007 Legends Review
- Posted October 28th, 2012 at 10:55 EDT by Timothy Nunes
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James Bond has had a long life in gaming, but age seems to be catching up with him.
- Solid, if familiar, gameplay
- Good XP-earning system
- Terrible AI
- Very outdated, inconsistent graphics
- Poor execution throughout
(continued from previous page) ...Some enemies will flinch if shot in their shooting arm, but after a quick spell of grabbing their wound, they'll proceed to shoot at me again. It's a frequent oddity, and helps make for an overall wonky AI package. Generous auto-aim helps alleviate AI weirdness, but you'll find that it also makes kills feel automatic and the game feel uneventful.
All that said, I warmed up to the game over time. Despite design inconsistencies and janky mechanics (like being able to absorb what seems like thousands of bullets while facing death at the hands of a single RPG), the familiar joys of polished shooter gameplay kept me going. Quick-time boss fights add healthy variety, though the folks who developed Fight Night might get a laugh out of the painfully simple mechanics. Punches are limited to four positions on the enemy, and the enemy’s openings are always indicated with an on-screen pointer. A few joystick directions cover all close-quarters attacks, but because these quick-time fist fights only show up five times throughout the game, the variety they add prevents repetition from setting in.
For an alternative gameplay experience, 007 Legends offers Spec Ops-style missions a la Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, but they’re nowhere near as entertaining. These can only be done solo, and since the shooting gameplay is fairly generic, there’s no real sense of urgency. As a result, these missions feel rather dull. Though they consist of escape, defense, infiltration, and assault missions, the variety doesn’t alleviate the lack of intrigue.
In terms of multiplayer, 007 Legends doesn’t really do anything special. There are modes that mimic the familiar team deathmatch, deathmatch, search and destroy, king of the hill, and bomb disposal modes, but 007 Legends tries to put its own spin on them with appropriate Bond-themed names and characters. Ultimately, the different modes are a shallow vehicle for allowing players to control memorable characters from the franchise's history. There’s unfortunately no tangible benefit to playing as favorites like Oddjob, or anyone else, for that matter.
007 Legends has what I’d consider the bare-bone essentials to make a shooter enjoyably playable. And while this Bond title makes a hearty push towards something substantial, it spends a good amount of time detracting from the little things it actually does well. In some way or another a game should look as good as it feels, and 007 Legends frequently forgets that. With some work, the next James Bond game could give the gaming industry something to talk about. Until then, we’re stuck with a Bond that falls short of his recent cinematic prowess.
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