James Bond: Quantum of Solace (Review)

Compared to Casino Royale, the Quantum of Solace film was a big let down, so there’s not much hope for the game of the film right? Movie tie-ins are usually average at best.

So it’s a big surprise to find out that the game is actually rather good. Actually it’s very good. The missions take scenes from the last two bond films, not just Quantum. But not in order, as the game plays through Quantum to after the desert sinkhole shootout, then through Casino Royale, then finishing with the remainder of the second film. Yep me neither.

Running on the Call of Duty 4 engine you’d be forgiven for expecting a straight-forward FPS, and that is the standard view. But this has more in common with the Brothers in Arms games, with a snap-to-cover button. This puts the game into a third-person perspective displaying Daniel Craig’s well replicated emotionless features if not his almost neon blue eyes.

Crouched down behind pillars and tables is where you’ll spend most time in Quantum, while lining up your cross-hairs to pop up for a head-shot. This keeps you alive longer than trying to play the game like COD4. Even blind-fire works brilliantly and is damn near essential if you want to tackle the 007 (the hardest) difficulty setting.

There are some stealth elements to the game, where if you can remain undetected or dispatch guards quietly you’ll get an easier ride through some levels, but you’re never punished with a forced restart if you want to ‘go loud,’ which is the way it should be, giving you the choice.

Instead of melee attacks you’ll perform a ‘takedown’ by matching the on-screen button prompt. Some ‘boss’ battles will put you through a series of these. They’re not hard, just a little yawnsome and feels more like pressing pause and play on the DVD remote than playing a game. Actually… that’s my only real complaint about the whole game.

While Treyarch seem to have nailed the cover mechanic and control set-up it’s baffling to think why it was ballsed up so much by Guerrilla in Killzone 2, with no snap-to-cover button, resulting in an unfamiliar pad set-up or being forced to play with two fingers over the left shoulder buttons. They even took out all cover / lean options online except for ducking.

Whereas, online in Quantumthe gameplay can be both similar to the main game and typical run-and-gun. There’s the standard online shooter options along with Golden Gun requiring everyone to take down one player and fight over said weapon. Or you might be tasked with playing as Bond and escaping the mercenaries. Surprisingly there are still people playing even now, but there are a decent number of weapons, add-ons and gadgets to work towards.

Before we start calling it a great movie tie-in it’s important to point out that many of the shoot-outs have been included with a little ahem ‘creative license.’ For example, in Casino Royale do you remember after Bond meets Vesper he climbs onto the roof of the speeding train, shoots thugs, jumps onto another train and back again. No? This sort of random gunfight inclusion is clumsily implemented throughout the game, but if you’re just after a quality shooter you won’t care.

On the easiest setting you’ll fly through the game in a long afternoon, but if you do that first then go back though on 007 mode picking up any items and Trophies you missed you’ll find a seriously enjoyable challenge in the best Bond game in years.

8/10

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