MI6 reports on the multiplayer features of "From
Russia With Love", and a look at new screenshots
from the forthcoming game...
FRWL June Report
7th June 2005
In the last 007 outing from EA's Redwood Studios, "Everything
or Nothing", the multiplayer experience was limited to a
very difficult "co-op" mode (which could almost be considered
a stand-alone game) and a strange single-screen "Arena"
mode, where players battled it out in a small environment. Two
years ago, EA rolled out the first console online play support
for "co-op" mode in the USA, but "From Russia With
Love" is taking a step backwards and not offering any connectivity
at all - on any platform.
Instead, FRWL is going back to basics, and back to what everyone
knows and loves - four player split screen deathmatches in the
mould of "GoldenEye 64". The 1997 game developed by
Rare is still having an affect on the franchise eight years on,
and EA have still to replicate the insane level of addictiveness
after numerous attempts. By focusing on the split-screen deathmatch
modes, and cutting out online support and "co-op" games,
"From Russia With Love" should deliver stonking gameplay.
There is, however, one big difference between the classic "GoldenEye
64" and "From Russia With Love" split-screen modes
- the perspective. GE64 was set in the traditional first-person-perspective
for a shooter, but FRWL will be using a similar third-person-perspective
as EA did in "Everything or Nothing" - although this
time it's a brand new engine based on the Renderware platform.
There have not been many success stories of split screen deathmatch
in third-person, but FRWL is promising some interesting innovations
to the genre.
Rather than the traditional cross-hair for aiming, FRWL
will usher in a new "targeting reticule". The
concept is simple - once locked on to an enemy, the reticule
will track their movements and stay glued to them. Unless
of course, you move too erratically or lose sight of them,
in which case the reticule lock is lost.
This aiming system may sound too easy, but it is essential
for the fast paced action, especially when players take
to the skies in jetpacks.
As with the single player game, the jetpack from "Thunderball"
makes more than a few appearances, and players can strap
up and fly off with a couple taps of a button.
The jetpack is well equipped too, with unlimited machine
gun fire for aerial dogfights, and restricted missiles for
taking out targets in one go. Combined with the reticule
aiming system, missiles launched from a jetpack can be devastating,
but accuracy drops off over distance so do not expect to
have air superiority.
Above: Four-player split screen deathmatch
The one saving grace from the critically panned "GoldenEye:
Rogue Agent" makes a reappearance in FRWL. Death Traps are
back and as lethal as ever in the multiplayer maps. Combined with
truly destructible environments (not just the odd fuel barrel,
almost everything you would expect can be blown up, burned or
otherwise destroyed), the maps can be deadly without even worrying
about incoming fire from other players.
Upgrades, weapons, gadgets and bonuses will be in abundance too.
New ideas thrown in to the mix such include random power-ups and
negative traits, much like the classic "Bomberman",
affecting controls, vision, speed, accuracy, etc. Gadgets featured
in the main game will be available as pick-ups too, such as the
Q-Copter and laser watch.
Want To Know More?
There will be six deathmatch modes, including a new "Sabotage"
mode which is an explosive twist on the classic "Capture
The Flag" concept. AI bots will make a welcome return, not
seen in an EA title since "NightFire" (although the
promised "Scrimmage" mode in "GoldenEye: Rogue
Agent" ultimately never appeared due to time constraints).
Players will be able to choose
between various low-key characters and villains to begin
with, unlocking more well known faces as the single-player
The exciting driving feature of the single-player campaign,
where Bond can switch between vehicles seamlessly and utilise
car gadgets and weapons, is being planned but details on
how this will be used in the multiplayer modes are sketchy
All in all, the prospect of "From Russia With Love"s
multiplayer modes will be mouth-watering for fans of GE64
still waiting for a modern successor.
Above: Bond's evening gets spoiled
in London when goons kidnap the Prime Minister's daughter.
Development of "From Russia
With Love" will take place at EA Redwood studios (USA)
and will ship in October/November 2005 on Microsoft
Xbox, Sony PlayStation
2 and Nintendo
GameCube. Versions for Nintendo DS and Sony PSP are
yet to be officially confirmed.
Stay tuned to MI6 for the latest unrivalled coverage
of "From Russia With
Love" (VG) starring Sean Connery as James Bond