James Bond: Quantum of Solace

Developing a James Bond game is no small task and indeed Bond's previous outings, whether on PC or console, haven't really been something to write home about

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James Bond: Quantum of Solace
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By  Jason Saundalkar Published  January 3, 2009

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Key Specs

Number of players: 1
Online play: N
Price: $73

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Developing a James Bond game is no small task and indeed Bond's previous outings, whether on PC or console, haven't really been something to write home about. So the big question is: have Activision and Treyarch been able to produce a game worth playing and one that is also worthy of carrying the ‘James Bond' name?

Like the last two movies, Quantum of Solace (QOS) has managed to reinvigorate the game franchise and is certainly worth playing through at least once. The game is based on the recently released movie, which in turn follows on from Casino Royale.

The first great thing about this game is the fact that it had us feeling like the suave British spy within an hour of gameplay. This is thanks largely to the long and relentless action sequences, which mixes first person shooter (FPS) gameplay with a few third person sequences. Being a Bond game, QOS also asks you to be stealthy and as a whole, the mixed gameplay does work quite well in terms of delivering an enjoyable playing experience.

QOS will throw tons of action your way and you can deal with it using one of the many guns you'll come across or, when it's called for, hand-to-hand combat. With the former, you'll find that QOS becomes like Gears of War in that the game switches to a third-person view when you duck behind cover. This adds an interesting spin to the game but unfortunately, the cover system itself isn't as polished as the one employed by Gears of War. It works but we never found it quite natural so even when the game was drawing to a close, we still found that we weren't absolutely comfortable with it. Another issue is when using a weapon that has zoom, the game seems to have a few rendering bugs that are, sadly, quite noticeable. Switching from zoom to normal view, we noticed the background abruptly changed in terms of detail in more than a few parts of the game and this spoiled the overall presentation of QOS.

Having said that, Quantum of Solace does throw some great visuals your way and boasts awesome environments and play areas that make you feel even more like Bond. By the time you're done, you'll have fought enemies on the top of a train, destroyed a museum in the United States and much, much more.

Getting back to combat, QOS will let you perform some brutal hand-to-hand moves every so often. In most cases you'll have to run up to an enemy without him noticing you too early or else you'll find yourself full of holes. Once you do get close enough however, you can initiate the hand-to-hand combat takedowns by pressing down on the PlayStation 3 controller's right joystick and then follow it up with a button the game will randomly ask you to hit. Do it right and you'll be treated to a fantastic takedown that oozes with Bond style. Mess it up however and you'll be the one eating floor in no time flat.

The game's artificial intelligence (AI) is quite solid, so treading carefully is key rather than running and gunning. You'll find enemies take cover, try to flank you and are just about spot on in terms of figuring out you're nearby. Make too much noise for instance and you'll find you're being swarmed by every baddy in the area. In some areas of the game, QOS does deliberately swarm you with enemies and this gives you the chance to release some pent up rage (if you've been sneaking your way through most of the game).

Overall then the single player component is quite good fun. Unfortunately, it's all over way too quickly; playing on the second hardest difficulty level, we were able to blast our way through QOS in under seven hours.

On the aural front, QOS is something of a mixed bag. The music is spot on for a spy game with fast-paced music combining with action sequences brilliantly and slower music setting the pace for the quieter, tip-toe bits. The voice acting too is awesome with Daniel Craig, Judi Dench and Eva Green providing their unique voice talents to the game's characters. The let down here is that the weapons don't quite have enough of punch when you're putting them to use. This is a shame given that the weapons themselves actually look the part.

For: Quantum of Solace makes you feel like James Bond with its intensive action and very varied environments.

Verdict: A quality Bond game that's only really held back by a surprisingly short single player segment and sometimes iffy presentation on the PlayStation 3.

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