James Bond: 007 Legends
Posted by PlayDevil.com Staff on Nov 12, 2012 10:14
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Written by: Ian
Bond games have had a chequered past, with all of them trying to emulate the success of Goldeneye. Last year’s Goldeneye Reloaded came close to replicating that effect, so can "007 Legends" utilise the power of all 5 Bonds to create a legendary game?
OMG 5 films! 5 Bonds! Eurocom& Activision’s entire marketing scheme has been based around quantity over quality, and when you play the game, it shows. Goldfinger, despite its fame, isn’t really suited for CoD style action, whilst other ‘classic’ films include Die Another Day and License to Kill, the worst films their respective actors had the misfortune to star in. Mashing them together is done with the utmost carelessness, thrown together not even in time order, with short, illogical cut-scenes.
The game is also supposed to end with a SkyFall mission, but despite the film being out, the game just rolls credits, leaving you totally in the lurch. Given the care given to the other films, I don’t even have any great hope that the new missions will really add much anyway.
007 Legends really wants to be Call of Duty in the way it plays for the vast majority of the game, with the exception of a very few poorly done mandatory stealth sections. The stealth in Goldeneye Reloaded was ok, but here guards can see you from miles away, are inconsistent in their actions, and have very set patterns that your distractions and actions often fail to change.
The gunplay is very basic COD style, with a fast-pace, respawning enemies, grenade spam, and lots of people you need to follow with the word ‘follow’ or ‘protect’ above them. Unfortunately this sounds (and is) very much like COD from 3 or 4 years ago. The action is slow and plodding in comparison to the latest COD games, but still fast and light compared to any strategic shooters out there. Legends therefore sits uncomfortably in the middle ground, feeling neither like a true action shooter nor having any real tactical significance.
Bond gadgets, cars and girls are, of course, thrown in to try and spice up the action. The gadgets are pretty limited though and mainly used to find collectables or in the mandatory investigation sequences which can be pretty dry. The Bond girls rarely do anything, and having the original actresses play them makes it sound like you’re playing with a bunch of pensioners. The car sequences are extremely linear, dull affairs, and whilst the ski chase adds a bit of spice, it’s the only innovative highlight in an otherwise fairly average 5 hour campaign that just doesn’t know quite where it belongs, whilst never being offensively poor.
Eurocom has done its best to make Bond play like a COD game, and the same can be said for the looks as well. But unfortunately the game is several years behind the latest COD games, and there’s a general lack of pop and fizz to the game. Whilst the level of action in COD has perhaps become overly and excessively pervasive in recent years, if Eurocom aren’t to go down that route then they really should have done what they could to improve upon the textures and quality of the aged CoD engine. There’s also remarkably inconsistency. The Moonraker levels look decent, and so does most of Goldfinger, but Die Another Day in particular just looks very dated.
The sound design shows the same budget approach. The script is poor, and they couldn’t even be bothered to get Daniel Craig in as Bond, instead plumping for a very poor soundalike who regularly feels like he is fluffing his lines. The Bond themes are all used well, but any original music feels like it’s designed to rip off Bond without getting sued, rather than being a part of the experience.
Multiplayer has always been a key facet of Bond games, and it does make a return here. Unfortunately, despite the decent number of game modes, and the opportunity for up to 12 players to duke it out online, the maps just aren’t very good, being tired re-hashes of single-player levels.
As a result, the game already feels under-populated, and with the imminent launches of Halo 4 and CODBO2, I very much doubt that anyone will be playing this at all within a few weeks of launch. It’s a shame, because even if the maps are at best average, some of the game modes and weapons, combined with classic Bond characters could still make for a decent game.
"007 Legends" isn’t a total failure, but it’s a sad return to the mediocrity so long associated with the Bond games. There’s clearly something rotten at the core of the whole relationship between the movie and game studios, and it’s unclear if this can even ever be resolved. With a wooden stand-in for Daniel Craig, poorly thought out updates to classic films, and an over-reliance on CoD gameplay, but with graphics, sounds, scripting and mechanics that lag 2-3 years behind the main series, Bond was always onto a loser, and that’s a shame. The locations, girls, guns and cars should make for a classic, but once again we’re lumped with anything but. Even Bond fans will no doubt have better shooters available this year, and only fanatics should consider picking this one up before a price drop.
+ Decent array of gadgets
+ Some decent sequences
Fiddly Badly updated plots
- Wooden voice acting