Release Date: October 16th, 2012
Platform: [Reviewed: Xbox 360], Playstation 3, Wii U, Windows PC
Rated: T for Teen
When the new GoldenEye game stepped onto the scene not but two years back, it was hard to fore-see such a daring 007 title released practically on its tail; especially with GoldenEye only having subtle references to the famed classic game. It was clear from the beginning what the goal of 007 Legends is.
Take the well-loved movies from Bond’s 50 years (not that Die Another Day meets that category for everyone) and create a game that captures the biggest parts of that movie’s story. With the initial 5 legacy movies, there is even a mission for the new SkyFall movie that is coming to theaters this fall; of course it is on lock-down until this November. Bare in mind we cannot touch that mission as of yet, but if the other missions in this game is any way to judge the quality of that mission, we will be in for a treat.
Fundamentally at the core of the game, 007 Legends is what GoldenEye Reloaded should have felt like. In GoldenEye Reloaded you just had your smart phone and that literally did everything for you. You could see the sincerity put into the concept, but ultimately it was lame.
Taking gadgets away from Bond, is like turning Batman back into Bruce Wayne. Eurocom fixes that short-coming in 007 Legends and gives you new options in taking on your foes. Yes, the smart phone makes a return (including a sneaky product placement) which makes itself a camera, hacking tool, electronics detector, and biological scanner. You will be using your phone for most of the game and it really sets some great gameplay elements in motion. My favorite was the bio-scanner, as you can find fingerprints and DNA that help you unravel hidden objects within the scene and button combinations.
Thankfully, it doesn’t stop at your smart phone. Your wristwatch now also serves a greater purpose, as it acts as a radar to locate several enemies within its radius. Want to stir up a distraction or fritz that camera in the way of your path? No problem, either. You can now shoot a laser, from your watch, that will burn out cameras and make susceptible electronics malfunction. Shorting out a radio with several guards nearby will cause them to leave their post and check it out. If you want to play the more stealthy Bond, this feature will be a great benefit to you.
Last, but not certainly least, you now are equipped with a pen gadget. This pen can be loaded with three different darts, each serving a different purpose. First, you have the distraction dart which works a lot like your watch’s laser. The benefit here is that you do not need an electronic source to make it work.
Up next, we have the shock dart and, if it wasn’t obvious enough by the name, it shocks people. Be careful using this dart, however. You can take out multiple enemies who are standing close together, but it is by no means a stealthy kill. For that, you have the tranquilizer dart. Afraid your target is too far away for a stealth headshot? No worries. If you land the dart anywhere on the target, he will go to sleep immediately.
Other additions include the ability to gain XP with each objective and challenge completed. You can use these acquired point to purchase training modules that help Bond do things like recover health quick, move silent when not crouching, etc. Once you acquire the dart pen you can even spend your XP points on leveling that up as well. In addition to these two areas, you can spend your points in upgrading weapons that you find within the game. Chests are planted around each level that let you snap on attachments such as ACOG, red-dot, full-auto, silencer, extended mags, and more. These modifications to the guns also cost you XP points as well.
There is a multiplayer side to this game, but it feels “tacked-on” and seems a lot less engaging than your Call of Duty experience. You have your loadouts, perks, linear maps, and all that could be found multiplayer side in GoldenEye Reloaded. One little change, however, was the implementation of a “prestige-system”. Honestly though, I don’t see anyone ever playing enough of the multiplayer to ever get that far into it. You have you standard deathmatch, headquarters, demolition, gun game and golden-gun game types as well as both a Heroes and a Legends mode. Legends mode lets you play as the iconic villains and henchmen that each have their own specialties and loadouts. Heroes is pretty much your quintessential “VIP” mode. All in all, it might be worth playing with until Black Ops 2 or Halo 4 comes out, but it’s not a real sticking point in this title.
When playing the campaign you have the choice of playing it two different ways. You can play it a Call of Duty style with regenerative health OR you can play is classic GoldeneEye 64 style with health packs and armor. The difficulty can also vary between Operative, Agent, and 007. The review play-through was conducted using the classic elements and Agent difficulty. One thing that was noticed happened to be the somewhat “hidden” armor and health packs on some levels. You will be screaming “Where’s The Armor?” on several occasions, but if you look hard enough you will eventually find it.
Scenery and gameplay do mix up quite a bit in this title. Graphics are okay, but poorly rendered shadows and some blocky models had me wondering if I was playing on the Wii a few times. Character model detail is brilliant, but its the lack of detail in some areas that irks you.
As for the gameplay you have several driving sequences that tend to be pretty fun and well placed to the mission. What seems like it needed more variation was the hand to hand combat system. At MANY points in the game you have to duke it out with guards, henchmen, and villains. It’s cool at first as it requires a quick-time button mashing to play-through, but it gets old really fast. I have no beef in fist pounding Oddjob, Blofield, or Zao, but once it’s clearly the same mechanic every time, it simply losses the “Wow” factor. Great concept, but just never executed as deep as it could have been.
Not counting SkyFall, 007 Legends lasted around 5 hours and 30 minutes for one play-through. If we add in SkyFall, it will most likely be around 6 and a half in total. It’s not a very long game, but each mission does seem to build up with the next being even better than its predecessor. Out of all the campaigns given so far, Moonraker seems to be the cream of the crop as it stand right now. Space marines, space colonies, evil villains, and world destruction immanent? You can count me in. As for replay value, 007 Legends offers several trials you can complete and objects to collect for the 100%’rs out there. When it boils down to it, some people are going to hate it, but others like myself are going to enjoy it. It certainly could have done better, but it’s not the worst Bond game that has ever hit the market.
Overall Rating: 4/5