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No One Lives Forever Review
2000-11-13 Staff

Being the only website who cares about you has its drawbacks.  For instance, if a developer we've attacked mercilessly for three straight years manages to make a good game, we're honor-bound to eat the poop and tell you about it [guarantee null and void if Dr. Derek Smart, PhD eventually masterminds a decent game -ed] [Dear Dr. Smart, a forty page letter describing how good Battleship 3000 is will only make us like it less - the other ed].  We don't want to make a bigger deal of this than it deserves, but No One Lives Forever is a Lithtech powered game by Monolith that - in a whole bunch of non-trivial ways - is better than Half Life

If you're rubbing your eyes with your fists right now and saying "HUH?!?" over and over and over again,  just imagine how we feel.  When we were kids, Erik fell off a fence and landed headfirst onto a nail.  We weren't supposed to play with nails, so we didn't tell anyone what happened.  We pulled the nail out of Erik's skull and tried to "cure" him by pouring turpentine into the hole.  When Erik didn't die, we were both pretty surprised.  But even that didn't prepare us for No One Lives Forever.

Speaking of not living forever, when DeForest Kelley dropped dead after his brave struggle against being incredibly old for a really long time, Erik heard the Hans Grüber voice that lives in the hole in his head and that we're both pretty sure is God say "eventually, I'll get around to killing someone you do care about."  Both of us assumed God meant Freddie Prinze, Jr.   Little did we know he was talking about the guy at Monolith who was apparently responsible for them making nothing but terrible games.  Our condolences go out to that guy's wife and kids.  Your daddy was good at his job, honey.  He was the best friend a guy who writes a derisive website about video games could ever ask for.

Remember when Erik said this?

I realized that if I need a refrigerator moved, I'll phone Mr. Hall. If I want a game to play, give me the flabby, pale-yellow committee that designed Chu Chu Rocket. Monolith has proved that when a developer focuses exclusively on the heavy lifting component of game design, Blood 2 is the result.

Or when he compared Jason Hall's Superbike to Liberace's Superpiano, the implication being, we think, that Jason Hall is queer?  Or here, where it looks like Erik accuses Jason Hall of being Satan?  Or this timeless classic in which Erik fantasizes at length about Jason Hall drowning in a giant, humidified fishbowl filled with his own waste products?  Yeah, those were the days.  Amidst all the laughter, we learned a few life lessons and a whole lot of spooky shit about Erik.   Hell, it seems like only yesterday that Monolith was still churning out unplayable crap like Sanity. 

We always figured Jason Hall would get his revenge.   But we thought it'd be by crushing our prominent adam's apples between his thumb and the winner of the 1998 Mr. Universe Finger, his forefinger.  Or by clean and jerking us in such a way that we both died.  At one point, we compiled a list of the

Corrections Department!
starring Erik

Our Rune Review Rebuttal inspired this letter of protest from a reader who identifies himself only as "Jennings":

I just wanted to say something about chets review / rebuttal of rune. somewhere towards the end of the lengthy thing it says that no game kets you pick up your fallen foes weapon. Ever heard of any first person shooter games? Quake 1,2,3 / Halflife, Counterstrike just for instance. retard

When Chet originally showed me his rebuttal, I told him that I thought it was way too obviously sarcastic.  I stand corrected.

ways that we thought Jason Hall might get back at us.  According to that list, "Stack all the unsold copies of Sanity into one big pile so that it collapses onto itself, forms a black hole and sucks us into a dimension where we get shot  by cowboys" was more likely than "make a good game", which didn't even occur to us.

And by good, we mean just that - really, honestly good.  The reason we say that is because of some mail we've been getting from a deranged Rune supporter named Mappy.  He began his campaign against us on the official Rune forums, where he said:

I went and read that review on Murry's site and it's totally biased and offensive. What a biased reviewer! One of the reasons he says he doesn't like Rune is because of a scene from a Viking movie!?! WTF?!? I also think he is a raceist, because he says he wants a "whites-only policy" for viking games. What is with this guy?

He then started sending Erik mail accusing him of being a "raceist", not only because of Erik's pretty understandable all-white Viking movie casting policy but because of our ongoing [and completely legal -ed] harassment of Monolith.  At first we thought Mappy was joking, and we're still not convinced that he's not.  However, the dogged persistence it took for him to send Erik over sixty emails has kind of made that beside the point; joking or not, he's definitely a lunatic.  But just so we can clear the air here - because quite frankly we've reached a point in history where "racist" has replaced "cannibalistic mass murderer" as the worst thing you can possibly be - we compiled another list, this time

containing each of our top ten reasons we used to not like Monolith.  "Because Jason Hall is black" didn't even make Chet's top ten and just barely snuck onto Erik's at number eight.  So there you go, Mappy.  We hope that clears things up.

That got us to thinking, though, that when this review is published and the world realizes what forward-thinking, impure-blood-blind embracers of the entire Family of Man both of us are, some of you might think we're cutting Monolith slack due to white guilt.  We're embarrassed about America's checkered past, especially the part where our crazy relatives enslaved an entire race.  But we just want to assure you that in evaluating No One Live Forever, we have not held it to lower standards, such as the ones set by all of Monolith's previous games.  However, in the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that one of our favorite things about No One Lives Forever is that Ice-T has nothing to do with it.  Make of that what you will. 

Again, No One Lives Forever stands on its own merits as action game of the year.   Furthermore, we offer our solemn pledge that a black person's involvement in the development of a game will never influence our rating system.  Unless that black person is Dr. Derek Smart, etc., etc.

Deus Ex vs. NOLF

Jason Hall and his girlfriend have good clean fun.

Warren Spector takes one of the all-boy Deus Ex team for a pleasure cruise on his brightly colored houseboat.

Don't get us wrong, Jason Hall could invent a photo of Jennifer Love Hewitt's tits that converts dirt into hundred dollar bills, and it still wouldn't make up for the Blood 2 mission pack.   But No One Lives forever puts him closer to the key to the chest containing the map of our scabby black hearts than he's ever been.  Sure we could talk about the game's great AI, its innovative camerawork, its actually funny dialog, or all of its bright colors, but what's the point?  The Internet's lousy with good reviews of No One Lives Forever.  We just want to act as independent verification that they're all absolutely correct.  If you trust us, you'll buy it.  If not, then fuck you anyway.  I'm not gonna beg you to take our word for it.  Though please, please click on an ad banner before you go.

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