Map Comparison

 

Rogue Agent features 22 maps available for selection in splitscreen multiplayer, but a total of 32 on disc (excluding the Gamecube port). This does get shaved down to 13 with 3-4 players, but a pretty respectable list nonetheless. The reason 32 maps exist at all is that the team created larger and/or alternate versions specifically for the online multiplayer component of the game (excluding the Temple, which is not available in splitscreen). Typically these can be summarized as larger, more richly-detailed iterations of their splitscreen counterparts. Having said that, examining the differences between each version of the maps can be very interesting.

For the record, these maps are technically totally unavailable on the PS2 version since EA closed the servers years ago, and only the Xbox version supported system link, where they are still accessible. For the PS2 version, however, I have made cheat device codes to access these alternate maps in splitscreen mode. Head over to the hacking section to find those. Sadly, for Gamecube players, these versions of the maps simply never existed on the disc.

Index:

 

  • Moonraker Fuel

  • Moonraker Pods

  • Moonraker Launch

  • Dr.No's Reactor

  • Mining Pit

  • GoldenEye's Retreat

  • Atlantis

  • Fissure Platform

  • Vault Core

Moonraker Fuel

I touch on some of the more unusual aspects of the Moonraker Maps in my curiosities section, but the one point I'll reiterate here is that the three maps created for the game (Fuel, Pods, and Launch) are essentially all different areas within the same facility. The network versions of these maps are the truest incarnations of this idea, as all three feature expanded routes and passages.

Moonraker Fuel, while not substantially larger than its splitscreen counterpart, does add an entire deathtrap room that can otherwise only be witnessed behind glass and sealed doors. That reason alone is enough to make the splitscreen map feel incomplete, but there is also much more visual finesse to be admired in the network version, as well as explosive barrels dotting the play area, which more closely mirrors earlier footage of the map (find footage of that in the archive section).

Above: The deathtrap room in question, locked away behind sealed doors in the splitscreen version.

Both doors are opened in the network variation of the map, and the control console outside of the window can be used to activate a "Redirect Exhaust" deathtrap. The interior of the room houses a Domination platform.

Behind the shuttle there are more discrepancies. The splitscreen map ends in a solid wall, while the network variation opens to a double stairwell that descends into the conference pit.

The conference pit itself is different still, as seen in the images below. The network version features two "safe respawn" rooms that can only be opened from the inside. Beyond that there are visual quality differences, like glossy flooring and an exhaust effect coming from the shuttle.

As for the rest of the map, it mostly boils down to cosmetic changes and/or additional detail. Interestingly the entire color temperature of the room feels different between each version; warmer in the splitscreen map, and colder in the network map. The shuttle itself appears vastly more detailed in the network version, even including a faked reflection in the side windows, as seen below.

Finally, as mentioned above, the explosive barrels add a welcome addition to the map's layout. These are completely absent from the splitscreen version and over all complete what I feel is a much better map by comparison. While there is a mild performance hit when forcing the network version of the map in splitscreen, I recommend heading over to the hacking section and trying this version of Moonraker Fuel out instead of the usual option, if you have access to a PS2 copy and a friend to play with. Or you can just run around alone in there, as I have sometimes done.

Moonraker Pods

Above: Splitscreen map on left/Network map on right.

In its network variation, Moonraker Pods opens two upper rooms and a catwalk. What's particularly interesting about this change is that these areas are fully intact within the splitscreen map, but are simply closed off via two doors. This would seem to be at least one example of EA LA scaling back a map legitimately to restrict the size for a smaller player count, and not simply due to technical limitations. The same could perhaps be said of Fuel, but with Pods there is nothing quite so obvious as a deactivated trap facing an inaccessible room. Nevertheless, there is also additional detail in the network version of Pods.

Above: Shutters block staircases to the upper levels in the splitscreen version (left).

The two upstairs rooms are essentially mirror images of each other, in standard Rogue Agent fashion. One has blue lighting, while the other features red. Both rooms connect to a catwalk that leads to a balcony over the bay deathtrap.

