Alasdair Preston looks at the latest Bond game. 360 (System Reviewed), PS3, PC
To coincide with the release of Skyfall in the cinema, 007 Legends brings James Bond to your console. Instead of being based entirely on the one film, though, 007 Legends covers 5 others from the Bond franchise’s 50-year history, with additional Skyfall missions to boot. To further represent Bond’s illustrious past, each of these films has been chosen from a different era of Bond. From Goldfinger, to License to Kill and even up to Die Another Day, Eurocom have brought the stories into the 21st century. That includes new gadgets, slightly modernised plots and, the most modern of all, Daniel Craig as James Bond.
The main campaign is, as previously mentioned, based on 5 classic Bond films (assuming we can call Die Another Day a classic). It is broken up into an episodic format, with a couple of missions per film. This paces quite well, showing a lot of each film’s main scenes without dragging it out or slowing the game down. A lot of the original cast of the films portray their own characters, including Dame Judi Dench as M and Richard Kiel as the one and only Jaws.
The most notable difference between Craig’s films and the earlier Bonds, (aside from him being blond) is also the biggest let down in 007 Legends. Gone are the special ‘Bond moments’ littered around the levels of Nightfire, or the heavy-duty gadgetry synonymous with the man himself. What we’re left with is a fairly standard action stealth game.
That’s not to say there’s only one flaw with this game. It is surprising that such a high profile game associated with such a well-known franchise has been released with seemingly so little effort. Textures are, in places, poor. Character animation is dated. Enemy AI is obscene. The mechanics for the stealth sections simply don’t work more often than not, to the point where it is infinitely easier to run and gun than employ any Bondesque tactics whatsoever. The only gameplay elements that are half decent have come straight from an older Call of Duty game. The list goes on. Just because the 007 name will undoubtedly make this game sell, doesn’t mean it should be given so little thought.
The multiplayer comes with all the game modes and customisation options that we’ve come to expect from CoD, and most other FPS games these days. Some of the flaws I’ve already mentioned, coupled with standard map design and lack of imagination, make this multiplayer extremely forgettable. With titles like Black Ops 2 and MoH: Warfighter hitting the shelves shortly after 007 Legends, it’s hard to believe many FPS fans would opt for this one.
The most interesting mode by far is the challenge mode. By choosing a scenario from each film, and picking between the hero or villain side, you must try and complete the objectives as fast as possible. Your score is calculated based not only on time, but also from a finely tuned difficulty rating based upon an extensive set of pre-mission modifiers. Trying to beat your own and friends high scores is the most re-playable part of this game.
As is becoming tradition, it’s hard not to feel let down by the latest Bond game. A lot of wasted potential and disappointed Bond fans are just about all it has.