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NOLF a treat.

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No One Lives Forever
Rating: 5/5

NOLF was one of the most highly anticipated releases of last year. Already hugely popular on the PC, its porting to the Mac was a great relief. Released almost at the same time as the sequel for the PC, it was nonetheless welcomed with open arms. The game marks the return of the unusual first person shooter to the Mac. Not since Deus Ex has the Mac gotten anything this unique . It is great fun and well worth the price of entry.

The storyline involves your playing Kate Archer as she battles the evil H.A.R.M., tries to save the world and while attempting to look stunning all the while. You travel to different locations round the world while battling the underlings of H.A.R.M. The game is not without its humour. There are obvious allusions to Bond films, the Avengers and even Get Smart. The game was made with tongue firmly in check. Sight and audio gags abound. The baddies are right out of central casting, eccentric to the hilt. In addition to the gameplay, it is rather good fun to try to see if you can spot and identify all the references in the game.

Its one of the few games where listening to the NPCs prattle on is not only useful but amusing. Interestingly enough the game actually gets easier as it goes along, the most difficult levels coming very close to the beginning. In the game you get to drive a motorcycle, snowmobile and ride a cable car. Several of the levels are absolutely huge and seemingly go on forever. Not that you mind, of course, since you are too busy making sure you don?t get killed and/or muss your hair. The snowmobile section is most impressive, and needs to be done with utmost care lest you get yourself in an ambush.

Unusually for a MacPlay game , for that matter any game company, it is stable right out of the box. I was unable to crash it even once. As someone who can crash ATMs, this is a great compliment. Unlike some other games one could mention, the game runs well on anything that can run OSX. The review computer was a Emac 700mhz with 384mb of RAM.

Graphically, it looks great with lush levels and lots of colour to go with its Austin Powers-esque 60s theme. The graphics are so good that is sometimes advisable, once alone on a level, to just look around at the scenery.

As you would expect with this sort of game there a quite a few gadgets to play with over the different mission. It is possible to select your own inventory for each mission. You are gradually trained how to use some of the more advanced items lest you accidentally kill yourself trying to tart yourself up in the mirror. Weapons are fairly standard for an FPS, but there are no ott game killer high tech weaponry. Usually you find yourself relying on your trusty silenced pistol, a weapon with a scope and whatever is to be found on the bodies of the baddies. Ammo is not a problem, since the rush in and shoot everything is rarely a good idea. Hand to hand combat is not advised either, especially since you would not want to chip a nail. It is not, as with many FPSs, to kill every baddie in the game.

Solo play is quite extensive and this game will take you a while to finish even on the easy setting. Multiplay is fun as well, although the game is not supported by Gameranger which it has to be said is a great shame. For those wishing to play on a home LAN, it is not necessary to have the disc in the drive to play the game. This is good in solo play as it leads to faster loading times. Multiplayer maps are fun and funky, with different levels, loads of choices of body types and some subtlety necessary. Again, as with the solo play, there are no BFGs to warp play.

Overall, this is a welcome release and one that is great fun to play. There is only one real bugger of a level that takes several attempts to succeed, which is nice. A reward for our patience is the fact that Mac version is the “Game of the Year” version with extra levels and an amusing secret level at the end.

This is one of the most enjoyable games I have played in a very long time rivaling DX for class and brilliance. It is reassuring to know that NOLFII will be released sometime this year, again by MacPlay. NOLF is damn good game that should find a place in every gamer’s library.

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About Marty Dodge