The Average Gamer

007 Legends Single-Player Review (360)

Some woman you chase down a hill

007 Legends from Eurocom is a first-person shooter made for a very specific audience: James Bond film fans who don’t really like first person shooters. And who, for one reason or another, already own consoles. And who hate themselves.

I don’t know why you would build a game for this specific market but it’s the only explanation I can think of for how this terrible game was designed and made.

Released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of James Bond, the game covers five films:

  • Goldfinger
  • Moonraker
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
  • Licence to Kill
  • Die Another Day

Anyone with an online console connection will also be able to unlock bonus Skyfall missions – 9th November on PlayStation 3 and 20th November for Xbox 360. Based on the missions already available, I can’t say that anyone offline will be missing out.

You see, this game doesn’t ever let you play through the epic moments of the films. Speaking at the launch event for the game, David G. Wilson, VP of Global Business Strategy said “There was an opportunity to explore a period of Bond’s mission that wasn’t on-screen but can give us an insight into the layers of the psyche. What makes him the good agent that he is today? What makes him persist where others fail?”

It was a noble premise. Given what actually happens, the answer to those questions is “He killed waves and waves of enemies except for when he ran towards the next trigger point and they mysteriously went away.” It’s built like a COD single-player game but with rubbish explosions and less plot.

A tank you don’t get to drive

When you do finally reach a recognisable moment, it either plays out as a cutscene where the familiarity only highlights how awful the animation quality is, or if you’re “lucky” you go into a punch-up minigame where you move an analog stick up or down five-ish times.

These confrontations are so poorly paced that after throwing a hapless enemy to his death from a cable car, I couldn’t help but wonder why Bond didn’t just knock him out and arrest him. There was no tension and no sense of fighting for my life. It seemed a cruel thing to do.

As Bond, you carry a Sony Xperia phone (gotta get that product placement in) that can scan for “biometric markers” and EMP. In other words, you can look through it to find fingerprints and very specific wires that can be hacked, though you won’t actually know what you’re hacking, nor why.

It was quite nifty that the fingerprints left on keypads were a different opacity to indicate the order of numbers but somehow the game manages to imply that your finger gets greasier the more buttons you push. The hacking minigame also seemed promising at first but ultimately disappointed, as icons flashing in your HUD to indicate when you should use your phone mean no that thinking is required. In some sections these indicators served to actually hinder my progress by distracting me during critical moments with irrelevant information.

Some cunningly-hidden snipers

If you’re not a Bond superfan, the plots are nonsensical. I’ve seen all the films at least once but most of them more than 10 years ago so I could really do with some reminders of what’s happening and why. Instead, I get “We need to distract the guards” and “Oh, a list of women that Blofeld intends to kill”.

Given that I just murdered several dozen guards to get in, can I really take the moral high ground here? No. When things are explained by the NPCs, all I’m thinking about is how ridiculous their bobbing heads look on their static bodies.

According to this game, the plot of every film seems to be that Bond sneaks into a base where he’s not supposed to be, takes a couple of photos of nothing and then runs around shooting people until he stumbles out the back door. Sometimes people throw hats at him. I’m sure it’s more nuanced than that, but you certainly wouldn’t get it from the game.

On the bright side, James Bond’s face is recognisable as Daniel Craig.

Don’t buy this game. Don’t even rent it. You’ll have only yourself to blame for the future of terrible film tie-ins.

007 Legends is out now on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and will be released for PC on 2nd November.

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