I don’t know what it is, but when I read reviews or even hear people say “that game is terrible, you shouldn’t play it” “don’t buy this game!” I take those words as a challenge. Well challenge accepted!
Developed by Eurocom, the makers of 2010s remake/reimagining/reason to get people to spend money based on nostalgia trips: Goldeneye Reloaded (which I will note I actually really enjoyed) Published by Activision, makers of Call of Duty and…Call of Duty, 007 Legends is actually not a bad game, but it’s not brilliant either. If I could formulate a way to shrug via text form I would, or i’ll at least give it a bloody good go.
While it offers some solid action and is pretty much a watered down, James Bond version of Activisions
cash cow best selling franchise Call Of Duty, 007 Legends is constrained by the licence that it’s trying to milk for all it’s glory.
007 Legends was created to celebrate the 50th year of the James Bond franchise with what is weird considering that Skyfall has been released in cinemas around the same time this game was released. The setup for the game see James atop a train carriage in a scene straight out of the new film Skyfall. James gets accidentally shot and falls potentially to his death making this the game equivalent of seeing your life flash before your eyes. This is how they explain to us the jumping between each of the previous Bonds most notable films, Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Licence to Kill, to the laughably bad Die Another Day and finally Moonraker. To add extra value to your £40 purchase (The price was £40 at time of writing) you get free DLC in the shape of extra Skyfall missions. Yes you read that right. FREE. I know right?!
To add to the festivities is the use of the likenesses of some of James Bonds most infamous villains, including Jaws, Oddjob, Goldfinger and Blofeld. Leading ladies such as Judy Dench returns as M and subsequently provides the voice. The most confusing inclusion is the lack of Halle Berry. As they weren’t able to get her likeness (i’m guessing, but it’s safe to say that was the case) they have generic heroine #302 to take her place. Seriously they didn’t even try to make her look anything close to the character of Jynx from Die Another Day. Another thing, Daniel Craig provides his likeness, but doesn’t provide the voice. Why? It really pulls you out of the moment to hear a very bad soundalike coming out of his mouth, making the whole thing feel extremely disjointed. Given that the game is to celebrate the 50th Anniversary and James Bond himself can’t be acquired to voice the character it’s a weird package.
As I said before the shooting feels strong and you’re given the ability to upgrade your equipped weapons by conveniently placed MI6 equipment boxes. These allow you to use multiple attachments such as silencers on a shotgun or even putting an ACOG scope on a P99. Why you’d want to I’m not too sure but 007 Legends allows you to do so. You can carry 3 weapons at once, 1 sidearm and 2 main weapons ranging from machines guns, sub-machine guns, shotguns and rocket launchers. There’s plenty of weapons to dispense your foes, meaning that enemies are dropping new weapons all over the place, so ammo is in abundance.
You wouldn’t be James Bond without gadgets right? Well don’t worry 007 Legends has you covered. Your watch works as your radar seeing nearby enemies by emitting a radar ping similar to the radar in Aliens, only without the awesome sound that radar made…or as useful. I never found that the radar was overly useful. It would have been better to just include a standard radar like in Goldeneye, or any open world game that has a mini map at the bottom of your HUD. The watch also doubles as a laser that is used to distract enemies, or disable cameras. Not extremely useful for dispatching enemies though, as much as causing a mild annoyance to them. Seriously, I thought the laser watch could be used as a weapon or to stun foes. It just so happens that it doesn’t do anything to them and proves to be more of a mild annoyance to them, like a small fly buzzing around them as they try to swat the bugger away. You later unlock a pen that has multiple darts that you can use to either shock, knock out, or outright kill an enemy. Again I never used it a single time, but the games flaw is that it never really gave me the ideal environment where I felt it would be far greater to use the pen as apposed to conventional weapons. The final gadget and one that is used the most is the camera. With its multiple filters, allowing you to find hidden objects, scanning items, or helping you find junction boxes to disable turrets and cameras. This is the only gadget that the game forces you to use on a regular basis and while it’s simply doing the same thing multiple times, at least the game gives a reason to be included unlike the other gadgets at your disposal.
