At a glance...

Previewer Platform Publisher Developer Players Release Date
Richard Pilot Xbox 360 Activision Eurocom 1+ (Online) October 16th 2012

007 Legends preview

I'm a big fan of Bond, both the films and the games. While I grew up in the Pierce Brosnan era with films like "GoldenEye", "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "The World Is Not Enough", I'm still able to appreciate the older films like "A View to a Kill" and "Live and Let Die". The Bond games too made regular appearances in my childhood from GoldenEye on the N64 to more recent unique titles like Agent Under Fire and Bloodstone. With this year marking the 50th Anniversary of Bond, fans will get to enjoy a brand new entry in the series, "Skyfall", and a new game, 007 Legends.

 This Bond game returns to first person shooting

This Bond game returns to first person shooting

What makes 007 Legends interesting is that it goes through parts of Bond's history, picking and choosing classic Bond moments and films to adapt. In order to produce a cohesive experience this game has been adapted from the original material and are brought into the modern day. The Bonds too have been replaced with a likeness of the current Bond actor, Daniel Craig, and 007 Legends has been given an overarching storyline that allows them to slot all of these pieces together sensibly. When I asked about how the Daniel Craig take on Bond has influenced the adaptation of these classic moments, I was told that it didn't really change too much. Gamers want to experience these classic moments rather than see them changed, so the inclusion of Daniel Craig really affects which elements from these past films they choose to adapt rather than the content itself.

The game will include five classic Bond films, and I was shown segments from the two that were announced this week at Gamescom; "License to Kill" and "Die Another Day". The developers, Eurocom, have worked with some of the talent that were involved in these films. This includes actors who appeared in them, so Carey Lowell who played Agent Pam Boovier in "License to Kill" makes an appearance, lending both her likeness and voice. Likewise for "Die Another Day", actor Toby Stephens who played the film's main bad guy, Gustav Graves, will also lend his likeness and voice to the game. One last interesting piece of information about the Bond films was that to coincide with the launch of the new film, Skyfall, there will be a section of the game focused around it, but as 007 Legends comes out before the film, it will released as DLC post-release, free to everyone who owns the game.

But there are vehicle sections too

But there are vehicle sections too

Moving onto the gameplay, the first segment I saw was from "License to Kill". Agent Boovier had already gone ahead in his attempt to deceive the main bad guy. This left us to sneak into the temple complex. As in previous games, Bond will have a number of gadgets at his fingertips such as his trusty camera phone that doubles as binoculars. Like the original GoldenEye, 007's watch is also kitted out, with one of the upgrades being a motion tracker. As he snuck into the temple though, I found it hard to overlook the fact that the game lacked ambient music. The game features a radial bar for indicating enemies around you and their awareness, and as our cover got blown they all started to turn red and the familiar Bond orchestra started to kick in. This all ends far to easily however, as we turned a few corners and they immediately stop looking for us. Perhaps this was all planned though, as breaking through a grate and moving down into the lab-like area started another stealth sequence. This time though, some "stealthy" music kicked in and really got us in the mood for sneaking around and subduing bad guys (or just taking them out with a pistol). While they were 'playing smart' by taking out enemies silently, it doesn't have to be this way and players could just as easily whip out a sub machine gun and started taking the place apart.

The second segment was from "Die Another Day". After sneaking around Gustav Graves' ice base (by taking out a security camera with yet another gadget that lets us augment reality to see power lines), they managed to sneak inside. One of the first things I noticed is how much nicer this looks that the first segments. As this part was at night, the lighting really set the scene with floodlights on the buildings and the glow of fireworks from the ice hotel in the distance. This was a significant improvement over the blander temple region in the "License to Kill" section. The demonstrator foolishly got us spotted which resulted in another firefight so they quickly skipped ahead to a car chase from the same film. Bond had to steer his car over the ice trying to follow an essentially linear path chasing after Zau. He had to dodge mortars come from the back of the lead car while also avoiding the heat beam from a satellite (a key plot point from "Die Another Day"). Unfortunately this section still looked a little rough, but was over pretty quick after we managed to score a few hits with the car mounted rockets. Driving inside the plane and taking out a few bad guys, lead to a section that could have been taken directly from the film. Taking down Gustav Graves plays out almost exactly like it does in the film, dialogue and all, except that this time, the player is in control.

You're not the only one in a suit

You're not the only one in a suit

That concluded our session. It was great to see how this game is shaping up and it's clear that players will be able to experience some really classic moments. There's still some way to go however, and while some sections look very much ready, Eurocom just needs to ensure that all areas receive the same level of polish.

Copyright Information

Website design and content (c) 1999-2012 allaboutgames.co.uk.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License, except where otherwise noted.

Smileys taken from Crack's Smilies.