RETRO – James Bond movies have always been a major influence on the world of video games. The espionage action, thrilling car chases, unique gadgets, and charismatic protagonists provide the perfect ingredients for a thrilling gaming experience. Perhaps the most famous and popular of the Bond games is GoldenEye 007, released for the Nintendo 64 in 1997, which revolutionized the FPS genre. However, another standout title worth mentioning is Electronic Arts’ 2004 release, James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, which brought numerous innovations to the franchise.
When EA Games released Everything or Nothing in 2004, many immediately felt that it offered a new and distinct experience in the Bond video game universe. It was clear that EA was looking to capitalize on the creative momentum of the early 2000s.
A pure original Bond story that Ian Fleming would envy
The standout feature was the story. The writers at EA Redwood Shores created a story worthy of Bond himself. The Bond universe was expanded with an all-new and original adventure involving genetic manipulation and international conspiracies. The story follows James Bond as he stops an evil Russian arms dealer, Nikolai Diavolo, from destroying the world with a nanotech weapon. The game features familiar Bond actors such as Pierce Brosnan (Bond), Judi Dench (M), John Cleese (Q) and Richard Kiel (Jaws), as well as celebrity guest stars such as Willem Dafoe (Diavolo), Heidi Klum (Katya Nadanova) and Shannon Elizabeth (Serena St. Germaine).
The story begins in Tajikistan, where MI6 agent James Bond interrupts a deal involving a stolen Soviet portable bomb inside a fortress. The plot thickens when Bond tracks down a missing scientist, Dr. Katya Nadanova, and discovers her alliance with former KGB agent Nikolai Diavolo (Willem Dafoe). The duo has sinister plans for nanobots originally designed to repair nuclear reactors.
Bond learns of the disappearance of another agent, Jack Mason, while on duty in Peru. There, Serena St. Germaine (Shannon Elizabeth) assists him and reveals that Diavolo’s operations have moved to New Orleans. Here Bond meets war criminal Arkady Yayakov, another associate of Diavolo. Also appearing is NSA agent Mya Starling (Mýa), who is captured and later rescued by Bond.
As the story unfolds, Bond learns that Diavolo has modified the nanobots to destroy all metals except platinum. His evil plan involves flooding New Orleans, which Bond thwarts. Adventures lead Bond back to the Peruvian mines, where he reunites with Nadanova. Diavolo, however, reveals plans to use the nanobots against the Kremlin and to invade Europe using tanks shielded from the nanobots by platinum.
The climax takes place in Moscow, where Bond steals a platinum tank to prevent the release of the nanobots on Red Square. Finally, at a missile launch site, Diavolo and Nadanova attack, but Bond overcomes them and averts a missile strike on London.
Pushing the technology of the time to its limits
In terms of graphics and audio, Everything or Nothing was one of the few titles to truly take advantage of the latest technology available. The character modeling, environmental textures, music, and sound effects were stunning for their time. Pierce Brosnan, Judi Dench, and John Cleese reprised their roles, lending their voices to their characters.
But the innovations didn’t stop with the narrative and visuals. “Everything or Nothing was the first Bond game to feature a full third-person perspective, allowing EA to experiment with new game mechanics. Particularly memorable were the car and motorcycle chases, while the introduction of hand-to-hand combat and a cover system redefined our concept of a Bond game.
It’s no surprise that Everything or Nothing was a hit on release. Reviews were high, and players enjoyed the updated and reimagined Bond experience. But its long-term legacy may be even more significant. Since the release of Everything or Nothing, numerous developers and publishers have attempted to create titles that balance story, character, and innovative gameplay.
The stars also enjoyed the “shooting”
Pierce Brosnan not only lent his likeness but also his voice to embody Bond. Brosnan said that working on “Everything or Nothing” felt a lot like shooting a real movie, where not only the voice-over scenes were digitized, but also various movements and facial expressions. He particularly appreciated the way his face was digitally rendered.
Many of the stars featured in the game enjoyed their work and spoke positively about their experience with the game. For example, Willem Dafoe, who portrayed the main antagonist Nikolai Diavolo, stated that it was a challenge to play a character who was not only physically dangerous, but mentally dangerous as well. He also mentioned that he particularly liked the game’s storyline and its focus on nanotechnology.
Heidi Klum, who played scientist Katya Nadanova, expressed her excitement about being a Bond girl and wished she had more scenes with Pierce Brosnan. She also revealed that she is a big Bond fan herself. Shannon Elizabeth, who plays NSA agent and Bond’s love interest Serena St. Germaine, mentioned how proud she was to be part of the game and how much she enjoyed the filming process. She added that Pierce Brosnan was very kind and humorous with her.
The name is Bond, James Bond…
In addition to a single-player mode, Everything or Nothing also featured a multiplayer mode. In the game, players could engage in cooperative gameplay with two players on one screen, or compete online with up to four players. In the cooperative mode, we controlled two unnamed agents with different missions. In the online mode, players could choose to play as Bond, Diavolo or Jaws and compete in various gameplay modes.
EON” received stellar reviews upon its release, with many considering it the best Bond game ever. Sales of the game were impressive, with over 4 million copies sold worldwide. There was going to be a sequel called ‘James Bond 007: From Russia With Love’, but it ended up being another game based on the movie of the same name.
Everything or Nothing’ is a real gem among the Bond games, and every fan should give it a try. The game offers a unique and exciting storyline, varied and entertaining gameplay, spectacular graphics and music, and a fun and challenging multiplayer mode. EON is a game worthy of the Bond franchise and should not be overlooked – it’s worth revisiting the PS2 version, perhaps with the help of an emulator.
+ An original Bond story that Ian Fleming would envy
+ The game made maximum use of the technology of the time in terms of graphics and sound
+ Diverse and fun gameplay, including third-person view and new game mechanics
– The legendary four-player deathmatch experience that “GoldenEye” brought is missing
– The cooperative game mode is not fully developed and outdated
– Four-player deathmatch can only be unlocked after cooperative play
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Redwood Shores
Release Date: November 17, 2003.