NO ONE LIVES FOREVER 2: A SPY IN H.A.R.M.'S WAY
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Cate Archer, the fearless and fashionable secret agent, returns to save the world from H.A.R.M.! Armed with an assortment of super-spy weaponry and gadgets, agent Cate must explore exotic locales, avoid devious traps, and defeat deadly agents in order to foil a super secret Soviet project that could bring about the third World War.

Features:

  • 40 Action-packed Single Player Missions
  • Over 30 Weapons, Gadgets, and Traps
  • Stunning Realistic AI and Graphics
  • Cooperative Multiplayer Online Play
Game Chronicles goes inside this thrilling new spy adventure with an exclusive interview by John Carswell.

GCM: Please start us off by introducing yourself and giving us a sense of your responsibilities with 'No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in HARM's Way'.
NOLF2 Team: Samantha Ryan, Producer: This interview is going to be answered by multiple team members. Weíll include their name and title in the appropriate replies.

GCM: When setting out to create a sequel to No One Lives Forever, what kind of experience did you want to give the gamers?
NOLF2 Team: Craig Hubbard, Lead Game Designer: Our goal from the beginning was to create a game in the spirit of NOLF, but not in its literal image. In other words, we wanted to build on the strengths of the first title without feeling like we had to stay faithful to the parts of it that didnít work as well as we hoped.

One of the main failings of NOLF from our perspective was that it ended up feeling a lot more scripted and linear than it was intended to be, so we remedied that problem by taking a more systems-oriented approach to gameplay in the sequel. The result is that players have more latitude to achieve objectives the way they want to.


GCM: NOLF 2 seems to be mixing the likes of Thief and Deus Ex into its gameplay but without going so far as to lose its FPS core. Is this a fair statement and what was the thought process behind such a sizable upgrade?
NOLF2 Team: Craig Hubbard: NOLF was conceived as an espionage game. We wanted to strike a balance between action and intrigue. Unfortunately, we came up a little short on intrigue. Stealth was too unforgiving. Once you were spotted, you were playing an action game.

We made a lot of improvements in NOLF 2. Itís easier and more fun to sneak around and spy on enemies. If somebody sees you or sounds an alarm, you can evade your pursuers or hide instead of going on the offensive. Eventually, things will die down and you can go back to sneaking.


GCM: How has stealth been implemented so that it is both tangible and intuitive for the player?
NOLF2 Team: John Mulkey, Lead Level Designer: It has been through a combination of multiple systems. Creating intuitive stealth was one of the motivating factors in the decision to go with goal based AI in an autonomous world. Many FPS games center the action on player progression through levels. However, the AI in NOLF2 functions more independently from actions taken by the player. The player can change what the AI does, but the AI also has its own set of tasks to accomplish and lives to live. The AI also vocalize their state of awareness so that the player can tell the difference between an AI coming to get them and one that is just suspicious and coming to investigate. Another core system was the addition of hiding spaces that are communicated to the player through an icon on the HUD. Our dynamic music helps as well. When you've stirred the level up, the music rises to punctuate the action, but if you escape and hide, the music will drop down to match the agitation level of the AI.

GCM: As for NOLF 2's RPG aspects, how are experience points gained and could you give us a few examples of how enhancing Cate can affect gameplay?
NOLF2 Team: Craig Hubbard: We had an attribute system in NOLF, but it was largely invisible to the player. This time, we wanted to make it explicit and give players control of their upgrades.

Skill points are primarily acquired by accomplishing objectives and finding intelligence items. Each attribute affects gameplay differently. For example, Searching determines how quickly you can search an incapacitated enemy or a stack of papers, as well as your chances of finding something useful. Carrying determines how much ammunition you can stockpile as well as your speed while moving a body. You canít max out every attribute, so you really have to specialize.


GCM: And for the Run-and-Gunner out there who is concerned NOLF 2 might not accommodate his/her play-style, will there be plenty of heavy weaponry and is the game beatable while largely ignoring its stealthier elements?
NOLF2 Team: David Longo, Art Director: We've got some unique big guns in the game. One of the more powerful weapons is Cate's purse gadget which transforms into a micro missile launcher; but I think some of the most powerful weapons aren't the weapons themselves so much as the ammo types found in the game. The explosive shotgun ammo, phosphorous rounds for the AK-47 and the fire bolts for the crossbow make quick work of enemies. If your reflexes are sharp and your weapons and ammo stocked, most of the game is flexible enough to accommodate numerous gameplay strategies.

