Quantum of Solace: The Video Game Preview
That’s right! Bond, James Bond is hitting a console near you this coming Autumn, set to release with the new Bond film, Quantum of Solace. Strap on your laser wristwatch and grab your jet-pack as we check out whether or not Quantum of Solace is up to scratch.
After the release of From Russia With Love, Activision bought the James Bond game franchise from EA for $70million. Activision then announced back in 2006 that they were making a new Bond game with the help of Treyarch. Hopefully, the two years since its announcement have been spent making this more than just an awful movie tie-in.
The Bond franchise has had a few really terrible games associated with them. Goldeneye: Rouge Agent being one of them. However, it also had the masterpiece that was Goldeneye for the N64. Can Treyarch replicate the overall brilliant Bond experience from that classic N64 game? Only time will tell, but from what we’ve seen things are promising.
First of all, it must be noted that Quantum of Solace is running on the Call of Duty 4 engine, meaning the graphics and physics should be top notch. From the screens we have seen, the graphics surely do shine with Bond taking an almost photo realistic likeness to Mr. Daniel Craig himself. Based around not only Quantum of Solace, but Casino Royale as well, since the game for Casino Royale disappeared into the gaming ether. So instead of one, we get two helpings Bond. Expect car chases, gun fights in Venice and much more associated with the films. Word has it that Daniel Craig is acting as quality tester, keeping a close eye on how the game is developed as well as his own likeness in the game. Being a big fan of video games as well as Bond himself, Craig certainly is a perfect candidate for quality assurance.
The gameplay looks to be quite interesting. Treyarch have been trying to keep the run and gun aspect of most shooters, whilst still adding a cover mechanism and hand to hand fighting that adds intensity to Bond films. Gears of War managed to keep the run and gun feel, whilst adding cover, so let’s hope Treyarch can pull it off. The game itself is a mix of first person and third person. The majority of the game is played in first person view, with Bond being able to take out enemies with supreme accuracy that only a British MI5 agent possesses. As well as this, when Bond enters cover the camera changes to a third person view, similar to the Rainbow Six Vegas games. This let’s Bond avoid bullets as well as to pop out and give the enemies a few bullets of his own. This system has been under development by Treyarch for the last 2 years, so hopefully by the time of release they’ll have nailed it.
The health system also looks interesting. It is, as with most games nowadays, a regenerating bar of life (long live the health bar and health packs) that slowly recovers after a period of time of not getting shot. However, the twist is that instead of the screen going slightly darker red as you get shot ala Call of Duty, the red gun barrel from the opening sequences of the films closes in on Bond until eventually it engulfs the screen and he dies. This could, however, be a downside to the game as it may obstruct the view of the player and you’ll be unable to find cover as easily, leading to a quicker death. If Treyarch can make this work properly, it may feel less gimmicky than it sounds.
The game, as I mentioned earlier, is to be set in the areas featured in both films. This will mean a lot of explosions, flying bodies and gunfire. But, as Bond is a spy, stealth will also take a part in the game. Bond will be able to take out enemies with a quick snap of the neck or push enemies off of balconies. These will be performed by context sensitive button presses, similar to The Bourne Conspiracy. We can only hope that these button presses are not all the time, as was the case with The Bourne Conspiracy, which took away from the action.
As you can probably tell, the game takes inspiration from many different games and it seems these inspirations are the best part of each given game. Using the “tried and tested” method, it seems that Treyarch may be on to a winner here, but only time will tell. Quantum of Solace: The Video Game is released of Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii on October 31st in Europe and November 7th in the US. Keep your eyes peeled at Console Monster for more information as we get it.