Preview: Goldeneye: Rogue Agent (PS2, XB, GC)

Everyone is familiar with James Bond, 007. The dashing, MI-6 agent that travels around the world fighting S.P.E.C.T.E.R., valiantly battling an infinite cast of super-villains and at the same time managing to charm every woman he comes across into his bed. This time, however, EA Games decided to put a different twist on the world of Bond. â┚¬Å”Why save the world when you can rule it?â┚¬Â is the new motto for Goldeneye: Rogue Agent.

The story is that you start out as an aspiring 00 candidate on a mission with the nefarious James Bond himself but youâ┚¬â”žÂ¢re so â┚¬Å”unconventionalâ┚¬Â that youâ┚¬â”žÂ¢re dismissed from MI-6. Unconventional meaning that you cause unnecessary death, use excessive brutality, and have a callous attitude that makes you a good choice to be the next super-villain. But even the greatest villains have to start small.

Soon you find yourself working for Goldfinger in a gang war against Dr. No. Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s in this first conflict that you lose one of your eyes to Dr. No and Goldfinger provides you with a gold-hued synthetic replacement. Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s no ordinary glass eye. In fact it improves your vision to the point of being able to see through solid material. Not to mention the whole electronic and magnetic manipulation thing. Youâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ve definitely been upgraded. Throughout the game youâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ll be given the opportunity to customize and upgrade your villain persona and golden eye to match your needs.

If Goldfinger and Dr. No sound like familiar characters, theyâ┚¬â”žÂ¢re not alone. Scaramanga, Oddjob and Pussy Galore also reappear in this game with the original cast starring as the voice actors. Old Bond sets such as the volcano lair in You Only Live Twice, Fort Knox in Goldfinger and the shuttle launch bays in Moonraker are revisited as you make your way through the levels. If thatâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s not enough, while youâ┚¬â”žÂ¢re making your way up the ranks to the title of super-villain, an original score of music is provided by Paul Oakenfold to round it out into something of a cinematic experience.

This FPS is slightly different from others because a new AI engine was built to bring a more realistic depiction of movement to the characters. Tagged as the â┚¬Å”EVIL AI engineâ┚¬Â, it motivates enemies to react intelligently to you and their surroundings. Your enemies will react by loosing their nerve or even use other enemies as shields, all to make shootouts more believable.

You too can use human shields to get through sticky situations. Dropping enemies off the edge of a local precipice, creating massive explosions and setting death traps based on your environment are just samples of what you can do. The more bloody and vicious you are, the more points youâ┚¬â”žÂ¢ll get for style. This specific rogue agent gets a kick out of being particularly brutal.

There are over 100 different weapon combinations to use and exploit. Pistols, you can dual-wield like a cowboy and if you tire of that you can choose from automatic rifles, grenades and, yes, there are rocket launchers. How else will you be able to maximize destruction enough to rule the world and rid yourself of those pesky enemy helicopters?

If you donâ┚¬â”žÂ¢t like playing alone on the story-driven campaign missions, the death match simulator trials, or the objective based war games, multi-player is available. Split screen will provide for up to four players on your home system or you can hop online for up to eight. There are over 20 multiplayer arenas to be enjoyed once you get past the shooting to take in the scenery.

Set to release November â┚¬Ëœ04, it looks as though EA Games hopes to get in with the holiday crowd and elbow their way in place beside Halo 2, one of the most anticipated FPS sequels in a long time, also scheduled to release that month. Itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s possible that Goldeneye: Rogue Agent can stand on its own. With an all star cast, smooth graphics and an agent gone rogue itâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s a concept thatâ┚¬â”žÂ¢s hard to resist. After all, â┚¬Å”Why save the world when you can rule it?â┚¬Â