007 Legends started off as an interesting idea. A sort of love letter for people who enjoy the James Bond movies? How can they possibly screw that one up? It could have been a fun game with a decent amount of fan service. A cool way of taking us through some of the cooler Bond movies like…..errr…Moonraker?(For those not of the knowing, that’s the one where Bond actually goes into space. I am not joking!)
Well, it turns out that the game is pretty horrible. Not just because it’s broken, or it feels rushed and incomplete, or even just a lazy cash-in, it’s a disrespect to the franchise it’s supposedly trying to glorify.
I’ll try to see if I can get through this part of the review with using the phrase “rip-off” as few times as possible!
You can’t really talk about a first person shooter without bringing up Call of Duty anymore, because there’s always that nagging feeling that that’s all first person shooters are trying to do anymore. Except in this case, it feels like a rip-off of a rip-off of the Call of Duty franchise. I may not be the biggest fan of the Call of Duty games, but for what they do, they are the best at doing it. And with how popular the franchise is, of course there’s going to be many others who want to make the same kind of money that CoD is making. Because of that, you can pretty much guess what’s going to be in the game before even knowing anything about the game just by knowing it’s a first person shooter made somewhere around this time. You can count on it having iron sights, overly explosive scripted events, regenerating health(though, this game does give you the option to just have the classic health system), and…..*groan*…..quick time events. And with this game being a rushed piece of mess, it’s even worse than most of the rip-offs that are already out there.
Occasionally, this game remembers it’s a Bond game. There are these stealth sections, if one can call them that. They feel incredibly forced, though. I guess there’s never really going to be too many game where they can get both action and stealth right. Just about every instance this game actually wanted me to sneak by everyone, I’d just end up killing everyone along the way with guns blazing. It was a lot easier that way and it helped me get through the game quicker.
The thing about these stealth sections is that this game is just not built for that. You might be thinking that it just won’t work simply for being in first person, but I’ve seen games work well with stealth in first person before, like Thief. But while Thief actually gave you neat gadgets with a full level to explore, 007 Legends just make you crouch behind a desk and pretty much leaves it at that. It’s so hilariously easy to get caught in this game because of how limited your travel area is. Most stealth game allow you to crawl through vents or climb in higher areas to help out, but this game gives you none of that. I’m pretty sure it ended up like this because the developers figured it needed to have a stealth section because that what Bond’s about…..I guess.
The game also throws in fist fights that are mind-numbingly dull and simple. You just wait and punch the guy at the right moment. That’s seriously it! Continue the process until the person finally decides that lying down is the smarter option.
A Disrespect…to Everything!
This game isn’t just a disrespect James Bond, but it’s a disrespect to everything……everything!
The game takes you through Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Licence to Kill, Die Another Day, and Moonraker. One(and when I mean “One” I mean “me”) has to wonder what they were thinking with Die Another Day and Moonraker. I mean, they were definitely the sillier Bonds, and Daniel Craig doesn’t exactly fit into these kinds of game where Bond goes into space or visits a ice hotel. I’ll admit though, the part where I was floating around in space was probably one of the more entertaing moments I’ve played in any kind of first person shooter in a loooonngg time.
The first glaring problem is that there’s nothing cohesive about this game. It starts off with a scene from Skyfall(which the movie isn’t even out in the States yet, ARGH!!!!) where Bond accidentally gets sniped off when M calls the shot. And I guess Bond starts flashing back to the highlights of his life. Or, what people thought the highlights of his life were. I guess his life was flashing before his eyes. The thing is, it’s not a good way to start the game, especially when they don’t even bother to connect any of the movies at all. Apparently, there’s DLC for Skyfall, and it connects all of the plots from the previous movies for one mater plan or something like that. I also doubt people are actually going to be sticking around to see how this crappy game turns out.
You might be asking, “Well, how else could they have done this game featuring five movies?”. Well, there is actually a really good way to do this, and the movie The Adventures of Tintin (Subtitled The Secret of the Unicorn if you live in one of the smarter countries) actually proves this. For those who’ve seen the movie but haven’t read the comics, the movie was actually made up of two different books, and they weren’t books that were a continuing story line, they had completely different plots from one another. And while they decided to use one of the side characters who happened to have something important be the villain of the movie, all of the actual characters were still in there and most of the same events happened. This could have been a good approach for this game. The game would have felt complete, and we would still be seeing the same things coming from the movies. Of course, this would have meant they would have to choose which villain would be the main bad guy, but it still gives the other villains a chance to shine and still gives Goldfinger a chance to give off his memorable line(yeah, you remember the line “No Mr. Bond, I expect you to be in better games than this one”). It would have been as easy as seeing which villain was the most cartoonishly evil, either Blofeld(because he’s Dr. Evil) or Goldfinger(because Goldfinger is the fan favorite).
While this complaint might sound petty, I’m sorry, but Daniel Craig’s Bond just does not work when he’s having to deal with these characters. The reason why it worked in Goldeneye was because they pretty much started from scratch. And while I would have preferred a polished version of the N64 classic, the remake that we got instead was about as good as we could hope for. And while some of the decisions they’ve made were questionable, especially with the characters(seriously, not making Natalya a red head was a huge mistake), it still felt like a newer version of Goldeneye rather than Daniel Craig thrown into the Pierce Brosnan movie. Unfortunately, in 007 Legends, it’s the classic James Bond character thrown into a setting that someone must have assumed was a Daniel Craig like Bond setting probably by watching Quantum of Solace while being injected with LSD every 15 minutes. Even if this were a truly modernized Bond with the classic characters, they just don’t work. Characters like Pussy Galore and the bad guy from Die Another Day with his look incredibly out of place in these modern settings.
Trying to Keep the British End Up!
In the end, what we have is a rushed mess. Maybe a game like this shouldn’t have been made in the first place. I honestly can’t see anybody getting any kind of enjoyment from this game other than seeing how badly they screwed up. Non Bond fans are instantly going to forget about the game when they stop playing it, and Bond fans are going to be baffled on how badly they handled the franchise. While this game isn’t going to go down as massive hit towards the whole gaming medium, it’s not exactly something people are going to fondly remember.
At least the new Skyfall movie is looking really good!
007 Legends Final Score: 3.0
Why so high?: I liked hearing the Goldfinger soundtrack while it lasted…
Why so low?: A poor, generic first person shooter, broken stealth, and a complete disrespect to the franchise.