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007: Quantum of Solace review

Late, but we've been expecting you

Pros

  • Quietly cleaning out goons
  • PPK headshots - they take us back
  • Bond's music

Cons

  • Tries too many game types
  • Stealth is insultingly easy
  • Rigid combat

Treyarch have clearly done some research into the Bond series. You can tell because Quantum of Solace manages the impressive feat of being, quite literally, based on a different Bond film. In simple mathematical terms: two-thirds Casino Royale + one-third QoS = one QoS shooter. A few QoS missions to get you started, then ten Casino Royale missions in a row, before a single QoS level to finish you off. You almost suspect it’s a huge gag.

Is it a big deal? Well, seeing as the only reason people buy substandard licensed crap is because of the license, you do wonder if Activision and Treyarch have ended up with a rawer deal than they might have expected. It certainly speaks volumes about how co-operative the movie chaps were with Treyarch’s need to, you know, have a basic clue about what would happen in the new movie. “Bond is back”, the box blurb reads, when the truth would have been “Here’s some old Bond with a few teasers from the new film”.

Anyway, let’s hope they get a few angry letters. And move on, because QoS has one more big surprise in store. It’s not substandard crap. Standard, yes, and with a massive case of tunnel vision in its level design, but also a solid shooter with good set-pieces, decent AI and even the odd clever idea. Perhaps there’s a good reason for that, because if ever there was an engine that forced you to make a particular type of game, it must be the Call of Duty engine.

And this is CoD in a tux. Unfortunately, when the real James Bond stands up it’s Treyarch’s CoD in a tux rather than Infinity Ward’s. Dalton instead of Connery. And you know Timmy would get murdered if that ever happened. The first level plonks you in a mansion garden. Rather pretty, maybe a bit baroque on the railings, you think. Probably new money. Then a couple of bad men pop up from behind a bush and start shooting at you. This is generally what happens to videogame secret agents.

More Info

GenreAction
Description

While trying to straddle several genres, 007 once again comes up short of anything more than an OK time.

Franchise nameJames Bond
UK franchise nameJames Bond
PlatformXbox 360, PS3, PS2, PC, Wii
US censor ratingTeen
UK censor rating16+
Release date4 November 2008 (US), 4 November 2008 (UK)
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