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From Russia with Love

From Russia with Love is reminiscent of EA's previous third-person Bond adventure Everything or Nothing, at least insofar as the controls feel similar.

 

You can shimmy up against walls and peek around corners, the unique method of aiming (by locking on to targets and fine-tuning your aim with the C-stick) returns, and the on-foot action is broken up periodically by driving sections.

 

However, while its predecessor was rife with annoying niggles, From Russia with Love seems much more refined.

 

It's been helped immeasurably by the fact it has secured both the voice and the likeness of Sean Connery. Little details such as this, the enemy costumes and even the fighting styles, contribute to the distinctly '60s flavour.

 

We like the way cutscenes have been employed, too. They're shorter and more numerous, but blend into the action nicely and help give it that much-needed cinematic feel.

 

We saw levels that were set in the film's gypsy camp and hedge maze, as well as a tutorial at MI6 HQ, a driving level in Istanbul and an opening sequence set in London (which isn't actually in the film, but makes Bond invincible so you can get a handle on the controls).

 

The gypsy camp is a multi-faceted level that has you knocking over cover, using the context-sensitive prompts to take down entrenched enemies, and freeing hostages before getting your hands on a sniper rifle.

 

The hedge maze is a stealth-orientated level where pinpoint accuracy and silent hand-to-hand kills are the order of the day - while the London and Istanbul stages are faster-paced run (or in Istanbul's case 'drive') and gun affairs.

 

One thing that really came out strongly in each of these levels was the way that the aiming system has been improved. Using the focus feature, Bond can target different parts of an enemy with differing effects.

 

If you're quick enough, you can shoot a grenade out of an enemy's hands, disable radios attached to their belts and even shoot away their grappling lines so that they plummet to their doom. The harder the target, the quicker the kill and the greater the reward.

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