It’s been a long while since I’ve played a good game based on the James Bond movie franchise and this year’s TreyArch title published by Activision, Quantum of Solace seemed to be The Game – at least that was the impression I’ve had after playing the super-cool but way too short QoS demo on my PC (you can read my impressions here). However, the full game is a bit different: just read on our Quantum of Solace for Xbox 360 review and find out more.
Everybody agrees that the only great James Bond-based game was released 11 years ago under the name of GoldenEye 007 – the Nintendo 64 title remains for fans an unmatchable experience, even after the release of the impressing next-gen Quantum of Solace game because this latest title released by Activision simply lacks the golden touch of brilliance to make it a… well… brilliant game!
The game kicks off with the beginning of the previous film and following an eye catchy, explosive introduction, you’re left with a huge grin on your face, squeezing the controller and getting ready for the ride of your life – it will be a short one, though, so don’t get over-excited. And, probably, you’ll kind of lose track at a given time since lots of flashbacks and such will haunt you during your game experience.
The game is played mostly as a first person shooter, but the camera switches to third person view when you take cover – this shiny little thing, although appreciated by some people, brings a drastic decrease of the game’s difficulty, since you’ll always have the general view over your enemies, their movement and it will be easier for you to roll. However, prepare to be cut back by the camera – there is an option in Quantum of Solace to perform takedown moves, which are presented in a really good looking cutscene, but which totally screw up your camera’s position when real time gameplay begins. And soon that will probably make you stop performing these moves (at least I did!).
Except for that, the gameplay generally feels a lot like the one brought by the almost flawless Call of Duty, so I don’t have many complaints regarding it. However, I must admit that I disliked the quick-time events as well as doors/cameras/whatever hacking since they only brought pointless repetitive minigame-like material to the Bond title. But the life of a secret agent is not only about driving fast cars and scoring hot Russian chicks, unfortunately for the virtual Bonds.
The arsenal you can use is impressive, with lots of guns to choose from but I completely dislike the lack of Bond-specific gadgets. Indeed, Quantum of Solace is a fast paced action shooter that does not come with a solid stealth element and spreading bullets around seems like the best strategy, but I would’ve still found incredibly welcomed some gadgets similar to those in the brilliant No One Lives Forever series. At least an exploding cat, as future DLC, please?
However, you should not be left with the impression that action sequences in Quantum of Solace are limited to mindless shooting and mass destruction: the AI is pretty well done and opposing soldiers will always try to take advantage of their numerical superiority (even though it is a somewhat scripted behavior). Your enemies however act pretty natural: for example, if you destroy their cover, they’ll start running around scared, and you’ll have a few seconds to do some target practice.
A rather short and confusing story mode does not manage to turn Quantum of Solace into a “play just once” type of game. The multiplayer takes care of that and, similar to Call of Duty, the multiplayer aspect is very well done. Apart from the classic modes (Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and so on), Treyarch’s brings two new game modes: Bond Versus where a lone agent tries to eliminate six members of The Organization and Golden Gun, bringing to the classic free for all mode a secret golden gun that’s going to help its finder a lot.