The attachments, along with upgrading your abilities and gadgets can be unlocked using XP that you gain by completing primary and optional secondary objectives along with various challenges such as get X amount of head shots or kill so many people whilst looking through a red dot sight. Finding various documents laying around the levels in the game allow you to unlock character profiles and information. The XP aspect gives the game a little more depth, rewarding you for the various tasks and letting you benefit from the unlockable attachments or skills.
007 Legends main issue is that it gets boring very quickly. Sure, it’s nice to get a new location once every so often in the shape of a famous James Bond film, shooting a guy in the face can be enjoyable but after a while it feels extremely linear. I mean, I know CoD is extremely linear as well, it’s not exactly War and Peace of video games, but the action isn’t as over the top and explosive as you’d expect from the Bond franchise. James Bond is about infiltration, and when things go wrong, big massive explosions. Stealth sections can be pretty depressing. Sections of the game give you the ability to sneak through a specific area but don’t really give you much openness as to how approach a situation, other than shoot this guy with your silenced pistol and hope that the enemy doesn’t find his body as you’re unable to hide them. Stealth sections don’t actually require you to be stealthy, so it begs the question why even have them in the game in the first place? Sure you have the option, but before entering a stealth environment you’re encouraged to sneak through. AI on the enemies can be all over the place including a couple of times where enemies would be shooting at my last known position, despite me blatantly running towards them. Another time I would find myself sneaking through an industrial level, made up of many floors, silently killing an enemy, only for another foe be alerted 2 floors down. How? I have no idea.
One of the weirdest inclusions in the game is the use of boss fights. Imagine a world where you can fight all of the bosses in the game and occasional stooge in…first person Mike Tyson’s Punch out in quick time event form? Huh? Huh?! Yes you literally get into a fist fight with all of the bosses in the game, which include you punching them in the ribs or face. The sequences are performed by either pressing the left or right analogue stick up or down, depending on the prompt on screen. So yeah that also happens. No gunplay. No epic battle. It’s literally just a punch out, where not one punch landed on me through the entire game.
Towards the end I found myself just going through the motions to get to the credits. The Skyfall pack was released shortly after the US release of Skyfall in theatres to avoid any form of plot point, but again it feels extremely linear and far removed from the film that its based on. Whilst shooting your way through locations loosely based off of the films can be fun, they can be littered with frustrating sections that make you feel as far removed from the super slick James Bond himself. These sections can be really tedious and require multiple attempts to overcome a certain situation. The one section that stands out the most is the snowmobile section of OHMSS. When you’re getting shot up by enemies and attack helicopters and trees, yes trees. Navigating them is extremely difficult and given you’re having to protect someone as well as escaping an avalanche it leads into thrown controllers and the occasional expletive. Scratch that…multiple expletives, usually strung together with great skill.
007 Legends does offer multiplayer which feels like Call of Duty only not as in depth. You can play as many of the main characters out of the main game that you unlock through collecting documents from the main campaign, which is pretty nice. It reminds me of Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64 which allowed you to play as all of the Bonds up to that point plus some of the bad guys that were included in the game. Challenge modes, the same as Call of Duty and the Spec Ops mode. You are given numerous challenges such as defend a specific area for a certain amount of time, get through a stealth section as quickly and as efficiently as possible.
007 Legends is tailored towards die hard Bond fans and to be honest doesn’t do the best representation. While its fun to shoot CoD style weapons in some notable locations based on the films they set out to represent, it isn’t going to attract a wide array of people. The XP system gives it greater depth and you actually feel like you’ve earned the upgrades in the game that have benefits to the way you play the game, instead of them simply being handed to you. It makes you want to play the game better and improve your skills over time. The better you play, the more you’ll be rewarded. If you’ve seen the films that the storylines are based of then this is like Bond lite. Diet Bond even. It strips out deeper parts of the story to get straight to the action, which is pretty disappointing. Overall, from the quite lengthy campaign, the mediocre multiplayer and various challenge modes, I’d certainly recommend renting the game or even buying it once the price has dropped down to about the £20 mark. It certainly doesn’t feel like a full price product and you’d be doing yourself a disservice to buy it at full price. 007 Legends isn’t as much a love letter to the Bond franchise, as it is a reason to ply a game that happens to fall around the 50th anniversary of Bond. James Bond.
Although I will say i’m a sucker for a decent video game soundtrack, the music is very bond-esque and a remix of the Goldfinger theme. That’s all I really have to say about it…yeah.