Tech News on G4
007 Legends doesn't play fair
Nov 02, 2012
By John Powell - G4 Canada
I remember the first 007 film I ever saw in a movie theatre. It was ‘For Your Eyes Only’ and from that point on, I became a life-long James Bond fan.
Already fascinated with comic books and superheroes, James Bond, the charismatic British Secret Service agent with a licence to kill, was the next best thing. His over the top adventures, gadgets, lifestyle and variety of dastardly foes were comparable to my favourite costumed hero at the time: Batman.
I also remember how I felt I had been royally scammed after reading Ian Fleming’s Dr. No and watching the film starring Sean Connery. Roger Moore’s version seemed like a cruel joke in comparison to the charming yet sometimes cold-blooded hero of the novels and Connery films. I had discovered the character was even cooler than I had even thought. Score for me.
Comparing the latest Bond game, 007 Legends, to Activision’s previous efforts Quantum Of Solace or Blood Stone is the same as contrasting Connery to Moore. There is just no comparison. While Quantum and Blood Stone rank as two of the best Bond games ever developed next to the classic Goldeneye, Legends is everything Bond is not: awkward and sloppy.
The premise is quite promising. Taking place before the events of Skyfall, Bond is shot during a failed assignment. As he sinks lower and lower into an icy river, he begins remembering and reliving many of his past adventures which include: Goldfinger, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Licence to Kill, Die Another Day and Moonraker.
It should be noted the Skyfall levels will be available as free downloadable content once the movie hits theatres in November.
Faithfully recreating many of the definitive Bond moments, you will battle Goldfinger’s invading troops at Fort Knox, sneak into Blofeld's Lair, fight Gustav Graves on his cargo plane and confront Hugo Drax and Jaws in space. To defeat the Bond baddies, you will not only engage them on the ground but in ski-doo, car and truck chases and also while floating around in space. Developer Eurocom hits all the right notes in making you feel as if you are playing the movies themselves. True fans will notice subtle differences though. The character of Jinx in the Die Another Day missions is not Halle Berry. Jaws abandoning Drax and siding with the good guys happens differently than in Moonraker.
The game also requires you to engage in some spy hijinks here and there. You employ your cell phone and wrist watch gadgets to hack computer systems, unlock safes and purposely set off alarms in order to distract those irritating rent-a-guard henchmen.
One major change between 007 Legends and Blood Stone, Quantum Of Solace is the boss battles are all timed sequences. By using the left, right triggers and joysticks, you will disarm bosses, punch and dodge them when instructed to do so.
Where 007 Legends does blow its cover is in the simple game mechanics, mechanics which should be par for the course for any developer at this stage in the game. It seems all of the game’s enemies were trained in the early 90’s as their strategies consist of running back and forth so you have difficulty targeting them and pulling kamikaze moves like running right at you like madmen. They will respawn all around you, especially in areas you thought you cleared.
You will find it next to impossible to implement the “duck and cover” strategy any veteran player uses in any first-person shooter because the cover itself will not offer much protection. Nope. Hiding behind that crate is not gonna help you. For some strange reason, you will still take damage even though you appear to be well out of the line of fire. It makes no sense.
007 Legends isn’t intuitive at all. I found myself failing many of the secondary missions simply because there were no cues to guide me. I had no idea what I supposed to do and by the time I figured it out, the scenario or opportunity had passed. When I had to photograph arms dealers during the Die Another Day mission, a cut scene played without giving me any instructions to click the camera as I was supposed to. To a player, a cutscene is a cutscene and the game is the game. There was no distinction during that task.
More of the customary confusion occurred during the Moonraker mission. Floating in a walkway outside the space station, you must destroy laser cannons to clear the way for the Calvary. What you are not alerted to is the final cannon is OUTSIDE and on the other side of a structure. You have to leave the walkway, float through space around the structure to find the last cannon. Give us a break, please. The game is not user friendly at the most inopportune of moments and the player is the one who ends up paying the price in wasted effort and time.
The final dagger in the back is after completing all of the missions, there is no proper ending. There is no cutscene explaining how Bond is rescued or escapes. The game just cuts right to the credits after the Moonraker mission without any resolution. I would expect all will be explained with the Skyfall downloadable content but having to wait to see how the game ends is not playing fair. Die-hard 007 fans may be able to tolerate the many failings of Legends because of their devotion to the series but casual gamers would be better off picking up Quantum of Solace or Blood Stone to get their Bond fix.
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