As stated earlier, it's interesting that these rooms are basically still fully modeled in the splitscreen version, and with modifying player spawn points it is possible to access this upper level anyway. The armor placements, however, are removed.

The final notes about this one are mostly cosmetic. Actual "pods" are continuously being loaded onto the shuttle (hence the name), and in the back room, players can see more of these contraptions through a long window. Seemingly endless rows of them fade off into the distance. There's also a nice reflection effect in the floor of this room, and small visual touches like this can be found peppered throughout. All in all, I don't feel the differences to this one are quite as drastic as Fuel, but technically the map is expanded by about the same amount. What's funny, though, is despite this map's network variation being absent on the Gamecube discs, it can basically be played in its entirety simply by using modified spawn points in the splitscreen version. I have, in fact, created such a code in the hacking section.

Moonraker Launch

Moonraker Launch is one of the first maps I ever played in Rogue Agent, at a friend's house over Xbox Live. After buying the game myself, I couldn't even remember which level it was until realizing the splitscreen counterpart was totally different. Of the three Moonraker maps, it really is the most significantly expanded.

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Above: Shutters block staircases to the upper levels in the splitscreen version (left).

In splitscreen, Moonraker Launch is not so dissimilar to Vault Core (another map that is expanded quite a bit for online/system link). Basically it's a large circular opening with a long hallway bordering it. Both versions of Launch feature the centrifuge from the Moonraker film as a deathtrap. In splitscreen it's kind of the main attraction, but the network variant expands the map with an entire second level. It is with this addition that the name "Launch" actually makes a bit more sense, as it is based on the famous command center for launching the shuttle as seen in the 1979 film.

Even for folks that never saw the original Moonraker film, this command center should be somewhat recognizable from the GoldenEye 007 video game, as well. Rareware also included a mission based on Moonraker (dubbed "Aztec"), which was unlockable after completing the main game. Whether or not EA LA was influenced by Rareware's inclusion of Moonraker content for their own game is anyone's guess, but either way the expanded version of Launch is very cool, and the network variations of the Moonraker stages complete an intriguing trio of areas that do at least feel interconnected.

This command center also allows players to overlook the shuttle from a high vantage point. The room leading to this houses an electricity deathtrap... so don't get too entranced by the view, I guess.

The final note about this map is that, like Fuel, it features "safe respawn" rooms on the lower level. These rooms are simply erased behind solid shutters in splitscreen, similar to the entire second level. The rooms themselves do look pretty cool, and also have a decent view of the shuttle.

Dr. No's Reactor

The most interesting details about this particular map, in my opinion, can be found in my development article. There are definitely some interesting changes to the network variation, though, but it mainly boils down to an upper level that is removed in splitscreen. Not unlike Moonraker Launch, in that case, but with this map the expanded area is pretty much just a duplicate of the lower level. The network map also features some additional small rooms for spawning behind large blast doors.

Above: Entrances to the first and second levels in the network map.

Above: Deathtrap rooms on the first and second floors (network).

Above: Blast door rooms for spawning are present in the network map.

As usual there is some reduced detail in the splitscreen variation, as seen in the images below. The ceiling lights in the grate deathtrap room have a much more jagged border, and in a particularly interesting change, the network version actually has a skybox that can be seen outside the windows. This was removed for the splitscreen map, and instead the windows have a simple white/blue gradient effect. Funnily enough, the skybox from Golden Gate Bridge was reused, but it's lowered enough so that players can't see details like San Francisco Bay or Alcatraz (see images above).

Mining Pit

Visually, there isn't a big difference between the splitscreen and network variants of Mining Pit. What is quite significant, however, is the entire surrounding dirt road that becomes accessible in the network map.

Above: What looks like scenery in the splitscreen map is, in fact, an entirely playable area in the network version.

Similarly to Moonraker Pods, the geometry for this expanded area is almost completely intact in the splitscreen map. Additional crates were simply added at the end of two walkways to block access.

Above: Crates blocking access to the surrounding dirt road (splitscreen).

There are also fairly large "safe respawn" rooms in the network map, too, but they are not locked away by doors. Instead, players will drop down from a ledge that cannot be scaled from the other side. Two of these areas exist, with three openings to exit.

