Quantum of Solace - Xbox 360
The names Bond, James Bond ... but can the video game live up to the movie? We donned a tux to find out.
Quantum of Solace on the Xbox 360 sees you playing Bond in a loosely based tie-in with the film of the same name while mixing in flashbacks to Casino Royale to lengthen the game out beyond the pivotal scenes in the movie.
The Casino Royale elements come into play as flashbacks rather than making you complete the Casino Royale film levels before moving on to QoS and you'll get a good chunk of the way through QoS before you have to start chasing down the bomber in the opening sequence of 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 it 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 and borrowing lines directly from the films means that the experience is certainly Bond through and through if not following the film blow by blow.
The storyline follows key themes of the movie, however due to a number of one on one chases in the film, Activision has had to throw in a number of extra bad guys wherever possible to give you a challenge. Without them it would be very dull and really just a series of chase sequences.
Playing in a first person mode you've got to beat the bad guys using the usual array of bond weaponry: pistols, machine guns, grenades, and sniper rifles.
There is a cover mode, which you'll be using virtually the entire time and it works well (not Gears of War well) allowing you to dodge out of the way of oncoming bullets and it means you can aim, lock on and then shoot without too much threat to yourself.
Stay in the one place too long though and you'll soon be flushed out with grenades and flanking tactics, however any trained First Person Shooter player should be able to manage with the onslaught of action.
Just as the film used the same stunt men from the Bourne films, Activison has borrowed some moves from the Bourne game out earlier in the year. Get close to a bad guy and you can opt to "Take them down" by pressing a secondary button (randomly chosen) at the right time. Of course this being Bond you need just the one hit and they are eliminated.
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.
VerdictWhile Quantum of Solace is yet another first person shooter, which doesn't break the mould, it is quick and easy pick up and play fun.
It's a polished title, that will tie-in nicely with the film rather than being just a pointless cash-in, although don't expect the film to be repeated scene for scene. The Opera scene for example is very different.
Bond fans will love it of course, but for the die-hard FPS fan, this really is Call of Duty just by a different name.