James Bond: 007 Legends Reviews

331,248 (229,396)
TA Score for this game: 321
Posted on 21 October 12 at 23:54, Edited on 21 October 12 at 23:59
This review has 16 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Originally published on VGMMDI

What do you think of when you hear the name ‘James Bond’? Is it his specific dress code and shaken, not stirred martini? Is it his crafty fighting style and near-future gadgets? Is it the decades of daring escapes, Bond Girls, and arch-villains? The correct answer is all of these things — and more. To be considered the complete James Bond package, a movie or video game must offer all of these things or else faithful fans will consider it unworthy of the 007 moniker. Activision and Eurocom tried to encompass decades of movie magic into one celebratory game highlighting what makes Bond, well, Bond. Unfortunately, the James Bond we meet in 007 Legends is sloppy, aimless, and unremarkable.

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The premise of the first-person shooter is intriguing enough to pull in plenty of people who like either the Bond films or playing video games, and it’s certainly interesting enough to pull in anyone who likes both. The story opens with a scene from the soon-to-be-released Skyfall, Daniel Craig’s third film as our Agent 007. The game uses his likeness as he and an enemy square off atop a moving train. When Bond falls into the river below the tracks, he goes into a coma-like state where he begins to relive his past exploits as MI-6’s secret weapon. It’s an odd but perhaps necessary set-up for a game that has players time-jumping through the different decades of Bond. But wait, no, there is no time-jumping, because all five of the 007 movies used in the game – Goldfinger, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, License to Kill, Die Another Day, and Moonraker – have been modernized with current day weaponry, vehicles, and gadgets. This storytelling decision also justifies the use of Daniel Craig’s likeness for all five of the game’s missions.

The bulk of the gameplay is comprised of Call of Duty-cloned sequences. You’ll get behind a mounted chopper gun, breach and clear a room in slow motion, and there’s more than a few run-like-hell-away-from-the-explosion moments. It’s all been seen before, year after year, FPS after FPS. This isn’t the first game to take the Call of Duty formula and try to replicate it, and it won’t be the last. Even at that, nothing about the game is on par with what Call of Duty does. The shooting is functional but not as tight, the graphics are current-gen but poorer, the voice acting beyond that of the original cast members is horrendous, and the missions are abusively formulaic. Each mission had a nearly identical sequence of events: Sneak or shoot into building. Sneak around, shoot if stealth fails. Fight a bad guy using QTEs. Enter arch-villain’s room. Use gadgets to find clues. Get caught. Fight your way out. Do that five times in a row and the game is over. With only five missions, each totaling about an hour in play time, gamers deserve more than that. There are two driving sequences that have you racing through war-torn roads and it sometimes seemed impossible, or at least unfairly difficult, to evade the enemy projectiles. Luckily, the cars you used seemed invincible because even on the hardest difficulty they never broke down or exploded on me despite taking a serious beating.

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The addition of stealth mechanics was a nice effort, but it too failed to remain consistent. Using a directional reticule to indicate enemy awareness, sometimes I could sneak up right beside an enemy to melee them while other times, and this happened often, the enemies would know where I was as soon as they found a dead or unconscious body, even if to that point they didn’t even know I was in the room. There’s gadgets like a watch that disrupts security cameras and your smartphone that uses different filters to solve environmental puzzles, but these were often thrown at you with no directions, leaving you to button-mash until something happened that resembled what you needed to do.

One of the good things about this game was the final mission. Though it still follows the aforementioned, dreaded formula as the other four movie scenes, this final mission utilizes something different, something gameplay changing, that isn’t in the rest of the game. Unfortunately, these last few moments, as different and cool as they were, play into one of the weirdest and seemingly unfinished cutscenes I‘ve ever seen in a game. I would have to assume the free Skyfall DLC, due out in November, will pick up where the main game left off, because it left off in a hurry.

One of the other few bright spots of the game was the ability to customize your weaponry with different attachments like silencers, sights, underbarrels, and rapid firing rates among other things. You could earn XP in the single-player missions and spend it to unlock different attachments across the typical classes you’d expect in an FPS. There are also a lot of guns and even though the sounds of them ranged from mediocre to laughable, they still felt accurate and reliable as long as you equipped the right ones for the right situations. It was because of this fact that the game is playable at all. If even the game’s most basic gameplay mechanic, shooting stuff, failed, there would be no redeeming qualities remaining to keep it in anyone’s disc tray.

The game froze up on me, or failed to load after a death or saved data load about a half dozen times, mostly on the third mission. As it stands right now, the game feels unfinished in some ways. Despite offering a mode similar to (Call of Duty’s) Spec Ops, online and splitscreen multiplayer, plenty of collectibles and secondary objectives to focus on, simple elements like, you know, loading the game, were inconsistent. Other times, on the same problematic mission, the environments wouldn’t load into the game, leaving me alone in a black abyss high above or below the actual game world. Despite all of this, the single-player works as a mostly functional, if uninspired, shooter that is worth a bargain bin or rental price tag.

