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Release Date

No One Lives Forever
June 17, 2002 | Eddie Park

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Girls in go go boots. Psychedelic coloring. Guitar riffs. British accents. Secret organizations. Incompetent lackeys. A huge man of Scottish ancestry. All of this and more will be available sometime in the near future to Mac gamers, and it has absolutely nothing to do with Austin Powers.

Welcome to the British pop culture of the 60s, where as the catchy title song for MacPlay's upcoming title states, No One Lives Forever.

Assignment? Probably just one of the committee members needing a babysitter...
NOLF places players in the high white boots of Cate Archer, a secret agent currently in the employ of UNITY, a secret British organization dedicated to keeping the world safe from evil. Though it seems glamorous at first glance, all is not rosy in Archer's life. Her previous occupation involved cat burglary, and certain personages at UNITY still hold this against her. Couple this with the fact that Archer is the only female agent currently in employ, and it's not hard to see why she has yet to receive any sort of assignment at all.

All this changes when UNITY agents all over the world start turning up dead. A flower left at the scene of each death implicates one Dmitrij Volkov, a known agent of the evil organization known as H.A.R.M. As the head men at UNITY draw the conclusion that a traitor exists within their ranks, the thinning agent roster eventually forces them to turn to Archer and Agent Bruno, Archer's mentor, to carry out routine assignments as well as figure out H.A.R.M.'s ultimate objective.

As Archer struggles to complete her missions, solve the mystery behind H.A.R.M.'s intentions, and ultimately prove herself to her superiors, she'll end up facing guards with horrible one-liners, hostile managers who can't wait to see her fired, and a square-jawed American agent with an unshakeable ego. All in a day's work for a female super spy.

It's reckless and dumb! But that's not going to stop me!
NOLF fits squarely into the First Person Shooter genre, presenting players with a first-person view that includes a targeting reticule, a HUD with health and armor meters, and whatever item/weapon is currently being equipped. As NOLF's story is grounded in spy work, players can choose to either run-and-gun their levels or employ stealth and cunning to achieve their objectives, somewhat like Deus Ex.

Deus Ex, however, never featured brightly-colored jumpsuits, bad stereotypes, and a self-deprecating sense of humor.

NOLF attempts to separate itself from the typical FPS by injecting a healthy dose of humor and campiness that one normally associates with old spy movies and TV shows. When the opening credits first start rolling, gamers are besieged by jangling 60s guitar music, psychedelic colors, and Cate Archer, resplendent in a plastic-looking jumpsuit, dancing like she's auditioning for the next Austin Powers movie.

Most of the entertainment is provided by the various enemies that Archer encounters during her missions. NOLF is rife with guards and flunkies that fall into various stereotypes. For example, the first mission, which takes place in Morocco, features suit and fez-wearing flunkies that toss out lines such as "Bullets are NOT my friend!" in an accent that would put Apu of The Simpsons fame to shame. Enemies will also strike ridiculously dramatic poses when firing at Archer and execute diving rolls that would make Captain Kirk proud.

If players manage to sneak up on guards without attracting their notice, she'll more often than not be treated to various conversations, most of which range from entertaining to hilarious. In one bit, I sat and listened to two guards carrying on a deep philosophical conversation regarding the exact nature of the criminal and society's impact on the criminal mindset. One of the guards was tossing out such observations as "Our studies show criminals drink 10 times as much beer as non-criminal people do." Other conversations consist of such topics as the paid benefits of being a H.A.R.M. agent and a guard who turned up late because he had to drive his daughter to school. The conversations can be quite lengthy, but are almost always amusing.


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