No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way - Box

No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way

Cate Archer, the suave, intelligent, beautiful, female, British secret agent is back to save the world in No One Lives Forever 2. No One Lives Forever 2 (let's shorten that before I get a hand cramp, NOLF2), is an adventure, 1st person shooting game. Your job as Cate Archer, an agent of UNITY, is to stop the evil H.A.R.M. origination from starting a nuclear war.

NOLF2 is set in the 60s and filled with wonderful Austin Powers style humor. As Cate you infiltrate enemy bases in all sorts of exotic locations from Japan, Siberia, Calcutta, to a trailer park in Ohio. Ok, maybe not that exotic. But you get to sneak in, knock-out guards, spy on their banter, search through their files, use really cool/silly gadgets and blow up their buildings - what more could a secret agent want?

NOLF2 writing and acting is well done and wonderfully clever. The wit and humor and interesting characters easily put NOLF2 as one of the top games of the year. The story and in-game cut-scenes and game action complement each other instead of slowing down the action. I found when I started playing I couldn't stop, because I just had to find out what was going to happen next. It's a truly unique game, one that I would love to see as a movie. I really don't want to spoil anything but let me just say there are some really funny and unique scenes involving tricycles, hurricanes and mimes.

NOLF2 game play is very smooth with little to no user interface problems. The game play is all done from a 1st person perspective, which means you see the world in true 3-D and see only your hands as they hold items you use. This point of view is useful as you can aim much quicker and move faster out of the way. Most 1st person shooter games are based around loads of combat, but NOLF is a more intelligent game where stealth and brain are more important. Although NOLF2 advertises that you can "go in with guns blazing or rely on cunning and stealth..." I learned quickly that it really depended on the situation. For example, the first time I played the demo I was very discouraged because I didn't understand how to move around stealthy. I set off alarms and armed with only a crossbow the guards would kill me over and over. There are special places in a level where you can hide, but usually you need to use your sneaking skill, and make sure guards are not facing you, to get around. Once I understood how sneak by guards, I really started to enjoy the game. On some levels I felt like the need to sneak around was overwhelming and it got tiresome, but overall seeing the next cut scene was worth it. Normally I don't give hints, but because understanding NOLF2 stealth system can dramatically change your opinion on the game, here are my four NOLF2 hints:
1) Stealth is very important. If an alarm is sounded, guards will be in endless supply and sooner or later they wear you down. Some guards, even if they are stealthy removed, will have endless replacements, very annoying.
2) Leave no trace: the guards are pretty smart; they see flashlights, hear sounds, can follow foot steps in the snow and seeing dead guards make them nervous but if they can't see you or hear you you're safe.
3) If you do alert the guards, take out the ones that can see you, and then hide them and yourself until the alarm stops.
4) You can tranquilize guards, a very good silent attack, but they will wake up. So you need to do "something" with them so they will not be heard or wake up. Other than moving them far away you might have to kill them as the game has no way to tie up or gag a guard. This was a major bummer to me as I didn't want to kill even a virtual person.

Although the best parts of NOLF2 is the single player game the multiplayer is worth mentioning. In the multiplayer you play another agent for UNITY cleaning up after Cate. The stories for both the single player and the multiplayer are coordinated and connected, yet still play well on their own. For example on single player mission game Cate gets knocked out and wakes up in UNITY headquarter, apparently saved by UNITY forces. In coordinating multiplayer mission you are a part of that team that goes in and smuggles her out of danger. But multiplayer can be pretty difficult because you need to coordinated and use stealth and there always seems to be one "Yahoo" that thinks they can just shoot their way through.

The biggest problem I had with this otherwise wonderful game is the load times. On average it would take 3-4 minutes to load.

Music and Art
The production values for the whole game are very high. NOLF2 is a great example of how video games are getting closer to movie quality. The music sound was very professionally scored. The scores had the flavor of the region of the world you are playing in. The music was ambient enough that it didn't annoy, but they still had the humor of the game. The sound effects are also very clear, there was one point in the game when I was in a run down house with creaking and shutters slamming in the wind, I thought if anything jumped out at me I was going to have a heart attack.
The art was of high quality as well. The architecture was very realistic and beautiful especially in Calcutta. The in-game cut-scenes were of high detail and Cate looked wonderful; of course the high quality voice work really added to these scenes.

Women Gamer Factor

  • A variety of ways to play: use intelligence and stealth or simple brute force.
  • Cate is great female lead character, she has it all; intelligence, wit, strength, and beauty. The ultimate female Bond.
  • Wonderful funny dialog and story.
  • Alternatives to killing.

    A sequel that is as good as the original. Fun and funny with great game play that makes you feel like you are in an Austin Powers movie. NOLF2 is an experience worth every dollar. Buy the game, the demo gives you an idea but it's nothing like the full game.


  • Funny.
  • Great voice acting.
  • Interesting intelligent funny levels.
  • Great art and sound effects.
  • You get to ride on a snow mobile.
  • Use stealth and intelligence instead of simply shooting.
  • Kate, she is sooo cool.


  • Some stealth level can be tedious.
  • Load times are outrageously long!

    Copyright (c) 2002 by Adrienne Canfil. All rights reserved

  • No One Lives Forever 2: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way
  • © Sierra/Monolith $39.99
  • Windows 95/98/Me
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