Video Game Review: Good Luck Bonding With ‘007 Legends’

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CHICAGO – It starts with a moment from Skyfall in which Bond is shot by a sniper as he fights on top of a train. Falling helpless into a river he has a series of flashbacks which form the basis of the rest of the game. It’s an apt setup for a game that suffers from loss of vision and ultimately has all the energy of a project that is in desperate need of rescue. Video Game Rating: 1.5/5.0
Video Game Rating: 1.5/5.0

This is lame. I had heard nothing much about this game until it was passed on to me for review. As a huge fan of the original “Goldeneye,” I hoped that a peek back back into the various Bond-verses would invite the creative team to experiment with the best ways to bring each of them individually to life. But this misses all the high points that have made the Bond movies and the action therein iconic for fans and, at times, even feels like a bit of a slap to the face, ignoring the various personalities that have peopled the Bond-verse

007 Legends
007 Legends
Photo credit: Activision

First off the game only incorporates only the likeness (and then not even the voice) of Daniel Craig. No Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Connery or Brosnan. Pardon me but, what the Hell? The adventures, all gleaned from “Goldfinger,” “Moonraker,” “License to Kill,” “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” and “Die Another Day” cry out for a true trip down memory lane. But even allowing for the jarring presence of Craig, fans/players still have to jump a mental hurdle as everything else is updated to the present day. The nostalgia factor goes way down when all the modern gadgets mix with these classic scenarios and I kept asking myself why on Earth they didn’t stick with original prop, auto and designs, tech, etc. The emphasis here should have been on making the old feel new through the increased ability designers now have when it comes to maximizing game play.

007 Legends
007 Legends
Photo credit: Activision

Alas this appears to have been a gloss over money grab from the get go. Further evidence lies in the fact that even a cursory glance at “Call of Duty” shows Eurocom to be cribbing heavily. Instead of borrowing actual scenes from the Bond films and turning them into awesome levels of play the goal seems to have been trying to create something that resembles a COD or Black Ops styled shooter. The effect is anything but Bond-ian. We’re they worn out from the creation of the excellent “Goldeneye Reloaded”? Or just lured by the money? The missions in the game aren’t even that different. In each one Bond goes on a shooting spree on his way to collecting evidence and moves on. And for anyone looking for some sense of closure to the game they will have to wait until the “Skyfall” mission is released. Why hold it back? Probably a simple marketing gimmick but it’s annoying as hell. Once you finish “Moonraker” the credits simply roll.

The lack of mechanics here is downright startling. For instance, the stealth mode plays like it was simply thrown into the mix with no sense of how it might add to the experience. There’s no real way to stay out of the guards line of sight and a free for all ensues in almost every stealth experience. This is true of all the other modes of play as well. Whether you are driving a vehicle or fighting hand to hand the sense of control, is heavy-handed and the suspense nil. The multiplayer mode with its four-screen-in-one interactivity is pretty cool but it’s hardly a reason to pick up this game.

Ever play a shooter game, get bored and unload an Uzi at one of your poor enemies? It gets boring pretty quick even if it is good for a laugh initially. That’s what writing this review was like. “007 Legends” is so forgettable that no amount of horsing around with it is likely to give the experience any particular weight unless buyers remorse is the goal.

“007 Legends” was developed by Eurocom Entertainment and released by Activision. The version reviewed was for the Xbox 360 but the title is also available for the PS3.

By Dave Canfield
Staff Writer

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