Monday, 5 November 2012

Review: 007 Legends (PC)

It's a shooter. It's bad! I wish I could say more in the introduction for this game's review, but it's that bland, stupid and generic that makes Duty Calls look like a serious full-fledged game. In fact, 007 Legends is far for being fully developed. It's nothing but advertisement and not only for the upcoming Skyfall movie, but for other brands. I'm not saying the previous games had a lack of advertisements, but this is one of the worst product placements in gaming history.
Let's talk about the gadgets first, shall we?
In the movies and every 007 game before this one, gadgets had a very important role to play, even if a brief one. This time around, gadgets are a nuisance, useless garbage that can only be used on a specific point in the game. You get your Sony Xperia smartphone and the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600 M Skyfall Limited Edition wrist watch, of course. The thing is, James Bond has a Sony Xperia T in the Skyfall movie, an Omega Seamaster watch and a great self-esteem as always, but what kind of an egocentristical f**k has it's own code name branded on the his watch? Oh, I get it, he must be the Tony Stark of secret agents. Yeah, that explains everything. Except that he doesn't wear that particular watch in the Skyfall movie. I'm probably getting in too many details. Let's talk about the things you can do with them. Well, not much. They're useless outside mission pinpoints. You can't progress without using them and top that with the fact that the game acts like you're an idiot. There's a checkpoint marker every few meters. They couldn't just make a damn smartphone map that shows the objective and let you decide your own way to get there. It's always "hold [button] to [action]". And why the heck do I have to hold a button? Can't I just tap the damn thing once? Just give me a break already, I got it the first time! But wait, things don't sto here. Once you get to your destination, there's a big chance you'll have to use a minigame on your smartphone or on the watch to get the job done. Those minigames are as stupid as they can get and I won't even bother describing them. the watch has a cool laser besides the enemy scanner, but the laser only works on certain objects and most of the time is useless. The smartphone has three types of cameras that also work in certain areas, also marked on the hud with an icon specific to that camera.

 The game goes to great lenghts to teach players the new stuff, like crouching behind crates to hide from enemies and pushing buttons at specific times. Is this what over 30 years of video gaming is supposed to look like? Everything or Nothing had a car that turns invisible, now we have a James Bond that hides behind crates and they call it stealth. F**k that! There are only a few moments in the entire game that demand total discretion and only last for a couple of minutes. Also, these mandatory "stealth" sections are incredibly dumb, like the guards positioning themselves as far away from each other and in strategic view-obstructioned places to make it as convenient as it can for you to take them out. Genius! Here's an advice: when stealth is not demanded, get in a corner and make some noise with your shotgun; enemies will line up for your targeting practice. That's how dumb the AI is. I think I even saw two idiots shoot one another in this game.
I can't say I've seen all Bond movies, but I've seen most of them. Storywise, I might lack in knowledge, but even if I was the greatest Bond fan I can't say it would have made more sense to me that this. The story starts with a falling James Bond after a friendly sniper accidentaly shoots him. That scene alone is reason to doubt the quality of this game. I will jump over the fact that it looked rushed and low quality and straight to the shortness of the prelude. I also haven't played all James Bond games, but of the amount I've actually played never have I seen a Bond story start off so abrupt and easy. It doesn't stop here. The Bond theme is one other iconic element of the franchise, good or bad. The fact that they (the developers or the producers) decided to give a larger interest to Goldfinger over the other chapters doesn't bother me one bit. In fact, being the first chapter in the campaign is a good reason to use the Goldfinger theme. But what the hell? I guess it's an okay modern instrumental take on one of the greatest themes of the series.... NO! It's an abomination! It's a minute and ten seconds of a goat begging to die. The game is produced by Albert R. Broccoli's EON, the owner of the frachise. EON owns the licence to the whole franchise, including soundtracks. So, what? They couldn't have found some talented singer like Joss Stone to adapt the theme for the game? How awesome was "I'll take it all" compared to this crap? But it just goes to show how limited was the budget and the team that worked on this game.
So the story made no sense for me. They tried to mash together 6 Bond movies, Skyfall taking place in the last chapter of the game. Probably something should have tied the stories together, but you just find yourself at the end of the game and realize that all of that was just a recolection of some of Bond's memories regarding specific missions in his career. Why exactly these specific ones? We are never told. I would say they chose the best movies, but that's not a thing, with On Her Majesty's Secret Service as one of the chapters. Presumably, they chose a movie from each of James Bond's actors. No matter, every whole movie was crunched into a linear shooting gallery with average to bad voice overs and the most brief and boring dialogues I've ever seen in a game. Don't even ask about boss fights. It's just a brawl qte (quick-timed event) that gives you enough time not to get knocked out, but to punch-out Oddjob or Jaws in the most pathetic recreations of those respective scenes. Just awful!

Sometimes we get to witness from first person perspective some of the iconic scenes from the frachise, like the famous Goldfinger's one-liner response "No, mister Bond... I expect you to die!" as we are strapped to a longchair with a laser between our crotches. The setting isn't very familiar for James Bond movie buffs, the scene looks obviously constrained and hurried, but it works. There's that and the characters look good, but Eurocom most certainly worked on the same engine as GoldenEye 007: Reloaded and imported most stuff from that game. It makes sense, because that was a much better game than this one. The graphics aren't that great either, but that would be a stretch by now, to hammer on the graphics. Some might even complain over the presence of Daniel Craig's mug in Goldfinger or Moonraker, instead of Sean Connery and respectively Roger Moore, or the other actors in the other movies/chapters. Well, nothing against dedication and nostalgia, but would you really want the guys that came up with this game's story to explain the 6 different faces of one Bond? I thought so.
I know this game is supposed to celebrate the 50 years anniversary of James Bond's movies, but I only feel that it's anything but respectfull and doesn't do justice to Bond as a character or his story. If you are a Bond collector and like mindless shooting, buy this game and keep your mind locked away while playing. If you like a good Bond game and want to experience a great multiplayer fun, stay away from this one and instead buy GoldenEye 007: Reloaded. But ultimately, both are just shooters, Call of Duty clones that happen' to feature popular Bond movies characters and villains.
On another note, I must add my own personal feeling about Bond games and Bond in games. The reason behind the first person perspective of 007 is to feel like you are a secret agent and this worked for a few titles very well, noticeably Nighfire. I might get hated for this, but i have to say it for the sake of the argument: when I play as Bond I want to feel as I'm a secret agent in a very important mission, not a turkey hunt. I watch James Bond movies and think of Everything or Nothing and Blood Stone.Yes, you read that right. I love Blood Stone and that was the game that made me feel like a great spy. James Bond is an old school, charismatic spy afterall, the one that inspired the whole notion.
My final verdict is 4 and it pains me to give this score to such a promising game, but they chose to butcher this game just because they can and there's no other excuse for that.

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