007: Agent Under Fire is a first-person shooter video game based on the James Bond franchise. Developed and published by Electronic Arts, it was released for PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox game consoles. It is the fourth Bond game which is not based on a film or book in the James Bond series, following James Bond 007: The Duel, James Bond 007 and EA's own 007 Racing. The game's story arc continues in the following sequel, Nightfire, released a year later. Unlike previous Bond games which featured the likeness of then current Bond actor Pierce Brosnan, Agent Under Fire used the voice of Adam Blackwood and the likeness of English actor Andrew Bicknell for Bond.
Agent Under Fire features over 15 different types of firearms as well as other weapons. Each firearm is based on a real firearm, but is given a pseudonym, the same manner as the weapons in GoldenEye 007, and The World is Not Enough. Most of the gadgets are concealed in a mobile phone, including a decryptor, grapple, laser, and remote transmitter. Bond is also provided with a card that disrupts electronic signals, as well as a jetpack.
Starting with GoldenEye 007 and continuing on with The World Is Not Enough, multiplayer support in a James Bond game had become very common. The multiplayer mode in Agent Under Fire features up to four players, with several unique arenas to host multiplayer battles in. The multiplayer games can also be played with one player against an AI player.
CIA agent Zoe Nightshade, a mole in Identicon Corporation, based in Hong Kong, is discovered and captured. Identicon, a botanical research firm, is a possible front for a weapons-smuggling ring. James Bond (Andrew Bicknell) infiltrates the Identicon facility in an attempt to rescue her, as well as retrieve a suspicious courier case in the same building. After freeing Nightshade from a submarine set to launch, the pair flee the facility with the courier case. Nigel Bloch, the head of Identicon, has his forces chase the agents through the streets of Hong Kong. The two steal a second case of vials from a nearby Identicon factory. They then rendezvous with R, who provides Bond with a gadget-laden BMW Z8. A limousine pulls up, as an assassin inside launches a rocket at the agents, killing Zoe, and steals the case. Bond gives chase, stopping an armored van which contained the stolen vials.
The vials contain nine blood samples, eight of which contained blood of world leaders. One contains the blood of British diplomat Reginald Griffin, serving in a British embassy in Bucharest, Romania, who is obsessed with protecting a room, outside his jurisdiction, in the embassy. Bond investigates the embassy, and also meets a strange woman after bursting in her room. He acts like a lost security guard and obtains a security card. He also finds Griffin dead, before a man, identical to Griffin, attacks him. After overcoming him, Bond finds a message from Bloch on Griffin's computer that mentions Malprave Industries, based in Switzerland. Bond takes the information from the computer and escapes.
At the Malprave Industries' Switzerland branch, Bond poses as a journalist and notices that the woman that he accidentally met in the embassy is actually the CEO: Adrian Malprave. Knowing that she will recognize him, he plans the escape. After collecting evidence, he makes his escape from the faciilty. Analysis of the computer message from Romania mentions "Defective Merchandise", believed to be a codename for Dr. Natalya Damescu, formerly in the employ of Malprave, now under protection at the British embassy in Bucharest, the same one in which Griffin was serving. She also has inside information to offer. Carla the Jackal, an infamous terrorist who also killed Zoe, leads a raid on the embassy. Bond fights the terrorists before running into Damescu. After a confrontation with the Jackal, Bond kills her and picks up a data chip on something known as "Poseidon".
The chip leads Bond to an oil rig in the South China Sea. After running into Bloch, Bond follows him into Poseidon, an underwater base devoted to clone development. Bond seemingly kills Bloch and destroys his lab, he then escapes the complex by climbing onto a submarine bound for a Royal Navy aircraft carrier in Mediterranean. Inside the submarine, Bond finds Zoe, who reveals that the woman he "saved" from the Identicon facility was a clone meant to infiltrate the CIA, and that the Jackal had intended to kill Bond.
Depending on whether or not the player picked up the verification code, Bond and Zoe are either captured or are taken to the carrier unharmed after having sex on the submarine. In either case, the pair investigate the ship. It is discovered that 8 world leaders have been cloned, and are to be replaced by the duplicates. Bond destroys the craft carrying the clones, and the pair make their escape. Bond heads back to the Malprave Industries building in the Swiss Alps, where he successfully saves the eight world leaders. Before he can escape from the base however, he encounters Malprave, who has set the base to self-destruct. She reveals that Nigel Bloch is still alive, and that Bond had merely killed his clone. After a firefight with him, Bond follows Bloch into Malprave's main office and shoots him with a rocket launcher, sending him crashing through a stained-glass window to his death. Just as Bond manages to leap free of the base before it explodes, Malprave appears and tries to jump clear too, but is consumed by the blast and dies. Bond lands on a military aircraft being commandeered by Zoe, and together they escape the smoldering base.
Agent Under Fire originally started as the PS2 and PC versions of The World Is Not Enough, and was based on a modified Quake III Arena engine. In 2001, the PC version was cancelled, and the PS2 version was remade as Agent Under Fire. Before going further in development, the studios' original plan was to bring Roger Moore to reprise his role as Bond. In the end, however, the behaviours between Moore's interpretation of the character and the one in this game shared identical attitudes. Andrew Bicknell provided the voice and likeness of Bond for the game. However, his casting was not widely reported, and many PS2 magazines released at the time, such as PlayStation World erroneously reported that Bicknell's Bond was an original generic character invented for the game.
Similarly, originally John Cleese was to reprise his role as "R" from The World Is Not Enough. Cleese had previously played R in the PS1 and N64 versions of The World Is Not Enough and 007 Racing, and production footage of the game released clearly showed Cleese's likeness and voice. However, due to copyright reasons, Cleese's likeness was replaced and his lines redubbed by Miles Anderson, who ironically had imitated the voice of Desmond Llewelyn's Q in previous games. For reasons unknown, instead of imitating Cleese's voice, Anderson used the same voice he had used for Llewelyn's Q when voicing Cleese's character. Cleese did however reprise his role as R in commercials for Agent Under Fire.
EA stated in several gaming magazines that Bond would be going "back to its roots," as the game was originally designed to be a true successor to Rare's 1997 GoldenEye 007. Early promo screenshots of the game reflected this, featuring the renowned GoldenEye healthbar.
007: Agent Under Fire received mixed to positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 2 version 75.38% and 72/100, the GameCube version 73.40% and 74/100 and the Xbox version 71.63% and 71/100.
The Cincinnati Enquirer gave the PlayStation 2 version three-and-a-half stars out of five and called it "Slick, sexy and jam-packed with action — but this adventure is short with limited playability over time, except perhaps for its multiplayer modes." However, it later gave the other two versions a score of four stars out of five. FHM gave the PS2 version three stars out of five, stating, "There is the usual mix of chick[s], cars and guns to keep even the most special of agents happy." Maxim also gave the PS2 version six out of ten and stated that "At last you’ll infiltrate the secret lair, where you’ll discover…you’ve been playing a very standard-issue game."