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.

Aim... Fire!
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 screenshots

Special Extras
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 missions progress.

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 at present.

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 007.

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