PS3, XBOX 360 & PC (ps3 reviewed)
Published by Activision
James Bond is taking the box office by storm, but he’s also back in his biggest video game adventure yet as he takes on 50 years of villains.
There is a lot I can say about James Bond video games. Goldeneye on the N64 is what introduced me to the FPS genre. To this day, it is one of my favorite FPS titles, and one of my favorite games of all time (OF ALL TIME!). The market does not have many games featuring the MI6 British Spy, however, there are quite a few that are good and some that are bad. 007 Legends contains 6 different campaigns all showcasing different Bond films from the past and present. While out of the box there are 5 campaigns, Skyfall’s section will drop on PSN Nov 6 and the rest of the platforms on November 20th. How does this game hold up to previous Bond games? Well, that is why I reviewed it of course.
Like I mentioned, there are five campaigns to play right off the bat and they are Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Moonraker, License to Kill, and Die Another Day. The game does not feel incredibly long as the missions for each movie are mainly highlights of the memorable moments from the film. They are nostalgic and very well done. The gimmick with this game is the fact that Daniel Craig, the newest James Bond, is the character in the game. So his image is in Goldfinger etc. Personally, I don’t find much wrong with that. I find Daniel Craig to be a fantastic James Bond and his work in Casino Royale showed that.
Now, I have little faith in FPS titles from Activision. Mainly because I find the recent Call of Duty games like Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops, and Modern Warfare 3 to be expensive expansion packs, but the two James Bond games they have released have been pretty good. My biggest issue in FPS gaming these days is regenerating health and linear level design. This deadly and popular combination makes games play themselves and you do not challenge the player. Sure you can ramp up the difficulty but I should not have to increase the difficulty to make the game challenging and fun. There was a time that games did not have a difficulty setting. Goldeneye was a challenging game and it was fun because of it. There is a difficulty option called Classic. This mode uses the same mechanics as 007 Goldeneye, which means better AI, No regenerating health, and armor pickups.
This, and only thi,s is the difficulty I choose to play on. And I love the game that much more. I played it on hard and I found it to be boring. Sure I got filled with lead but I can just chill behind a wall and be at full health again. James Bond is not Wolverine. While the game gets major props for including the classic gameplay that all FPS titles should take notes from, it also loses points because Classic should be default and the only difficulty. The game also revolves around a rather mature stealth mechanic and enemies can show up from anywhere. It isn’t like Dishonored where you can see through walls, which makes that game way too easy to be stealthy.
The game also takes on the side mission aspect from Goldeneye Reloaded. However, it has been fine-tuned and feels a lot more polished than the previous attempt. While I find the inclusion to be rather pointless, I can see why it has been included, which was to add more content to the game. I like the weapon selection as well. You can carry two primaries and your trusty sidearm. There is a weapon customization mechanic that has been added. You gain more EXP as you unlock more and more stuff to equip to your weapons. Essentially it is like the multiplayer system from Call of Duty added into multiplayer. I find this inclusion to be questionable. Maybe I just like my FPS games to be simple and I should not be forced to complete arbitrary side quests to unlock more stuff for my guns. MI6 should just give me what I need and I can go from there.
The core gameplay is solid on classic but dull on any other difficulty setting. I like the stealth and I enjoy the two primary gun systems. The MI6 missions have returned by popular demand and they are just like the Spec Ops missions in MW3. They can break up the monotony of the single player campaign and that is good enough for me. The multiplayer is what this game seems to be really made for. In Goldeneye and well as Die Another Day you could choose different villains and heroes to play as. That returns and Oddjob is no longer cheap.
I can safely say that 007 Legends is a well done title, however it loses the last two points for the odd customization for singleplayer and the fact you have to set the difficulty to classic to be a fun game.