Bond. Perhaps there’s no other character in the world who can produce so much controversy between long time friends and family over which particular actor made the best 007. For me it was Roger Moore as he brought a certain light-heartedness to the character, but Timothy Dalton lies a close second with the current Bond – Daniel Craig – being way at the bottom. He plays him too much like a London gangster from the Kray twins era for me.
So it seems a crying shame then that a game which draws from such a rich, varied and loved history can do almost everything so badly wrong. From tired outdated FPS style shooting mechanics to the oh so boring Super Punch Out style melee combat.
007 Legends sees you play through 5 classic Bond films – Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, License To Kill, Die Another Day and Moonraker as well as Bonds latest outing Skyfall (This part of the game is being released as DLC but I didn’t play it as I have not yet seen the film and I didn’t want to spoil it for myself) However unless you’re a fan of the films you will have no idea what particular film you’re playing through, as the game relies on the player having vast knowledge of all the Bond films, and if you’re expecting to play as Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan or Timothy Dalton in any of these levels you’re going to be hugely disappointed as they have been swapped out for a likeness (albeit not a particularly good one) of Daniel Craig.
Along with the classic films there is of course some classic lines and dialogue from the films such as the Bond/Goldfinger conversation
“You expect me to talk?”
“No Mr Bond, I expect you to die”
So it’s nice that Eurocom have at least stayed a little faithful to the classic books and movies. Even though it seems like they have just been shoe horned into the game because they felt they had to rather than needing or wanting to, and these moments are so short you’ll likely forget they were ever in there to begin with, and unfortunately, it’s not too long before you’re back to the repetitive levels and boring gun-play against mindless enemies.
There is some fun to be had though, as you fight in some famous locations such as Fort Knox from Goldfinger and the space station from Moonraker which look like they do in the movies. But you’ll soon realise that every level involves mindlessly making your way through the bland looking corridors using your smartphone gadget to scan for clues and evidence and the laser beam from your Rolex watch to destroy CCTV cameras all ending with a melee fight against a boss like Odd Job or Jaws.
Speaking of shooting enemies, as you go through the levels, the enemies come in two different forms, those who take only one bullet to die and those who take an entire magazine from an AK-47 to die irrespective of whether they are wearing body armour or not, there’s no rhyme or reason for this, they both look the same, it just seems to happen and is very annoying when it does!
And the melee boss fights aren’t much better. They’re just mindless, boring and repetitive. It’s basically a quick time event done badly. Your opponent will stand aimlessly in front of you and not throw a punch whilst prompts flash up on screen telling you to push up or down on either of the 2 thumbsticks until your opponents health has been depleted.
So the basic gameplay is somewhat repetitive and boring. However, Eurocom do try and spice up the gameplay by adding a little variety every now and again, this variety comes in the form of stealth sections. These are great until the first time you slip past the security camera and stealthily take down an enemy and then realise that you cannot move the body of the guard you just knocked out and instead you’re just forced to leave it lying there in the middle of the floor until another guard spots his friends unconscious body and raises the alarm causing mission failure, so these stealth sections become more of a speed run seeing how many guards you can take down within a certain time limit rather than a proper stealth section and in fact these sections are made worse by the fact that you would just be better off (and feel more like Bond it has to be said) going in guns blazing and blowing stuff up!
Those few paragraphs above is the single player campaign. That’s it, there is nothing else. Just rinse and repeat for 6 hours and that’s it. However if the core gameplay is Bonds enemy, the multiplayer in 007 Legends is Miss Moneypenny. In other words, it’s fantastic and really is the games only redeeming feature, the multiplayer mode sees up to 12 players playing on maps and focus more on Bond style objectives. Even the Golden Gun makes an appearance as one of the objectives is to kill opposing players with it, but that particular mode ends up being a bit like the multiplayer in Bioshock 2 and the less said about that the better!
If you don’t want to team up with random strangers online or more likely if you can’t find any random strangers online to play with as the servers seem to be constantly empty. You can partake in the wonderful 4 player split screen! In what is a hark back to the great days of Goldeneye on the N64! In fact this mode alone makes 007 Legends worth buying.
I can’t help thinking that 007 Legends is a good opportunity missed for Eurocom as like I mentioned earlier, Bond has a rich and varied history and could have made a great game that harks back and reminds us why we fell in love with Ian Flemings British super spy in the first place, but instead 007 Legends just ends up being one of the worst 007 games to date.
[starreviewmulti id=1 tpl=20]
Review Score : [starreview tpl=16] Title : 007 Legends
Format : Xbox 360
Developer : Eurocom
Publisher : Activision
Release Date : October 19, 2012
Activision provided SlimGamer.com with a review copy.