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Quantum of Solace review

Different is great, but an interesting game would be better


  • Not just a downgraded port
  • Voice acting from the whole movie cast
  • Daniel Craig's piercing blue eyes


  • Difficult camera to control
  • No multiplayer in a Bond game? Seriously!?!
  • The empty promise of the cover system

Perhaps you're reading this review thinking, "why review it? It's just a substandard port of the current-gen versions of Quantum of Solace." That's where you're wrong, mister. Unlike other console translations of the newest James Bond film, Quantum of Solace, the PS2 video game isn't a first-person shooter still chasing the ghost of GoldenEye, which should garner your attention. Instead, it's fully third-person and borrows from surprising sources, but sadly comes up short of interesting and admittedly isn’t that different from its bigger brothers.

Gameplay mainly focuses on you maneuvering Bond around like the killing machine he is, moving from points A to B. On the way to each checkpoint, you kill all the goons in your way, as bloodlessly and gently as demanded by the game’s T rating. Combat is sufficiently pleasant but the aiming crosshairs demand a bit more precision than necessary. Some minor stealth elements change things up a little, but the killing gets kind of old as you run constantly forward to the next objective.

One thing that helps the game feel a little newer (meaning post-2005) is the need for cover and strategy during shootouts. Its Gears of War-lite cover system is appreciated, because even if Bond has a regenerating health bar (probably due to the fact that movie Bond is un-effing-killable), we found videogame Bond very-effing-killable. That’s mostly because the cover system is either too sticky or unresponsive, and the objects Bond can hide behind are too easy to destroy.

Also hampering the cover system is the scarcity of ammo, which is inexcusable for a shooter. Not only does using blind fire while behind cover miss waaaaaaay too much, but using it often, like Gears or GTA IV taught you, will leave you wanting for bullets with no refill in sight. Should you run out, Bond can run over and just hit a guy once to easily subdue him, but feel free to enjoy that while being shot in the back by all the other henchmen. The action’s shortcomings are offset a little by some nice on-foot chase sequences, which are the most inventive and exciting moments of the game, requiring you to run over obstacles and make quick decisions to keep up with your prey.

They’re also the total opposite of the unimaginative boss fights. One example of those empty end-of-level battles includes shooting a specific red object three times in a row until the boss falls, like two-thirds of all the boss battles ever made. Another focuses on shooting the bullet sponges manning turret guns on helicopters before they turn you into British Swiss cheese. And what typical boss fight would be complete if it wasn’t capped off by a quicktime event, which QoS is frequently more than happy to provide? At least the QTEs give you ample chances to get them right, as you only restart the sequence - not the entire battle - if you fail.

Just like the other versions, the game’s story is split about 40/60 between Solace and scenes from Casino Royale, respectively, which is a little disappointing; we liked Casino Royale and all, but this feels like false advertising. And while the game has nice graphics for a late PS2 game, it makes the stunningly gorgeous Bond women appear to be stunningly made out of melting clay. Add to that the complete lack of multiplayer, and you're left with the damning praise of "it's OK… for a movie game."

Dec 8, 2008

More Info

DescriptionWhile 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)