Jonathan Garcia / Staff Writer
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of James Bond, celebrating the moments of hi-tech gadgets and ordering a vodka martini “shaken, not stirred.” With the highly anticipated “Skyfall” hitting theatres and IMAX November 9th, Activision and Eurocom brings you “007 Legends” for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and coming soon on PC and the upcoming Wii U.
Gamers are taken on a journey of missions based on classic Bond films such as “Goldfinger,” “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (OHMSS), “Moonraker,” “Licence To Kill,” “Die Another Day” and a free DLC of the upcoming “Skyfall” coming to the Playstation Store and the Xbox Live Marketplace after the film’s release.
However, after playing the game, it is unsure whether gamers will want to keep playing “007 Legends” until the “Skyfall” DLC comes out. The “007 Legends” title may seem promising to Bond fans, but the game is actually awful and could be one of the worst Bond games since “007 Racing.”
The game features Daniel Craig’s likeness, but is voiced by Timothy Watson who does a terrible job at trying to impersonate Craig, and to make matters worse Watson also voices Auric Goldfinger in the game.
Developers do try to make the game decent by using a few of the original actors voicing the characters that they portrayed in the movies. Michael Lonsdale returns to voice Hugo Drax alongside Richard Kiel as the iconic henchmen Jaws. Other actors lending their voices to the game are Carey Lowell as Pam Bouvier, Toby Stephens as Gustav Graves, Rory Kinnear as Tanner, Judi Dench as M.
The game does try to make it work by making the voice acting seem original. For the most part the actors do their job well, except for Stephens who seems to overact the role he portrayed in “Die Another Day.” In the “Skyfall” DLC, Naomie Harris will voice Eve and Ola Rapace will appear as Patrice.
“007 Legends” opens up with the train scene from “Skyfall” with Eve taking position to take a shot at Patrice while he’s fighting Bond on top of a train about to head into a tunnel. Eve takes the shot but accidently hits Bond as he plummets into the water. As his life hangs in the balance, he starts to have flashbacks from his past missions that are told through underwater cut-scenes, and occasionally standard cut-scenes.
The game is a first-person shooter similar to “Call of Duty’s” but it tries to mix up the variety with the gameplay by offering some gadgets that are useless for the most part. One of the gadgets is Bond’s wristwatch, which uses a radar detector feature to pick up enemy movements. Many players will not use this at all, rendering it useless.
The only gadgets that are useful are the smart phone that can be used to electronically hack computers and overload fuse boxes to open locked doors, and a dart gun disguised as a pen that has tranquilizers and an electrical shock that can take out enemies.
The game has the option to go in stealth-like or go in guns blazing. The stealth mechanic seems to be broken, so the only option you have is to engage enemies in a gunfight. However, developers try to make stealth mandatory in sections, so it won’t be embarrassingly useless.
Another unique feature in the game is the showdown between the iconic Bond villains and henchmen by engaging them in a fist fight that is often compared to “Punch-out” and requires you to move your analog sticks in the given direction to land a blow. This mechanic may seem cool, but it is not because of a lack of challenge and being overpowered landing a punch.
In addition, the feature goes into mini slow-mo mode with every punch, which makes the feature very annoying. It’s okay if they put the slow-mo on the final punch, but when it’s every punch, it makes it annoying and takes the player out of the experience.
There is also a driving section of the game that is above average but doesn’t make up for the game’s other problems. Even though the game is based on each Bond movie, it mixes the missions up making the game inconsistent with its order. For instance, after completing the OHMSS mission, the game takes the player to “License to Kill,” “Die Another Day” and the final mission of “Moonraker” when in the theater world, after OHMSS was “Moonraker,” “License to Kill” then “Die Another Day,” so the game will confuse some of the hardcore Bond fans.
One of the driving missions requires the player to drive a snowmobile and shoot. This multitasking is hard and it takes a few seconds pause when you crash into a tree making the game frustrating. The game ends very poorly and tells you in the credits to wait for the “Skyfall” DLC coming soon after the movie comes out.
It was like the developers just wanted to force people to wait and download the “Skyfall” DLC when it comes out to get a complete ending. This will anger a lot of gamers and Bond fans alike.
By the end of the day, “007 Legends” is a terrible game with shallow gameplay, a broken stealth mechanic. In addition, a terrible upgrade system makes this game awful and “007 Legends” should be avoided like the digital herpes it is.
Don’t spend your money on this game. It is better spent on the Blu-ray box set of the Bond movies that just came out treating your friends to “Skyfall” in IMAX when it comes out. Anything is better than this game. Do not play this game; you will be bored and will not have any desire to play it again after one trip through. Bond’s 50th anniversary and the legend deserve much better than this.