Review: 007 Legends
James Bond has had a long, fulfilling career – he’s shot many a bad guy and slept with many a woman, taking on evil foes such as the hat throwing maniac Oddjob and the silver toothed Jaws. Now we have 007 Legends where you’ll be reliving these great moments in a modern era all from the comfort of your sofa.
Sounds good doesn’t it? The films on show are Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, License to Kill, Die Another Day and Moonraker. Unfortunately, 007 Legends is more of a damp squib than a shaken Martini, with wooden gameplay, repetitive levels and a mish-mash of the film’s original stories, it does little more than insult the source material.
The game starts with Daniel Craig being shot off the top of a moving train, as seen in the Skyfall trailer, and ending up in the river below. In his unconsciousness he relives some of his previous escapades except with a modern twist. If you’re not a fan of the Bond films then you won’t have much idea of what’s going on through the game as there’s little explanation given to anything. Although, if you’re not a big Bond fan then you’re unlikely to buy a title with 007 in the title.
Almost straight away you’re chucked into a gunfight and you’ll be stuck doing this for the majority of the game’s five hour campaign. Gunplay is lacklustre and emotionally draining, the guns lack any real punch and can only be likened to firing Nerf guns at your foes. There’s a neat weapon customisation system thrown in, you can purchase a series of upgrades and add-ons such as, more ammo, laser sight, silencer and so on.
When you’re not shooting you’ll probably be attempting to sneak, I say attempting as the stealth mechanic isn’t the best and you’ll more than likely be spotted within a couple of minutes. You can crawl around and perform silent takedowns on enemies but if another enemy spots their body they’ll raise the alarm and no, you can’t move dead bodies. There are moments where you’ll fail the mission if you’re spotted and these can be a very frustrating experience in the best of times.
Of course, who would Bond be without his plethora of funky gadgets? Well, he’d probably be in 007 Legends, you only have three gadgets at your disposal, a smartphone, a watch and a pen. The phone is used to take evidence photos, hack objects and so on. The watch is a motion tracker and also has the classic laser beam functionality whilst the pen can shoot darts to take down enemies quietly. The only gadget that’s used more than a handful of times is the smartphone, which of course is only there because 007 Legends is a modernisation of the Bond films.
There’s only really one more mechanic that’ll pop up in 007 Legends and that’s the hand to hand combat. Sure, you can run up and melee anyone and you’ll get a nifty little death animation but sometimes you’ll have to take dudes on in a glorified quick time event. These fight sequences use the control sticks to throw punches and the triggers to dodge. The stick and it’s direction pop up on screen when you’re supposed to use them so it’s fairly straightforward – the real shame here is that almost every boss fight ends in one of these sequences.
There’s a couple of vehicle sections as well but they play out exactly as you imagine, move forward, shoot stuff and dodge hurtful things – although they do a nice job of breaking up the gameplay and getting you out of the bullet filled corridors. After you’ve blasted your way through the five hours of campaign then you’ll be greeted with a black screen and credits. This is because at the end of the Moonraker mission the game just ends with no real ending. It’s presumed this is going to be part of the Skyfall DLC, which will include some Skyfall related gameplay, so make sure you watch the film first.
Lastly we have the multiplayer, it’s a fairly bog standard affair and has a similar set-up to the Call of Duty series, except without the enjoyment or people to play against. The highlight is the Legends playlist where gamers can choose their favourite character from films gone by, each with their own special ability, such as Oddjob’s hat throw.
So, 007 Legends, a look back at five of the previous James Bond films with Daniel Craig at the helm (although he doesn’t provide his voice) it’s a nice idea but unfortunately what has been released doesn’t really work. It’d be nice to see the Bond games move away from the first person shooter, with corridors full of cannon fodder and explosions coming out of your ear holes, to something with a proper stealth mechanic and lots of gadget use, much like the films. If you’re a huge Bond fan you’ve probably bought this already but if you’re looking for a shooter this Christmas there’s much better ones out there.