‘007 Legends’: The Review

10.18.12 7 years ago 16 Comments

I grew up a Bond fan, so theoretically this game is right up my alley, right? Right?

Man, I wish. That said, though, it doesn’t quite deserve the critical brickbats it’s been getting. It’s not bad. It’s just ultimately not very memorable, either.

On a technical level, the game is rarely bad. Dated in a few respects, but not bad. It’s a perfectly capable first-person shooter. There are absolutely no surprises in it whatsoever, mind you; even the most creative sequences are cribbed from other games. In the case of the zero-g fighting I’m pretty sure they just bought the code for Dead Space from Visceral, broke it a little, and reskinned the enemies.

It’s also short, partially because the remaining Skyfall levels aren’t out yet. I burned through the single-player campaign in about six hours.

007 Legends is frustrating because there are moments that, if you love Bond, you’ll love playing. Wherever the actors are still alive and capable (and, it must be said, affordable: Halle Berry is notably absent), they’re voicing their roles. Even with a bad Gert Frobe impersonator, it’s awesome to reenact the laser scene in Goldfinger. Also, this might finally mark the first moment in human history anything from Moonraker is remotely tolerable.

The level of work that went into getting things right is stunning. Bond fans will recognize sets and props from the movies rendered with note-perfect accuracy. Unfortunately, it butchers the music, but the movies have been doing that anyway.

Then there are moments, like the pointless and badly controlled fistfights, that make you wonder just what Eurocom and Activision were thinking. All of which leads up to a brick wall of a finale because Skyfall isn’t out yet. You cannot play the game’s actual ending until next month.

Is it worth your $60? Bluntly, no. The single player campaign is too short and too piecemeal. The multiplayer is reminiscent of Goldeneye because… uh, it is Goldeneye; essentially this is a map and character pack to Eurocom’s great update of the N64 classic that came out last year. Honestly, if you want this for the multiplayer, there’s no reason not to buy Goldeneye Reloaded instead.

I find myself confused as to why this game was released in this state. It’s not outrageously broken, although there are a few bugs, but it’s also blatantly not ready, either. I understand that they want to avoid November, which starts with Halo, immediately followed by Black Ops II the next week before we all spend Thanksgiving with Hitman: Absolution the week after, but why not December, then? Really, this game needs all the distance from other FPS games like Borderlands 2 and more creative games like Dishonored it can get.

If you’re a Bond fan, it’s worth a rental. But if you’re not, you should probably stick with the bigger titles already out or coming up.

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