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double-oh-fail

** Spoiler warning for the game AND the new Bond movie. **

The new Bond movie, Quantum of Solace, just came out. While this isn’t as much of a review of the movie and I don’t want to really spoil the movie for anyone. But I do have some thoughs…

Casino Royale was a really fucking great Bond film and just what we needed so that we don’t all lose interest in the franchise. Quantum of Solace is the first “sequel” to a bond movie as it picks up 15 minutes after the first movie ended and goes on an action packed adrenaline filled ride without a moments rest.

Though as the trend with the new Bond seems to be trying to root it a bit more in reality without using unbelievable gadgets. So to keep teh action going, it’s much more vicious and in your face. The director has seen the Bourne movies too many times though and tries to imitate the melee-combat familiar from them. But he gets it a bit wrong, the cuts are way too fast even for this style and if you blink once, you missed it. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but this movie would work even without the Bond lisence. But it’s still a good movie and I recommend it to everyone and like I said, you don’t even have to like Bond to like this one.

Now we get to the game. It does not disappoint. It’s everything you would expect from a movie lisence game. Not what you want from them, what you’ve come to expect.

I heard quite a few sources saying this has the potential to be a good game, and of course Golden Eye was brought up. It runs the new Activision in-house engine, the CoD 4 engine. And from the engine side, the game looks good, but the team didn’t get the stuff they need out of it visually. It could be better. As a simple example, so often you try to shoot someone from cover and the bullets just don’t go through a fence, or then the hitbox for the object is a lot larger than the object itself.

How you progress through the game is that you re-enact the best scenes from both QoS and Casino Royale. In between these scenes you have a map view with some dialog and cute little bondesque animations. It’s a bit like in CoD 4 where you had the mission briefing videos, but this tries to sow in the gaps of two action scenes in 15 lines of dialoque while masking the loading of the level. It skips and hops over the major plot lines and if you haven’t seen the movies, you have no clue what is going on.

But it doesn’t matter, you just wanna play the cool action scenes and be bad ass. And every single good scene from the movies seems to be in the game. It’s understandable that you can’t make the game exactly like the movie, it’s two different mediums, but when playing this game, it feels like the developers got an early revision of the script and were working on that while the movie guys kept revising and revising and ended up with a better product. Or that they just could not make the scenes work. Which is strange in a way, because the game uses a lot of QTE’s (quick-time events). You could have made especially the hand to hand combat scenes almost identical with these, instead they are now really toned down and simplified. Just one of them, which was from Casino Royal made me feel really cool and got my heart racing.

The shooting part is quite ok, and they have an acceptable cover system. You can for example aim at a cover and hold down the cover button and you charge at the cover and slide behind it automatically. Or you can run around and find cover yourself. Shooting from cover is easy, you can either use blindfire which works if the target is fairly close. Or you can raise yourself to aim, though you are then vulnerable yourself.

It’s funny though, the reason why I like the cover system is that while in cover, you play from a behing the shoulders view. And it’s easy to aim with the crosshair. In first person, when you aim, you of course aim through the sights and it doesn’t somehow feel as good.

I’m not spoiling any readers on what happens in the game, but when playing the game for the first time, it still feels like you’ve been spoiled. Duh, you saw the movies. But then because the scenes are sometimes radically different, you’re completely thrown as you know where Bond ran in the movie and that corridor is on fire.

I played the game through in one sitting, I’d say it took me 4-5 hours. That’s not a long game. That’s almost like watching the two movies back to back and having a few bathroom and refreshment breaks. All in all… I’d rather watched the movies. But I just saw them and this one was interactive entertainment. But don’t go get this game in thinking you get more of the good stuff.

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Comments

Comment from Paul Zero
Time November 12, 2008 at 3:12 am

Sounds epic. Good stuff.

Comment from Pinkkis
Time November 12, 2008 at 3:14 am

You happy I put a spoiler warning? :D

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