By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders
Quantum of Solace
Frankly, I’m more excited about a Casino Royale game than I am about Quantum of Solace. This game is both movies, but titled after the newest one for obvious marketing reasons. But Casino Royale is one of my favorite movies of all time I’m more stoked to play those levels.
PS3: Quantum of Solace
There’s also the history of the James Bond video game franchise. Goldeneye is one of the greatest games of all time, regardless of its association with 007. I’m even kind of indifferent to the first person shooter genre, but the nuance of the mission objectives hooked me in on that game. In between, there have been some fun attempts (I enjoyed the third person Everything or Nothing) but nothing on that level until now.
The tactical first person style of Quantum really works for me. I’m sure it’s old hat to experienced gamers who are used to taking cover and aiming at enemies, but it’s new to me. Regardless, it’s new to the Bond franchise and it’s totally appropriate. Bond doesn’t just run around shooting. Every shot he fires means something. It even follows movie logic, where anything you hide behind automatically protects you. That’s good, this is a movie game. It’s not supposed to simulate real life, where a column of drywall or a wooden table won’t actually stop a bullet. So I feel the importance of every cover position and every shot I fire, and even the subtlety of shifting cover to get a better shot.
The action is really dynamic so it never feels like just shooting. All the different places enemies can be, the way they die, sometimes falling from heights, there’s really a lot of variety. Little touches like close hand to hand combat give you a real sense of Daniel Craig’s tough guy Bond. Balancing on ledges can be tough and that’s not something we see him do in the movies, but it makes sense in the game. Environmental tensions add elements of intensity like shaking environments that mess up your perfect shot.
They’ve done a good job expanding the storylines of both movies to add levels that make sense in the plot, but don’t actually exist in either film. Every location provides plenty of cover and intricate shootout situations. I haven’t gotten there yet but I know from seeing early demos that they do the sinking Venice house and the construction site, so walking through those is going to be awesome. It starts in Quantum so you don’t have to play through old news to get there.
Seeing my familiar locations is great, but playing the in between sections, for example even bridging the brief gap between Casino and Quantum definitely feels like I’m in the world of my favorite version of the franchise. Their title song is better than the movie’s song too. Sorry Jack White, it is.