Anthony's Film Review

The Operative: No One Lives Forever
(Video Game, 2000)

An awesome shooter game featuring 60s espionage and a killer female agent...

My other favorite first-person shooter game besides Half-Life is The Operative: No One Lives Forever. Half-Life in 1998 took this game genre to a whole new level, and No One Lives Forever is a fine example of one that follows the new trends set by Half-Life. No One Lives Forever has a well-written story mixing humor, action, and suspense. The cutscenes in between the levels are just as exciting to watch as the in-game action. The graphics are wonderful and the music and audio fit the scenes very well.

The main character you play is Agent Cate Archer of the spy organization UNITY. Her superiors are Mr. Smith and Mr. Jones. The gadgets for all UNITY operatives are made in the lab known as Santa's Workshop. The criminal organization is HARM. Basically, you have the elements of a James Bond movie and every spy movie and TV show that came after. The game also takes place in the 1960s and has elements of that cultural era. Keep in mind, though, that it's not a silly spoof like the Austin Powers movies.

Cate's missions take her to various places around the world, including Morocco, Germany, and Switzerland. She will find herself on a cargo ship, in an enemy base, and even skydiving after a plane explodes. Her allies, including Tom Goodman, are few. Her foes are many. She will face a Scottish muscleman named Magnus Armstrong and a Russian named Dmitri Volkov. There are many adventures that lie ahead for Cate, all in an effort to stop a catastrophic plot by HARM.

During the game, you don't just shoot, kill, and run. You also take the opportunity to sneak, subdue, and even eavesdrop. Some levels require you to use your reflexes as you run and shoot. Some cannot be completed unless you avoid detection by enemies. Most allow you to do either. The fun of sneaking through levels without being seen by enemies or security cameras is made even more thrilling when you shoot an enemy in the head with a silenced gun so that nobody else is alerted. It's also amusing to sneak close to enemies and listen to their conversations, like when a guy chatting with his co-workers about Diana Rigg (Emma Peel on The Avengers and Tracy in On Her Majesty's Secret Service).

No One Lives Forever is, simply put, a lot of fun. It puts the player in the shoes of a cunning and strong female spy and allows the player to do so much from start to finish. It has what makes any story great: awesome plot and characters. With all of this, it's a game that has received the Game of the Year title by various publications and listed in PC Gamer's 50 Greatest PC Games of All Time, somewhere in the top 10. And not surprisingly, it is followed by a sequel to deliver more excitement for the fans.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about The Operative: No One Lives Forever, visit the Internet Movie Database and Moby Games.


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