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From Russia With Love review

The British superspy slides onto Sony's handheld, but is this pared-down Bond worth your money?

Pros

  • Fast-paced shooting action
  • Smooth presentation with Sean Connery
  • Multiplayer jetpack dogfights are just cool

Cons

  • Nowhere near as deep as the original
  • Driving
  • boating stages are gone
  • Flattening against walls for cover difficult

Half-assed handheld ports of console games are nothing new, but with the advent of the powerful PSP, we kind of thought those days were coming to an end. No such luck, if the PSP version of From Russia With Love is anything to go by. In adapting the console game of the same name, it cuts out the driving, many of the gameplay nuances and nearly half the levels, leaving us with a passable, shortJames Bond shooter that we're still expected to pay $40 for.

If all you're looking for is a third-person run-and-gun game that lets you blast your way through goon squads, though, From Russia With Love isn't a bad choice. As Bond (played here by Sir Sean Connery), you'll spend most of the game running around on foot, gunning down the faceless hordes of the OCTOPUS terror syndicate. The action is fast and entertaining, and the game keeps things interesting by occasionally confronting you with armored enemies (you'll have to find their weak spots), forcing you to puzzle your way around locked doors or enabling you to grab a sniper rifle and cover a comrade from a distance. At certain points, you'll also be able to pilot a jetpack or the remote-controlled Q-copter (good for slipping through air vents to blow up locks on the other side), although these segments are fairly rare.

Rarer still are the points where you'll actuallyget to use Bond's other gadgets - his laser watch is really only good for blowing upthings behind bullet-proof glass, which don't pop up very often, and his serum darts (which briefly stun enemies) are all but useless. Bond's grappling hook is still here, although rappelling up and down walls - which was done manually in the console version - is now automatic.

More Info

GenreAction
DescriptionEasily the most exciting and accurate recreation of the Bond experience in a long time.
PlatformGameCube, PSP, PS2, Xbox, Xbox 360
US censor ratingTeen, Teen, Teen, Teen, Teen
UK censor rating16+, 16+, 16+, 16+, 16+
Release date:3 November 2005 (US), 3 November 2005 (UK)
Available platforms:PSP
Genre:Action

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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