007 Legends – A Review by Film Nerd

Developer: Eurocom, Activision

Consoles: PS3, 360, Wii U, PS Vita, PC

Cast: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Michael Lonsdale, Richard Kiel, Carey Lowell, Toby Stephens

Synopsis: This game was released specifically as a celebration of 50 years of James Bond.   As such, it includes 6 missions, each representing one film of each man to have played Ian Fleming’s super-spy.   Bond and M are played by Craig and Dench respectively throughout.

Most people will agree that few 007 games have matched the peak of entertainment that the N64 Goldeneye game did.   I would argue that the entry Everything or Nothing was also a superior game, and definitely worth another look for those that may have missed it.   007 Legends though, is a poor excuse for a Bond game, and feels cobbled together to capitalise on the 50th anniversary of Bond as opposed to creating anything that is actually that engaging or entertaining.

The game loosely incorporates 6 Bond films together in one story.   Bond movies featured include Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Licence to Kill, Die Another Day, and Moonraker.   These films are tied together with the opening moments of Skyfall, with missions from that film now available online after the release of that film.   So each film comes from the tenure of a different Bond actor, though Craig voices Bond throughout.   For someone as fond of the franchise as I am, it felt odd having Craig chatting with Goldfinger.

The game is at its strongest when original cast from these films feature.   This also means that the likenesses of these actors is used, and when used to Craig playing Dalton, for instance, it works.   However, it is clear not every former Bond star has given permission for their likeness to be used, so a real disconnect occurs when one sees an unfamiliar face in a familiar role (Dr. Holly Goodhead is a prime example of this.   No resemblance to Lois Chiles whatsoever).

When playing as a first-person shooter, the game is decent.   It is also pretty easy though, and it does not take long to hammer through missions.   Gameplay sucks in the boss battles, however.   I have never been fond of “Press X now” gameplay, and that is exactly what these melee fights entail.   What makes it worse, if you hit a villain in the ribs, they get this wierd noodle pose happening.   Epic Fail.   Another gameplay fault is that any time Bond gets to do something cool, it is in a cutscene moment.   Every time I felt like a big brother had snatched the control out of my hand telling me I was too n00b to do that bit.   If you can’t assign controls to these actions, find another way to put them in the story!!

You also only get to be a part of two major action sequences in each film.   The choices are reasonable for the five films on the disc, but the downloadable Skyfall content is a joke.   This is not because I reviewed the film poorly.   In fact, after seeing Skyfall a second time, I may review it again more favourably.   No, what sucks is that the missions selected are all before we even meet the villain Silva.   Despite waiting to release this content until the film was released, they opted to still not give too much of Skyfall away.   Having seen the film then played, I feel ripped off.

The game is ok, and Bond fanatics may get some enjoyment.   Everyone else, avoid this game!!

2 stars out of 5


Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXsAfVhEPmE]

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