[gameinfo title=”Game Info” game_name=”” developers=”Eurocom” publishers=”Activision” platforms=”” genres=”” release_date=”October 16, 2012″]
Bond fans and Sonic fans have something in common in regards to games in their respective series, developers keep telling the fans, “Hey this is a good game. It is like how it was back in the day. We promise it is not another bad game.” Fans fall for this hype and for the most part are disappointed. It is really akin to the abused returning to the abuser after claims that violence will not happen again. But this is a digression, because in reality the so called good Bond games only seem good through rose-tinted glasses and just can’t hold up to the standards we have for games with today’s technology. That being said, 007 Legends fails for two different audiences; video game fans and Bond film fans. This is surprising since Eurocom made a valid effort on the previous title Goldeneye Reloaded to recapture old Bond glory.
The premise behind 007 Legends is during the upcoming movie Skyfall, Bond is sniped while fighting on a train and falls into the water below. The game takes place as a series of out of order flashbacks to old Bond movie plots in a life flashing before Bond’s eyes type deal. The movies include Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, License To Kill, Die Another Day, and Moonraker. This causes Eurocom to take some liberties with the Bond canon. There are essentially 2 different timelines in the Bond canon; movies prior to Daniel Craig and then the Daniel Craig movies that were essentially a modern reboot. Bond is now modeled after Daniel Craig rather than the original actors in the levels associated with their respective movie but don’t expect to hear Daniel Craig speak. They only use his likeness and it is voiced by someone else that does a horrible Daniel Craig impression.
The campaign comes in with 3 difficulties along with Classic and Standard modes where health does not regen in Classic and you have to pick up health powerups randomly throughout the level. During each level there are trials that are based on the difficulty chosen such as completing a level with accuracy above 90%, shooting all hidden targets, and certain number of kills with a weapon. Completing this challenges give extra experience to Bond. This experience along with experience gained from kills and objective completions can be used to buy attachments for his guns and perks that do things like make him faster or healthier. While the system is works alright, something more robust would have been nice.
The liberties do not stop there as Bond uses modern technology. Bond drives a new model Aston Martin rather than the original. These are all small things except that it creates a disjointedness in the aesthetic of the game. Eurocom did a very good job of mimicking the movies during key scenes, so much so that for example the scene in Goldfinger’s office has a strong 70’s film feel to it such as Pussy Galore’s speech patterns and modeling. When Daniel Craig busts out a cellphone to hack something, that aesthetic is broken.
Of course the aesthetic was probably already broken by the Call of Duty wannabe fights prior to getting to those sections of the levels. It is understandable that the player has to do something, but changing everything into a mass murder assault was not the way to go. There are some stealth sections in the game but these amount to stay out of the enemies line of sight and don’t kill them in places that can get the bodies seen. This plays out so bad in the game, that going guns a blazing is easier and way less frustrating. Unfortunately, there are some forced stealth sections that will force you to load last checkpoint if spotted.
Though there are a lot of negatives to the integration of the old Bond movies to the Daniel Craig era, it is not all bad. Modeling for the Bond characters are top-notch representations of their counterparts and even sport the voices to match. Any true Bond fan will get hyped up when Goldfinger responds to Bond, “No Mr. Bond…I expect you to die.” So despite the liberties taken, there is plenty of fanservice to bring in loyal fans. After completing the last mission, rather than getting any kind of resolution, the game goes straight to credits. This might leave some players scratching their head but Eurocom are releasing the Skyfall missions that end the game as free DLC at a later date.
Outside of campaign there is a Challenges mode that contains 10 segments from the levels of the game where you must complete an objective. It is very similar to Call Of Duty’s Spec Ops mode. You can alter various game specs before launching a mission such as player health, enemy health, and enemy accuracy. These specs add up to a score modifier that is multiplied by the missions score to give you a final score. Mission types range from “stealthy” infiltration, “run your ass off” escape, “guard this” defense, and “slaughtering a certain number of enemies” assault. With only 10 5-8 minute missions, the challenges mode really leaves much to be desired unless you are the type to try and beat your friends score on the leaderboards.
Goldeneye Reloaded brought back the offline 4 player split screen multiplayer and 007 Legends keeps it in. There is nothing quite like smack talking your friends while sitting on the couch. The online multiplayer is the traditional fair with the usual modes. While it is easy to find matches in the various deathmatch modes, the other modes should play a soundtrack of crickets for how dead they are.
Gamer’s cash might be better spent on Black Ops 2 rather than Bond of Duty. 007 Legends isn’t a bad game per say but ends up disappointing because of the potential it had. Die hard Bond fans will still love it and fun can definitely be had on the 4 player split screen. The lack of end missions, even if they are coming as free DLC down the road, is a bit disconcerting.