The name is Bond. James Bond. Cliché, but I had to use this here and get rid of it, instead of trying to smartly introduce it somewhere in this preview and fail like an elephant trying to climb up the stairs. Anyway, that’s not what we’re planning to talk about, but the upcoming game from Activision, Quantum of Solace, a game that brings to our virtual playgrounds both the Bond version of Daniel Craig as well as some breathtaking action.
Developed by Beenox for PC and Wii, using the Call of Duty 4 engine, the game has all the premises to be considered a classic movie tie-in: big budget, good story, lack of quality. In order to prove us that Quantum of Solace does not enter the “poor quality” category, Activision has released a demo we’ve enjoyed playing – a bit of the game to give us a short shot on what being Bind should feel like. And it does feel better than expected.
The visual aspects of the game rise to today’s standards and, even though similarities with COD4 can’t be found from a visual point of view, you can easily realize that a solid graphical engine is involved in delivering your gaming experience and honestly, on maximum detail settings, there’s nothing more you could ask from Quantum of Solace.
The gameplay is quite well optimized for the PC – Beenox has a lot of experience in porting console versions for the PC market and they have the experience to make the game feel like a “Games for Windows” original. You can sprint, duck, take cover, dash from behind a column to another… you jump off staircases into the water, you climb up the debris, it’s all natural and well done. The same can be said for the change of player perspective – from a first person point of view it goes to third person when you take cover.
Aiming is impossible while running – and I thought that Bond has no problem with that – but it’s OK, you’ll always have something to take cover behind. Also, a very well done addition is the Quick Time Event – briefly showcased in one of a fighting scene – which tests your reflexes. Nothing too hard, though, so it’s quite OK.
Unfortunately, there are a few drawbacks. First of all, the demo is obscenely short (three to five minutes of actual gameplay) which doesn’t actually allow for a good understanding of the game. We’ve seen absolutely no Bondesque gadgets whatsoever and if there were any prepared for the full version of Quantum of Solace, I’m sure the developers would’ve found a way to insert them in the demo too. But let’s hope I’m just wrong.
Also, destruction of environments gets a big zero in the demo at least – there apparently are destructible things in the game (such as the columns that fall during the explosion), but these are just scripted events. Try shooting the lamps, the bats in the cave or anything else and they won’t move an inch. Which is pretty uncool for a 2008 game.
But, all in all it appears that Beenox did a good job with Quantum of Solace and I must admit that it appears, following the three minutes of gameplay, to be one of the better movie tie-ins ever made. Let’s hope, for the sake of the players eagerly anticipating the game’s release, that I am right and we’ll do have a quality title with Quantum of Solace.
Here are 2 minutes of gameplay. The sound was taken away by the evil forces of the dark.