PS3 Review of Bond 007: Quantum of Solace (Mania.com)

By:Robert T. Trate
Review Date: Thursday, November 13, 2008

 

If there is a gold standard for James Bond films it has to be Goldfinger. It is the quintessential James Bond in which all others are held in comparison. It has the guns, gadgets, villains and babes that will forever be the benchmark for James Bond films. The story isn’t half bad either. If there is one video game that is the gold standard for James Bond it has to be Rareware’s Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64. It followed the movie but extrapolated on scenes and moments creating a larger Bond universe in which to submerse the gamer in. EA Games’ From Russia With Love delivered Goldeneye thrills but its third person perspective still made you feel as if you were watching James Bond and not living it.
 
Activision has released the latest James Bond game, Quantum of Solace, for the PS3, PS2, Xbox 360 Nintendo DS, PC and the Wii. Since its release preceded the release of the movie the most dangerous part of playing Quantum of Solace is not having it ruin the movie. Plus, how can any game with the name James Bond attached to it compare to a now relic of the nineties?
 
Where Quantum of Solace differs greatly from Goldeneye is immersing the gamer into the role of James Bond. Opening doors, fist fights with henchmen and even being poisoned are now part of the game experience. No longer are they moments where you have to hit a single button to proceed. You’ll have to pay attention to unlock the sequence of locks on your decoder. Complete the right combination of buttons to survive a brutal onslaught by the everyday henchmen and the villain’s right hand man. By far the best personal moment is navigating the Casino Royale after Le Chiffre poisons you (imagine a drunken Frogger). Fear not there is still plenty of gun play and explosions. The numerous shoot outs are further complemented by having Bond as an actual participant and not just an avatar that moves to the left, right and kneels. Bond now ducks to the right, left and shoots blindly to supply his own covering fire. Quantum of Solace delivers plenty of bangs for the bucks.   
 
There are plenty of stealth levels and opportunities to avoid confrontations in Quantum of Solace. Though many do not consider this a fun part of the first person shooter genre for a James Bond game it is essential. What is both exhilarating and a bit of an annoyance was the reaction time of the henchmen’s goons. There wasn’t an alarm first and then a minute of wandering around waiting around for them. They were on you quick forcing a reaction time and a situation that again made you feel as if you were James Bond.
 
Another great aspect of Quantum of Solace is the various sniper situations that come into play. Many were reminiscent of the arcade classic Silent Scope. Real world scenarios of spot lights, captives and exposed positions make the simple task of taking down your enemy feel real. There was one time that it almost felt too real as a henchman was shot off a catwalk, fell to the ground and his broken body twitched until he died. It was too real until I realized how cool that moment was.
 
Downsides to Quantum of Solace would be the dependency on cell phones to fill you in on various sub-missions in the different levels. Often you’ll hear a ringing phone and spend time back tracking trying to locate it. Without it you cannot advance to the next part of the game. There is a balancing act that at first is difficult to master. Bond has to walk a few narrow walkways and if you swing too far to either side it will cause your demise. This becomes tedious but it is another part of immersing the gamer in the role of James Bond. I would rather have done a few balancing acts with the Bond girls than navigate a beam. How long will it be until they deliver that part of the game? Even Top Secret Episode’s Golgo 13 for NES had the spy getting it on with the ladies.
 
 

The graphics and sound for the game are superb. Shouts from henchmen off in the distance can be heard as they rally to take you down and complain about running out of ammunition. The graphics are so incredibly clean and real that more than once I thought someone was sneaking up behind me only to learn that it was my shadow.

 
Quantum of Solace delivers realistic gun play in a first person shooter James Bond universe. In allowing scenes from Casino Royale to enter the game play Quantum of Solace carries on the now great James Bond video game tradition started with Goldeneye, allowing the gamer to participate in more of James Bond’s world and missions. Even without the four person arena (for the PS3) Quantum of Solace delivers the experience of N64’s Goldeneye. Fear not online play is available for the PS3, Xbox 360 but it is the Wii that has both online and split screen local multiplayer options.


Mania Grade: A
Game: Bond 007: Quantum of Solace
Platform: PS3
Genre: First Person Shooter
Players: 1
Online: Up to 12 players
Developer: Treyarch, Vicarious Visions and Aeenox
Publisher: ACTIVISION
Suggested Retail: $59.99
Graphics: A
Sound: A+
Gameplay: A
Replay: A-
Fun Factor: A
Series: