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Bond returns with major star (and fire) power

By Sid Lipsey
CNN Headline News

"James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing"

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(CNN) -- Sorry, James Bond fans, there won't be a new Bond movie this year. So you're just going to have to make do with what some critics are calling one of the best James Bond video games ever.

"James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing" -- which hits stores this week for PlayStation2, Xbox and GameCube -- is the latest Bond adventure from EA Games. And this time, there's major star power to go with the firepower.

The cast includes Judi Dench, John Cleese, Willem Dafoe, Heidi Klum, Shannon Elizabeth and singer Mya. Rounding out the cast is 007 himself, Pierce Brosnan, who for the first time lends his voice and likeness to a Bond video game. (An earlier version only included his likeness.)

Brosnan's appearance is not the only first in this new adventure. Previous Bond games have been first-person shooters; most of what you saw of 007 were his hands and weapons. In "Everything or Nothing," gamers get a third-person perspective that puts the hero front and center.

"It opens up a bunch of new game play mechanics," "Everything or Nothing" producer Joel Wade says of the change.

Players who step into Bond's shoes will find he's much faster and more agile than he's been in previous games. And he's better suited for hand-to-hand combat, which comes in handy when 007 is low on ammo or on a mission that requires stealth.

But when you're the world's most famous superspy, who wants to be stealthy? James Bond is all about fiery shootouts, car chases, spectacular aerial action and exotic international locales -- all of which "Everything or Nothing" offers in abundance.

Virtual Shannon Elizabeth and Pierce Brosnan in "Everything or Nothing."

Take note: Style counts in this game. You can unlock various multiplayer goodies by executing "Bond Moves" -- maneuvers that display the style and panache befitting the world's smoothest superspy.

Blasting your way through a room full of bad guys, though loads of fun, probably won't get you credit for a "Bond Move." But slipping through that room without the bad guys ever knowing you were there, will. When playing this game it's definitely to your advantage to ask: "What would Bond do?"

That's a question the game's creators obviously asked themselves quite often. "We're all huge, huge Bond fans," Wade admits, casting the process of creating the game as a labor of love for the EA team. Fans of action games, and of 007, may find playing this game to be a labor of love as well.

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