Game-related ramblings.

Tag: Monolith Productions

History Lessons: No One Lives Forever (part 2)

If you haven’t read it yet, you’ll probably want to read through part one before continuing.

At long last, I have finished No One Lives Forever. This took a while partly because I was busy but partly because the game is even longer than I suspected. I’m happy to report that despite the length, the quality of writing that I praised in part one never really faltered. There was one character I was unimpressed with, and a few dud jokes, but overall No One Lives Forever remained a tightly-written and thoroughly entertaining game. Most importantly, it handled the theme of sexism elegantly, without becoming overly preachy or melodramatic. Given the problems that most games have with female characters, this was a relief. Actually, it was more than a relief, because I now have a game I can point to as evidence for how to do it right. It’s not perfect — Cate’s wardrobe is a little worrying for most of the game — but in terms of the writing at least, it’s miles ahead of the norm for games at the moment.

I’m not worried though. The demand for better female characters (and indeed better characters in general) will continue to grow, and games as a whole will improve in response. But, despite holding up No One Lives Forever as an example to aspire to, new games will have to go about things differently. You see, I wasn’t entirely accurate earlier — the writing in No One Lives Forever isn’t great despite the game’s length, it’s great because of it.

History Lessons: No One Lives Forever (part 1)

It’s been a while since I wrote a History Lesson post. You may wish to read my introduction if you haven’t already, and previous History Lesson posts can be found here. This is also the first History Lesson post that I’m writing as I play, rather than after the fact.

Having decided to take a break from Skyrim, I figured I should change gears. Instead of a modern game set in a medieval fantasy world, how about an older game set in the modern world? It seemed like the perfect time to try No One Lives Forever, a game I’ve been meaning to play for a long time. No One Lives Forever was released in 2000 by Monolith, the same studio behind Shogo: Mobile Armor Division (which was the subject of a guest post on this very blog), and it is set in 1967. Inspired equally by James Bond and Austin Powers, it tells the story of ’60s superspy Cate Archer, an operative in the British branch of the international intelligence agency UNITY. While ostensibly a first-person shooter, No One Lives Forever is known more for its implementation of stealth gameplay and for its variety of imaginative set pieces. It’s one of those games that many people hear about but few have played, touted as a classic that never quite reached the status it should have.

It’s also one of the rare games that feature a female protagonist. Let’s talk about that for a second.

Alternate History: Shogo: Mobile Armor Division [Guest Post]

There is too much gaming history to be covered by one man. Fortunately, jefequeso offered to help by contributing this guest piece on Shogo: Mobile Armor Division, the 1998 first-person shooter by Monolith. Read on for his thoughts on the game.

Monolith is something of an enigma. While FPS developers such as Valve and id have signature styles that permeate their classic titles as well as their new releases, it’s hard to see the Monolith that created Shogo: Mobile Armor Division going on to make games as gritty and brutalized as Condemned and FEAR. Shogo is a lighthearted, funny, entertaining, addictive, broken, infuriating, borderline unplayable gem of an FPS, about as far removed from FEAR’s visceral gunfights and Condemned’s disturbing imagery as you can get.

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