GoldenEye's Retreat

With GoldenEye's Reteat (or "Ski Lodge," in a very specific circumstance), the network variation of the map isn't expanded much beyond what's available in splitscreen. That isn't to say the changes aren't notable, though. In terms of detail, right off the bat it's actually snowing in the network version, so it's more atmospheric, not to mention accurate to the load screen image. There are also background additions like a helipad and tree-covered hills adding to the vibe that you are duking it out at a secluded lair.

Above: In Splitscreen (left), finer details like falling snow and icicles are absent.

The interior is not without its visual discrepancies, either. A few more decorative objects are scattered around, and in some cases entire textures look completely different.

Below: Splitscreen map left, network right. Most visual differences speak for themselves.

All that aside, there are some key changes that affect gameplay. The most significant would be that most of the massive windows can be shattered in the network version of the map, giving players entry points from basically any location. Doors also remain closed until a player is within range, whereas they simply remain open indefinitely in splitscreen.

As usual, an exclusive deathtrap can be found in the network map. Two paintings slide along the wall, revealing turrets that spread a barrage of bullets over the second-floor balcony. This usually results in a lot of broken panes of glass, and lasts probably just a bit shorter than the blimp deathtrap in Golden Gate Bridge.

Ultimately, you're not missing much in terms of map layout with the splitscreen version, but the network map adds a lot of nice touches that breathe a bit more life into things.

Atlantis

Atlantis is a location based on the 1977 film, The Spy Who Loved Me. Rogue Agent is also not the only 007 game to feature an interpretation of it; 007 Nightfire also included it as one of the larger available maps for multiplayer. The version featured in Rogue Agent does feel a bit more appropriate, since it actually gives the impression of being deep under the ocean.

Possibly the most intriguing addition to the network map is the option of playing the "Tug-O-War" match type. In splitscreen, Transit Tunnel is the only map where this is possible, and teams compete to guide a trolley to its destination using switches along the track. Similar switches are present in Atlantis, with the objective of moving a warhead to your team's respective goal. Once a point is scored, another warhead rises from the center of the map, and the process repeats.

Players are able to drop the walkway over the pool below in either version of the map. The network variation makes this a little bit more amusing with the inclusion of a shark occupying the tank. This is complete with a unique death animation where the camera zooms out to show the shark thrashing around, presumably with your body. For better or worse, there is no blood... only splashing.

Above: A shark lurks in the pool below the walkways of the network verison of Atlantis.

The rest of the changes are mostly decorative, or just increased detail. There is a lot more furniture, and even an aquarium in a room that is normally quite empty while playing splitscreen.

Above: A fully furnished room in the network variation. The aquarium is also destructible.

Even the ocean beyond the many windows of Atlantis has a lot more going on compared to the splitscreen counterpart. The fade into the distance also feels a bit more natural.

Fissure Platform

Above: Splitscreen on the left, network on the right.

Fissure platform is based on a late portion of the Octopus campaign mission. The size is about the same between the two variants, but as usual there is more detail in the network version, as well as an abundance of explosive barrels scattered throughout.

Fissure platform is a pretty large map regardless of the incarnation. Explosive scenery is always a plus, though, so it's nice that it's added in the network version. The side rooms also look much closer to the elevators found in the Octopus mission, whereas their geometry is reduced significantly in splitscreen.

Ultimately, though, nothing extremely unusual to see here, and actually it's a little surprising that two different maps were deemed necessary in the first place.

Vault Core

This map is basically ripped straight from the finale of Midas Casino in campaign mode. That's clear enough in the splitscreen variant, but even more apparent with the network version where two of the larger side rooms are accessible and expand the map substantially. In the campaign, these rooms are where the player must activate blast doors via switches, and they look more or less the same as they did in that mission. In splitscreen these rooms are simply removed with their entrances sealed, turning Vault Core into a very simple, contained battlefield.

Above: Splitscreen on the left, network on the right.

Above: Additional views of the opened side rooms in the network map.

One of the more interesting details missing in splitscreen is this "Midas Grand Casino" decal in the hallway, which more directly ties the map to the campaign mission.