Activision grabbed the rights to the James Bond franchise back in 2006, and the latest addition to the Bond video game series, ‘Quantum Of Solace’ is the first from the studio since their acquisition. Yet despite what the box art may convey at first glance, Quantum Of Solace is in fact a game of two halves, and ironically enough the greater half is made up of gameplay from the previous Bond film, Casino Royale.
An obvious route to take this title would be to portray the story as per the cinema releases (in order), but Treyarch has attempted a different approach. Upon playing the first few chapters of the new film, a stray flashback occurs, and you then find yourself playing out Craig’s first Bond effort from the start. Fast forward, and subsequent to playing through Casino Royale (minus the card games) you find yourself back playing Quantum for all of one more mission. While this mix may please some die hard Bond fans, especially due to the lack of a Casino Royale game, the flashback approach feels forced and shoehorned in, adding little to the progression of the games loosely portrayed telling of the films stories. Some levels are shorter than others, while further levels offer more demanding gameplay, but overall the game has enough to keep any gamer busy for around an average of 8 hours, depending on the difficulty level.
Beyond the method in which the levels have been delivered, Quantum Of Solace provides typical first-person shooter mechanics, borrowed from the Call Of Duty 4 engine, which supports the gameplay suitably. A cover system, more than satisfying aiming, and takedowns all make for a fairly fulfilling experience which is negligibly more jeering than the average shooter. In essence the incorporation of the Call Of Duty 4 engine aids to this game fittingly. Besides these adopted elements, the game also has several untypical sequences, be it taking out security cameras, balancing as you traverse across a narrow beam, or stealthily making your way across the outside edge of a building. It’s these fragments of the game which break up the average experience and offer a short slice of variety.
In addition to the single player experience on offer, a multiplayer mode is available, and although it offers a wide selection of options, from standard choices, to a number of Bond like game modes, such as “Bond Evasion” and “Golden Gun”, all of it yet again seems borrowed from other sources. Like Call Of Duty 4, multiplayer has a system in place in which weapon upgrades can be earned and certain perks applied to your lifeless multiplayer being, a welcome addition to a multiplayer far from exciting, despite it’s variety. Another somewhat odd factor of the multiplayer portion is the characters animations, you and your enemies all move in a stiff rigid manner, which at first was a large distraction in a world of fluidity.
Overall Activision’s first attempt is generally an average affair, the game doesn’t look overly attractive, the single player, in parts, will please Bond fans no end, but the average gamer wont garner anything new from the experience. A soulless James Bond is portrayed in a somewhat passable title.