Call of "007, Reporting for Duty."
The James Bond film franchise might have celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last year, but old 007 is looking smoother, sharper, sexier and better than ever. Too bad the same can't be said anymore about his licensed games. 007: Quantum of Solace and even Blood Stone were admirable attempts of Activision's studios bringing Bond to current generation systems. The Wii's GoldenEye 007 is not just a great shooter for the system, but it is a great shooter in general. The same team behind that game, Eurocom, created a special game featuring everyone's favorite smooth-talking spy for Bond's fiftieth anniversary, 007 Legends. Let's just say the world is not enough to ask me to go back to this game after playing it through once.
007 Legends takes Daniel Craig's version of James Bond, though noticeably without his actual voice, through missions based on one of each past Bond actors' films: Sean Connery's Goldfinger, George Lazenby's On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Timothy Dalton's Licence to Kill, Pierce Brosnan's Die Another Day, and Roger Moore's Moonraker, in that order. To say that Eurocom took great liberties with how each film's plot is portrayed to fit video game form is an understatement. Someone can correct me, but I don't think James Bond ever went toe-to-toe with a U.S. Army tank at Fort Knox in Goldfinger.
Another issue is that there is no cohesion between the different movies. 007 Legends starts with James Bond battling a target on top of a speeding train. Bond's partner mistakenly snipes him in the chest, having him fall off the train and far down into the watery abyss below, as seen in the opening gambit of the movie Skyfall. The missions played out in 007 Legends are merely memories that Bond has while submerged underwater, and they have no logical adherence to one another. For Goldfinger, for instance, you are thrust in a scene with a dead woman, covered in gold body paint. If you haven't seen the original movie, you probably don't have any clue as to what is going on. This is an issue throughout the entire game, being placed into scenes without context. It just feels like a fragmented, poorly put together way of putting players into each film.
|Why do I feel more like Rambo|
and less like James Bond?
|I remember when James Bond stormed Fort Knox|
and battled a tank. Wait. What?
|Bond is about to give these goons|
the cold shoulder.
|Swing a fist at James Bond?|
That was a grave mistake.
|It's not just a high powered weapon,|
it's a fashion statement.
|If I were a cat, you could say|
I had the pick of the litter.
It's an absolute shame that Activision's fourth and final game with the James Bond license is such a travesty. There's little incentive for the player to continue plowing through wave after wave of enemies in a Call of Duty clone-like fashion. The mission structure is too linear to entertain for long (I, personally, would have loved to see missions set up with multiple objectives that could be completed in any order rather than what we have now), the stealth elements are poorly conceived and even more horribly executed, and the presentation just feels less than status quo-- certainly unbecoming of the James Bond name. While 007's legendary anniversary went off without a hitch, 007 Legends will leave an awful taste in players' mouths-- one that a martini that is shaken and not stirred won't be strong enough to cover up.
[SPC Says: 4.25/10]