NOLF 2 is the sequel to The Operative: No One Loves Forever. I really enjoyed NOLF so I was looking forward to playing NOLF 2. Unfortunately, NOLF 2 was good, but not as good as NOLF. There are some nice improvements like not having to select which gadget to use on something like a lock; the game picks the right gadget for you when you try to “use” the something that requires a gadget. However, it seemed like gadgets were a lot less important in this game; compared to NOLF, I hardly felt like I was using many gadgets at all. There was also no load out screen before each mission (although this would have been impossible since some missions start in the field). You are simply given certain items to use as needed like bugs for phones, etc.
One of the main differences I noticed between the two games was that the second seemed a lot easier. I believe this was a combination of being able to upgrade your character through skills points (which you receive for completing certain tasks and finding intelligence items) and the lack of many stealth missions. At least in NOLF 2 points could be used for something; in the first game, points simply were for scoring your performance. But once you max out your health and armor, your character is very hard to kill; there was only one point in the game which I found very difficult and was killed (when fighting the mime assassin guy). Other boss battles were easy compared to the first game: fighting Volkov was a joke compared to your fight with him in NOLF, and the 2 or 3 fights against the ninja woman were not very difficult.
As I stated earlier, the second difference was a lack of stealth missions. In NOLF there were many missions where you could not be seen and/or kill anyone; this equated to a lot of sneaking around and could be quite difficult. In NOLF 2, I think there was only one part where you had to sneak into an office; otherwise, you could pretty much go “Rambo” on everyone – setting off alarms just brought some extra guards to fight.
Furthermore, some of the missions felt tacked on and of no particular relevance to to overall story, which was not nearly as good as NOLF’s story. In the beginning of the game, the missions are pretty long and have good pacing with some fun snowmobile driving. Later, you spend time running around India away from police who you cannot hurt; in one part of a mission, you even have to remove wanted posters of yourself for no apparent purpose. Also, there is the mission where you protect Indians from super soldiers by opening gates or dousing fires with buckets of water; meantime, super soldiers, who you cannot kill yet, are firing at you. Another mission has you running around UNITY HQ shooting mimes and removing bombs, again for no other reason than to give you something to do. And the final mission, where you finally get to fight the super soldiers, was not very difficult at all.
Overall I liked NOLF 2, but it just wasn’t up to the caliber of NOLF. There was only one mystery in the game (what is Project Omega?) and once you solve that, there are no more surprises. This game could easily have been just another shooter with a few gadgets thrown in for kicks. Although there is a part where you have to get out of a trap in 60 seconds, nothing NOLF 2 presents is as cool as falling out of an airplane trying to get a parachute in NOLF. Anyone who liked NOLF will enjoy NOLF 2, just don’t expect a repeat of a great spy game.