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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.

Closely following the plot of the film, EA has done a decent job of recreating that Bond atmosphere.

Although, it has been helped immeasurably by the fact it has secured both the voice and the likeness of Connery - it's little details like this, the enemy costumes and even fighting styles, that contribute to giving this a distinctly '60s flavour.

We particularly like the way cutscenes have been employed too. They're nowhere near as jarring as they were last time. They're also much shorter and more numerous, but they blend into the action nicely and help give it that much needed cinematic feel that was really lacking before.

We were lucky enough to have a look at quite a few stages during the demo. We saw levels that were set in the film's Gypsy camp and Hedge Maze as well as a tutorial at MI6 HQ, a quick driving level in Istanbul and an opening sequence set in London (which isn't actually in the film, but kicks off proceedings nicely by making Bond invincible so you can get a handle on the controls).

Some levels were obviously further along in development than others, but it gave us plenty of opportunity to sample some of the differences in style from one to the other.

The gypsy camp for example, was a multi-faceted level which had 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 was a stealth orientated level where pinpoint accuracy and silent hand-to-hand kills were the order of the day - while the London and Istanbul stages were faster paced run (or in Istanbul's case 'drive') and gun kind of affairs.

One thing that really came out strongly in each of these levels was the way that the aiming system (which was already pretty smart) 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, in some cases, shoot away their grappling lines so they plummet to their doom. The harder the target is to hit, the quicker the kill and the greater the reward.

From Russia with Love will be available for Gamecube, PS2, and Xbox in November

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