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However, the same cannot be said for the multiplayer modes. The addition of splitscreen versus modes is a nice touch since so many games have abandoned that element, but beyond that, there is not one ounce of worth to be found in the multiplayer lobbies of 007 Legends. The game modes are almost entirely stolen from — you guessed it – Call of Duty . You have Conflict and Team Conflict (Free-for-All and Team Deathmatch), Escalation (Gun Game), and Bomb Defuse (Search and Destroy). There are also others that borrow their objectives precisely from Headquarters and Sabotage.

The lag in this game is so bad, I found myself laughing out loud at times. Hit detection is a guessing game, players move at different speeds, and once during a host migration, I found myself the only one of the people in the lobby who was frozen in place upon returning with a new host. I could still see people running around me, but I couldn’t move anywhere and do anything. The entire experience was just bizarre and broken.

With inconsistent gameplay, unplayable multiplayer, and a brief, been-there-done-that story mode, the only saving grace for 007 Legends is that the shooting mechanics work well enough to just put the game past the ‘playable’ line. Having enjoyed past current-generation Bond games like Blood Stone and Quantum of Solace, I expected to find a similarly mediocre yet fun experience here. I was surprised to see just how disappointing this one turned out to be. There’s plenty else you can spend your money on during this busy season for gaming, and even when this game is cheap, you’ll find better options. Eurocom was responsible for the well-received Goldeneye 007: Reloaded, which is now regarded as one of the best Bond games in a long time. If Goldeneye and its remake are to be considered the best of the franchise, consider 007 Legends more like Austin Powers; it takes what you know about the James Bond franchise and makes it look silly.
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MF Mad ViLLains
73,207 (52,725)
MF Mad ViLLains
TA Score for this game: 448
Posted on 15 March 17 at 08:55
This review has 1 positive vote and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
007 Legends
Published by: Activision
Developed by: Eurocom
Released: October 12th, 2012

Let me get straight to it by saying that this game is nothing like I was hoping it would be and is nothing what it could have been. The concept of it is cool, 5 of the most recognized James Bond films stuffed into one video game. Now James Bond games haven't always been the greatest, but they have all made you feel like you're filling the shoes of a total bad ass super agent who happens to be world's greatest spy. Rather than getting that feeling, you have this. A "high paced", first person shooter that has you running and gunning from one objective to the next which all revolve around breaching a building to reach the office of a mad man to investigate his whereabouts then shooting your way out of there to go find the bad guy. Now this would have been fine if this was a call of duty and it was intended to be the thrill ride that people know and love. This, however, is James Bond. You would think that would mean you could approach each situation and obstacle tactically and solve the task with a stealthy but deadly approach. Not at all. And when it does let you take the stealth approach, it becomes mandatory and you fail the mission for not doing so. It's a super linear experience that essentially forces you to play it how the developers want you to. Now besides the character being a spy genius and this aspect of the game not being relevant to the character himself, it would have been fine if the game mechanics were actually good. Call of Duty gets away with their high paced campaign because the controls are fluent, the game looks great, there arent any bugs or glitches, and game is responsive in how the AI and evironment functions, etc. 007 Legends is the complete opposite to that and thats how it fails so bad. The controls are not comfortable and sometimes broken like the X and Y sensitivity being completely off from one another and when pressing a button to perform an action, it sometimes does not respond. Graphically, the game looks 5 years older than what it is. Textures are often pixelated and distorted, characters have no expression, bland colors, you get the picture. The level design is terrible, very basic (without a lot of depth) and straightforward. The voice acting is terrible when not coming from a main character. The AI is stupid and is random with their actions like sometimes you can be crouched right in front of an enemy and he wont notice you, and other times you could be hidden behind some stairs and an enemy that is at least 50 yards away will spot you. The AI function is also off and I've shot one guy in the leg for a one hit kill and, with the same weapon, shot another guy about 10 times and have him shrug it off like the bullets were beans. Overall, the game is super buggy and there is little logic that takes place. Now the story itself is about 5 hours long (about 1 hour per film). Quite short but I wish it was shorter.... there was very little story to be told in the first place and if you haven't seen any of the films that take place, you will have no idea what is going on or at least have a vague understanding.Personally, I had only seen Die Another Day and Moonraker so since they don't really set the scene or tell you about where you are or who you are after, it was very hard to follow along making it boring to play. They do allow you to find intel on the key characters in each film, but it's not very helpful. So you have boring gameplay with boring storytelling. Well doesn't that just make the highly anticipated game worth the wait and money? Doubt it. I mean not everything was bad though. I did like the weapon variety, even though they all really played the same, and I actually loved the use for XP for buying weapon attachments and upgrades, and as well as buying personal upgrades such as quicker health regen. That system I actually thought was really cool and would be fun to see that worked into other shooters. Now I know that they put some emphasis on the online matchmaking, but unfortunately since I started this up so late, the servers are dead and im surprised they were even on still. So I didn't get to check that aspect out, but i'm sure it was nothing special like the rest of the mediocre sham that is 007 Legends. Definitely skip this one folks.
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