World destruction comes in small shrink-wrapped packages...

2010/11/09

Apocalypse Then: No One Lives Forever

10 Years of NOLF

I was going through my calendar recently, and saw that today was a rather special day for more than one reason. Yes, today, this year, marks the day that Call of Duty: Black Ops is released.

But rewind time, and go back ten years. Today, back in 2000, was when No One Lives Forever, AKA The Operative: No One lives Forever, AKA NOLF (not MILF) came out.

NOLF From the makers of Blood, Monolith, came this game which felt much like a spy movie. In fact it was more like a spoof of several spy movies – like James Bond, but especially Austin Powers. This was a rather unusual departure from the typical horror and science fiction games that tend to come from this developer – famous for the likes of F.E.A.R., Condemned, and AvP 2, among others.

It took place in the psychedelic 60’s, and placed you in the possession of the rather ample cleavage of Cate Archer, a Scottish lass who works for UNITY as a spy, an organisation at odds with H.A.R.M. After your briefings with the generically named Smith and Jones, you usually go on to your weapon and gadget training section, much like James Bond would do while bantering with Q.

There are many different weapons that would have existed back in the 60’s, some of them German weapons like the Luger and Walter P38, and there are several clever gadgets that Cate can use to, which are often disguised as common items like slippers, lipstick, and perfumes.

There were several ways you could go about getting through missions, such as using guns, or sneaking your way through. Often dialogue options could be used when conversing with characters. Speaking of which, there’s a lot of humour in this game, and characters like Magnus Armstrong (who is obviously based on Austin Powers’ Fat B@stard) make for some hilarious encounters, particularly in the cutscenes. Other crazy characters include Baron Dumas and Inge Wagner.

It’s a spy game that doesn’t take itself too seriously, and one can imagine why it won so many GOTY awards. There was even a GOTY edition which included an extra mission. The game was eventually ported to the PS2, and this version had even more missions that didn’t feature in the PC one.

NOLF received a sequel in No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy In H.A.R.M.'s Way, and what is referred as an interquel, in Contract J.A.C.K. – which sucked. There’s even a petition for a No One Lives Forever 3 going on, pleading for Monolith to resurrect the long dormant franchise.

Fun Fact: NOLF was the first game to use the LithTech 2.0 engine. Later on, the following games in the series used the Jupiter engine. The F.E.A.R. series up until this point has used the Jupiter Extended engine – a further modified version of the LithTech engine.


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2010/11/08

Duke Nukem: NextGen Project Renamed, Details

DNRLOGO

The project going on over at the Gearbox forums that I posted about a while ago is getting stronger. Fresch, the man in charge, has assembled a team to work on this game which was called Duke Nukem: NextGen for a little while.

People were worried that he wouldn’t get permission to make the game, which will use Unreal Engine 3, and will be built from scratch, basically. But the guys at GBX have granted them a non-commercial licence to go ahead and do it. Big surprise to most of us, surely, considering the stink that Activision made regarding The Silver Lining.

But now the project has a new name. It’s called Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded, or DNR for short. And the team working on it has a name too – Interceptor Entertainment. Add to this that there’s now a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a website for the game with forums, as well as future plans for a ModDB account as well. Any self-respecting project has one.

And they reportedly even have the producer behind Killzone 3 backing this game! This is becoming huge all ready.

But, not everybody is that impressed. There are critics obviously that fall into different camps.

There are those who feel it would be better to wait for Duke Nukem Forever to come out, whenever that is (they say 2011.. sometime before Christmas), and just make a mod which would recreate the levels from DN3D, with most of the content, like guns and textures and so on, all ready created. The name for this was suggested to be a resurrection of the name Duke Nukem 3D Forever.

There was even a poll on the GBX forums which asked for people to vote for what they’d prefer: a game created from scratch (like DNR), or a mod for DNF. Some even want both, the greedy hogs.

Then the boys heading up or supporting the High Resolution Pack project for EDuke32 – a source port for DN3D – say that they don’t like the look of the game, and think it’s ugly, and it doesn’t look like DN3D. Jealousy, anyone?

I’ve been a fan of the Duke Nukem franchise for nigh on 20 years, and I have no ill feelings towards this project. It’s just a matter of whether the team can stick with it and produce the goods. Yeah, it’ll be harder to generate all the content themselves, but the effort will pay off in the long run. This could well be a step towards a career in game development for some on the team – others who are working on the game all ready are professional game developers, apparently.

As for a release date on the game – you know what I’m going to say here, but I’ll say it anyway: “When it’s Done.”

Source: Gearbox Forums


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