On November 9, 2000, the saga of superspy Cate Archer kicked off with the release of The Operative: No One Lives Forever. What followed was a thrilling spy adventure spanning two awesome stealth first-person-shooters (and one straight-up shooter, with a different protagonist, that nobody really talks about).

As Cate Archer, you’d carry out various missions across the globe, utilizing stealth or brute force to infiltrate, well, anything. Like a German research facility and a space station in No One Lives Forever, or a tornado-stricken trailer park and an underwater base in the sequel.

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They were quite the games! A real shame you can’t easily buy them today, with the series’ rights sitting in a publisher’s filing cabinet somewhere, untouched. Night Dive Studios, a team specializing in updating older games for modern systems, tried to re-release No One Lives Forever—only for the project to be shut down because they couldn’t secure the rights to the games.

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I sincerely hope that by the time of NOLF’s 20th birthday (or earlier, preferably), all of that will be in the past and the series will be out on digital distribution for everyone to enjoy. For now, here’s a bit of gaming nostalgia with the first game’s intro:

It has aged pretty well, aside from this bit:

Early 2000s PC graphics at its worst/best, right there.

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