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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Activision

 

Developer

Treyarch

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

November 4, 2008

 

 

- Action packed sequences right from the start

- Innovative cover system ups the intensity and strategy of gun battles

- Fun QTE fight scenes (not enough though)

 

 

- Story telling and mission objectives are confusing, especially as the game is a movie tie-in

- Main game is very short (~6 hours)

- Repetitive action and limited variety in weapon selection

- When the game is over, there is nothing else to do

 

 

Review: 007: Everything or Nothing (GC)

Review: Brothers in Arms: Hell's Highway (360)

Review: Call of Duty 4 (360)

 

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Quantum of Solace

Score: 7.0 / 10

 

When looking at any James Bond video game, the challenge for any reviewer is to block out any memories of what GoldenEye was like when it was released. Take each new game on its own merits, and most importantly try to avoid using the word “Facility” for the next 500 words. That being said, Quantum of Solace, Treyarch’s compilation of the first two Daniel Craig-led Bond films, stands well on its own.

 

quantum of solace           quantum of solace

 

The core gameplay is “take cover and shoot.” Whenever Bond is surrounded by enemies – a frequent occurrence – press A next to any surface and the game switches to a 3rd person view for easier aiming as Bond takes cover. From there, Bond can either dash for more cover, pop out and take a few shots at the enemy or even stick your gun out and shoot wildly in a given direction. Whether the mission is in Bolivia, Montenegro or Madagascar, most missions follow a simple script; take cover and play peek-a-boo with the enemy one by one until the next section opens up. And somehow with all that “stop and pop”, the action is fast paced and at times exhilarating. With sniper rifles, machine guns and tek-9’s in addition to his trusty

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PPK, there is some variety to your weapon of choice, but don’t expect to use any rocket launchers or a weapon more interesting than a shotgun.

 

As primarily a first person shooter, when Bond isn’t engaged in shoot-outs in South America or sniping guards off a rooftop in Europe, the variety is rather limited. Navigating stealthily is next to impossible and although the take down

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system can be fun, it leaves you wide open to enemy fire and a quick death.

 

However, one bright spot is definitely the Shenmue-like quick time event fight scenes. At certain points during the game, scripted battles from the film take place on screen through pressing buttons as they appear on-screen. Then depending on your timing, the action can splinter in a few directions. It’s a fun diversion, but with less than 5 occurrences throughout the short game, it is not nearly used enough. For instance, instead of having the opening chase scene from Casino Royale be an intense “twitch” mission filled with crazy action sequences as you try to catch a mad bomber through the streets of Madagascar, Treyarch turned the scene into another ubiquitous ‘shoot the enemies and move on to the next batch’ mission.

 

quantum of solace           quantum of solace

 

With 80% of the missions coming from Casino Royale and only a few sparse missions coming from the latest film, Quantum of Solace is a misleading title. Added to that, if Quantum of Solace’s gameplay seems familiar, there is a reason; it was built off the Call of Duty 4 engine. Although there is an online multiplayer, repeat online multiplayer, there are a lot better options to be found, starting with CoD4, where you don’t need more than one system to play with your friends.

 

Daniel Craig is supposed to be a Bond of subtlety, not the type to use gadgets or ask for his vodka martini shaken, but does that mean we can never get to really use a rocket launcher?  After all, it’s bad enough that the tense poker game between Bond and Le Chiffre was frustratingly teased at more than once in between missions without being playable, but after spending half an hour in an added-on gun battle through the heart of Europe, I’m curious as to why a few more ‘blow up anything that moves’ couldn’t have been added on. Although the adventure is fun and the action is exciting, when the game is over there is little else to be done and no mission really compels you to play through multiple times, unlike the famous Facility.

 

- Karol Kudyba

(December 1, 2008)

 

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