When it comes to James Bond, it’s not only the movies that comes into mind for gamers, but also the legendary Goldeneye game for the Nintendo 64. It was perhaps the first console first person shooter to really get it right, which was then refined by the Halo franchise. Subsequent games have tried to recapture that magic, yielding varying results. The latest one is perhaps tempting to most, but it turns out to be a weak link in the chain.
As James Bond, you are up against the greatest threat you’ve ever faced as five villains from the previous Bond films have banded together to take you out. This premise isn’t bad at all, and actually does have the potential to work if done right. However, such a concept can only do so well if the execution is done according to high standards, and this one actually didn’t even bother to attempt in reaching those standards. What has resulted is a tarnishing of the James Bond name, to say the least.
In this game, James Bond as a character is treated alright, which is actually a bad thing. He’s supposed to be treated like a king, and the things that he’s capable of in this game is quite limited. Perhaps the best part of the gameplay system in this game is the hand-to-hand combat, which is what Blood Stone was strong at. However, it’s still basically a fast and overglorified series of quick time events that gets old rather quickly. As for gadgets, which is what James Bond is known for, the only one used often is the smartphone. Alongside it is a pen and a watch, making it a total of only three gadgets, making this James Bond feel like a homeless person. The motion tracking watch isn’t really necessary, and the laser beam in the pen may be able to take enemies down silently, but it suffers from the unrefined stealth mechanics so you’d rather take bad guys out head on.
What this game does is make 007 feel really campy, being nothing more than a Call of Duty ripoff dressed in a tuxedo. Even though Bond films are a tad campy in the fundamental level, the protagonist’s suaveness and charm makes it feel less and less like a low budget effort. But with the lack of finesse in the execution of this game’s premise, 007 Legends suffers not just from being half-baked in all of its gameplay elements, but also on how the story is told. Not only is the narrative hard to follow as it goes all over the place, but nothing really stands out other than familiar faces for Bond fans with personalities that don’t match them.
The split-screen multiplayer is something that is not very common nowadays, but is still a fun gameplay mode that goes back to the earlier console days. But perhaps that’s the only notable thing about this game as everything else isn’t up to snuff, from the sub-par stealth gameplay, boring combat sequences, antiquated boss battles, even down to the visual presentation of the whole game. In the end, the gameplay is the furthest thing from the authentic James Bond experience that players would expect from a 007 game title.
The previous 007 game Blood Stone was actually quite alright, especially if you liked the grittiness of Casino Royale. It’s somewhat a given that perhaps no other 007 game will recapture the glory that Goldeneye had reached, but to go back down after Blood Stone gave hopes of a resurgence in the game franchise is quite sad. If you have not played Blood Stone yet, then do so and stay away from this title.
Tested in PC. Final Score: 4/10