GCM: NOLF 2 offers an unusually high level of environment interactivity. What sort of objects will the player have control over and could you provide a few examples of how this will affect gameplay?
NOLF2 Team: John Mulkey: There are two primary forms of interactivity in the game. One is the destructible nature of items in the environment and how that can affect game play. For example, any exposed light bulb in the game can be destroyed (or unscrewed) to create a dark place in which to hide. Or, shooting a fire extinguisher will cause its contents to spray out in a cloud that will temporarily disorient anyone caught in the cloud or walking though it.

The second way players can interact with the world is through direct activation of objects. When the player looks at an object that they can interact with, there is text displayed that describes what the player can do with the object. This granted us the freedom to create a lot of diverse interaction with the world. The player can tip over bottles, flush toilets, rifle through file cabinets, pick locks, hack through security systems, and tons of other stuff.


GCM: As for NOLF 2's A.I., what sort of behavior can we expect from AI-controlled characters and what variables in their environment are they aware of?
NOLF2 Team: Jeff Orkin, Senior AI Engineer: The AI rely entirely on their visual and audio senses to determine their behavior. They react appropriately to hearing gunfire, seeing allies take damage, and hearing footsteps or cries for help. If Cate evades the enemy AI, the AI actually need to search for her, and they will notice disturbances in the world which may lead them to her. Cate needs to watch her step, because enemies will see her footprints and notice doors she's opened, or bottles she's knocked over, but she can use the AIs' sensitivity to her advantage. Coins can be thrown to lure AI in to a dark alley, where Cate may have set a Bear Trap, or an AI may meet his demise when lured to pet a cute Angry Kitty Proximity Mine! So, visual and audio stimulus can be both a threat to Cate and a tool for playing the game.

GCM: About how long do you feel the average gamer will take to get through the single player game and afterwards, what will keep him or her coming back for more?
NOLF2 Team: Jon Gramlich, QA Lead: It all depends on how you play the game and the difficulty level you choose. If you play the game on ďEasyĒ and blast your way through the levels, then you may be able to finish the game more quickly. The downside of this is that youíll miss many of the conversations and other extras littered throughout each mission. If you play on one of the higher difficulty settings, then youíll likely find yourself favoring stealth over direct confrontation more often, even if you are an experienced gamer. When playing in this manner, youíll quickly notice what youíve been missing and your overall playing time should increase significantly. Of course, itís very unlikely that anyone but the biggest NOLF fans will catch everything on their first pass through the game. Because of this, the individual chapters are unlocked once you complete the singleplayer campaign, so you can easily go back and replay any mission you like.

GCM: The vehicles in NOLF seemed to fall under the "cool extra" category and since then a number of games (Halo, C&C: Renegade, etc.) have taken the concept much farther. Have you felt a need to keep up with or surpass these or will the vehicles in NOLF 2 continue to be a fun extra?
NOLF2 Team: Craig Hubbard: Vehicles arenít really the focus of the franchise, so we didnít measure ourselves against games where they play a more crucial role.

GCM: Please tell us about NOLF 2's co-op features. Will players be able to use their "upgraded" characters from the single player game?
NOLF2 Team: Brad Pendleton, Lead Engineer: The driving goal of co-op in NOLF2 was to capture the intense spy gameplay of the single player game, but let up to 4 people share it together. Most of the elements of the singleplayer game are there, such as hiding in shadows, spy gadgets, weapons, skills, and even a full featured save & load. Although most of the features of the singleplayer game are in co-op, it is not just singleplayer with 4 Cate Archerís. The unique co-op missions parallel the singleplayer missions with 4 operatives from UNITY. Since you will be playing one of these new operatives, you wonít be able to use your upgraded Cate from the singleplayer missions. Your group is tasked with assisting Cate, and behind the scenes jobs alluded to in the singleplayer missions. Co-op also has an improved networking system, and internet and LAN matchmaking.

GCM: Will it be possible for a gamer to play these co-op missions solo and in general, what do you see as adding replay value to the single-player game?
NOLF2 Team: Jon Gramlich: It is entirely possible to play the co-op missions solo. The major difference between playing solo and playing with others is that the difficulty factor will automatically increase as more players are added to the game. In other words, there will be areas where youíll need to stick together if playing as a group, but are still manageable if playing solo.

GCM: One of NOLF's more charming qualities was its underlying sense of humor. Will we be getting the same tongue-in-cheek attitude from the sequel?
NOLF2 Team: Craig Hubbard: If anything, Iíd say the humor in the sequel is more integrated and refined.

GCM: What would you say the chances are that NOLF 2 will be appearing on the PS2, Xbox, or GameCube?
NOLF2 Team: Samantha Ryan: This would be a question for our publisher.

GCM: Thanks for your time! Any thoughts that you'd like to leave us with?
NOLF2 Team: Samantha Ryan: We hope people enjoy the game!