take you ages with it.

It's the later, stealth-only missions that are a real pain IMHO. Good job there's only a handful of them and, if you know what you're doing, then they aren't that long.
wuyanxu 9th March 2009, 23:04 Quote
for some reason i LOVED NOLF1 but 2 didn't feel as good.

still, the series rocks, shame there's no NOLF3. (Contract JACK sucked)
itazura 10th March 2009, 00:14 Quote
brilliant game -- makes me want to play it through again sometime after reading that!
yodasarmpit 10th March 2009, 00:35 Quote
This was a favorite of mine too, the multiplayer was pretty fun also.
UrbanMarine 10th March 2009, 11:48 Quote
I loved NOLF 1 & 2. The theme of it was really cool. Makes me think Evil Genius and TF2 borrowed the idea.
CardJoe 13th May 2014, 20:24 Quote
This is a bit of a mega-bump, but I thought you might be interested to know:

I finally found out what the reputation bonus does
bawjaws 13th May 2014, 20:56 Quote
Not sure if you've had a link fail or I've had a comprehension fail, but you've linked to an article about the correlation between game reviews and sales.

Apologies if I'm totally missing something here :o
Flibblebot 14th May 2014, 08:57 Quote
Also, how come Joe is still a mod...?
CardJoe 14th May 2014, 22:36 Quote
...Goddamn it. Fixed.

Was meant to point to this:

And I'm still a mod because I ...rule?
Scroome 15th May 2014, 13:39 Quote
The king of 7/8 will always be a mod..........mostly because they probably forgot to change Joe's rights.

Is anyone really that bothered though? ;)

Now I miss No One Lives Forever......
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