Games I Own: James Bond's Nightfire

Posted on 4th Mar 2010 at 08:32 by Joe Martin with 11 comments

Joe Martin
Technically, the title of this game is James Bond 007: Nightfire, but I really don’t want to have more than one colon in the title than I have to.

Anyway. I have something embarrassing to admit about this game, namely that I decided to buy it based on just one single feature, which I’d read about in a PC Gamer article – the ability to don x-ray specs. More specifically, the ability to use those x-ray specs to take a peek at ladies’ underwear.

Yes, that’s all it took and, no, you can’t make me feel any more ashamed about it than I already am. It was a simple lapse of taste on my part, that lead to me over imagining the depth of the game. Surely, if the developers have added that kind of feature then you’ll be able to do all sorts of James Bond type stuff!

Actually, no, you couldn’t.

As it turned out, Nightfire turned out to be a fairly run of the mill shooter. Not good, but not truly bad either. It was clearly and cleverly influenced by the grossly superior No One Lives Forever spy games, but it lacked the charm and wit and instead felt like a shallow imitation of a real 007 experience – which it was. The supposedly epic plot was really quite lame, the villains transparent, the multiplayer lacklustre and the voiceovers poor.

Games I Own: James Bond's Nightfire
Like the car? Tough. It isn't in the PC version.

Functionally though, it was OK. The actual combat sections could be quite fierce and the fact that you could roll out Bond’s gadgets, like a laser-cutter watch and a tranquiliser pen, made it feel pretty cool at points. It’s just a shame that so much of the game is based within such incredibly predictable levels. With a bit more creativity and imagination the game it could have been ‘maybe pretty good’, but the environments always felt static and dull, so the game ended up as just ‘OK, maybe’ at best.

It wasn’t aided by the fact that the PC version of the game didn’t have many of the features that the console variants had. The Gamecube, Xbox and PlayStation 2 versions all had car chases and extra levels, while the PC version was trimmed down and nothing by shooting.

It was one of the first games where I properly became aware of how a game could differ over the supported platforms. Googling through cheat codes and guides in an attempt to find extra content and hidden areas – I was sure there must be some, because there had to be more to that game than that – bought up numerous references to the cars and unlockables of the PlayStation version. The PC game had no such extras though.

Games I Own: James Bond's Nightfire
With an outfit like that, who needs x-ray specs?

I’m not really sure why I’ve held on to Nightfire all these years. I don’t hate it, but I’m unlikely to ever play it again and I couldn’t honestly label it as a title I’d enjoy or recommend except to occupy an past, impoverished, teenage self. The experience I had with it though has somehow stayed with me. Perhaps it’s because I learned a bit about how games were marketed from it. It might be because it marks a point where my taste in games matured a little more, spurred on by disappointment.

Then again, I might just be holding on to it because you can use the game to look at girls through x-ray specs.

Random Trivia: The company which developed the GameBoy Advance version of Nightfire, JV Games, claims that it was the first GBA title to use a full 3D engine.

Number of times I’ve completed it: Twice. I’m honestly not sure why I played it the second time though.


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Picarro 4th March 2010, 09:49 Quote
X-ray cheesecake! :D
PureSilver 4th March 2010, 10:01 Quote
I had this on PS2; the multiplayer was OK but the rest of the game was a bit of a dog, even with the driving sections I can't believe they didn't put in the PC version...
El Rando 4th March 2010, 13:45 Quote
I had this on Gamecube. I loved it so much. My favourite part had to be the multiplayer mainly because I'd always have 3 friends round to play it. There was always one who went as Oddjob which meant they had the hat and that was scary as f*** when you're only limited to a PP9 or whatever it was.

I probably enjoyed it so much because I was only 12, I'm sure if I went back I'd being limited to 4 players haha
TurtlePerson2 4th March 2010, 17:40 Quote
I had friends that really enjoyed the multiplayer on this one.

I found out some years later that the guy who designed Dust and Dust2 worked on a couple of multiplayer maps for Nightfire.
wuyanxu 4th March 2010, 17:53 Quote
fantastic game, i loved it to bits, still have the full large box somewhere..........

(not some crappy DVD case for today's games, full large box cardboard casing, probably was designed for floppy disks)
pimonserry 4th March 2010, 18:03 Quote
I had it on PS2 until a friend broke the disc... a sad day :( The multiplayer was awesome (there was a badass rocket launcher I think?).

I don't think I ever completed the singleplayer though >.>
chocolateraisins 4th March 2010, 18:44 Quote
guy who made dust and dust2 made the multiplayer maps for nightfire.

bigsharn 4th March 2010, 22:18 Quote
Originally Posted by PureSilver
I had this on PS2; the multiplayer was OK but the rest of the game was a bit of a dog, even with the driving sections I can't believe they didn't put in the PC version...
Elton 5th March 2010, 00:30 Quote
I had this on the PS2, it was quite fun, although the missions were hit/miss.

With that said, there were quite a few things to do on the single player and it was the first 007 game that I know of that had Oddjob's hat as a weapon!
Cupboard 5th March 2010, 16:35 Quote
I rather enjoyed it on the PS2 but I was only ~12. I seem to remember the mini-helicopter and the guided missiles being good fun.
equinox 6th March 2010, 22:40 Quote
I had this on Gamecube! You really missed out not having the driving levels, they were brill.
Like many other people here, I was about 11/12 at the time.
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