Bond is back, but is the accompanying video game just another cash-in or should you be signing up to get a licence to kill? We got some hands-on time ahead of the official release in the UK.

Quantum of Solace sees you playing, as you would expect, James Bond from the forthcoming film of the same title and Daniel Craig's previous outing "Casino Royale". Now in the hands of Activison rather than EA, the company has used the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare game engine and tweaked to let you get "immersed in the Bond universe", and you'll soon find that whether it's in the single player campaign or the multiplayer levels that that immersion won't take long.

The graphics aren't Gears of War amazing, but they are certainly good enough to enjoy and the offering is improved by Activision's attempt to make them look like characters from the film.

This coupled with voicing by the real actors means that the experience is certainly Bond through and through.

In our couple of hours with the game we played the opening sequence to the new movie as well as the two levels from Casino Royale on the single player campaign. In multiplayer arena we played two multiplayer modes in two different settings: one in the Congo Embassy (the opening sequence to Casio Royale) and the end sequence - Venice.

First the single player action. Playing in a first person mode you've got to beat the bad guys using the usual array of bond weaponry. There is a cover mode, which works well allowing you to dodge out of the way of oncoming bullets.

Along the way there is the odd door lock to pick or computer to hack and as seen in previous games these involve you pressing a number of buttons in sequence when prompted to progress through.

When you get up close to the Oddjobs of this world you get to be a bit more brutal and taking a leaf out of the Bourne game pressing a button at the right time deals a knee or fist to your opponent.

AIl of the baddies are good enough to give you a challenge and in the levels we played they worked hard to flush us out from cover.

Following closely to the movie we didn't, or should we say weren't, allowed to play beyond the first level for fear of giving away the plot. Needless to say after shooting Mr White, Bond has to make a quick getaway and the action ensues straight away. The Casino Royale elements come into play as flashbacks rather than making you complete the Casino Royale film levels before moving on to QOS.

On the multiplayer it's very much your average multiplayer experience with a lot more death.

There are dedicated games beyond the usual every man for himself and the Golden Gun mode we played involves one of you having the golden gun, reminiscent of the killer N64 version of GoldenEye. It might look like a regular revolver but its packs a punch like a missile launcher.

The multiplayer levels are fun, although spoilt by the fact that you can see everyone's movements on a map. There will be no hiding in a corner hoping no one will see you.

First Impressions

While Quantum of Solace is yet another first person shooter, which doesn't break the mould, from our first play it does look to be a polished title that will tie-in nicely with the film rather than being just a pointless cash-in.

Bond fans will love it, for everyone else though, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare would probably be the better bet.

Quantum of Solace is due out at the end of October.