James Bond hasn’t had a particularly glowing resume when it comes to videogames in the past few years, and his film output has been a little patchy to boot – Casino Royale notwithstanding, of course. However, not to be deterred, publishing powerhouse Activision is taking another stab at the British spy franchise in the boldly-titled 007 Legends; an intriguing shooter that combines the settings and characters of six Bond films with a unique, overarching narrative. Not only does this concept allow gamers to revisit those iconic Bond locations and battle against our favourite baddies, but potentially lets us view those classic flicks from an entirely new perspective.
To date, we know of three Bond films confirmed to be in the game: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Moonraker and this year’s upcoming Skyfall. So, that’s George Lazenby’s first (and only) appearance as the Martini-drinking secret agent, plus a Roger Moore film plus of course the latest effort from Daniel Craig. However, with three films yet to be confirmed – not to mention three key Bond eras yet to be represented – we decided to cobble together a list of three must-have Bond films that 007 Legends needs to add to its belt. We’ve attempted to pick the best films from each remaining era so that every Bond-era gets its time in the limelight.
Did your favourite make the cut? See below.
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If 007 Legends can represent the sorely underrated Lazenby era with OHMSS, then there’s absolutely no way Activision would get away with shipping the game without including a Sean Connery Bond film – and Goldfinger is just the ticket. Regarded by many as the quintessential James Bond movie, Goldfinger has it all; the eponymous, iconic villain; action-packed set-pieces; the legendary Pussy Galore; and some witty one-liners from our over-sexed spy himself. We were torn between this and Dr. No, since the latter celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, though we ultimately feel that Goldfinger would be a slightly better representation of the Connery-era, since it features so many staples -- Q, the Aston Martin DB5 and of course the inexorable henchman, Oddjob. Goldfinger has tunnelled into the public consciousness on the back of not only these merits, but also John Barry’s memorable score and of course the theme tune, sung by Shirley Bassey. We’d be interested to see how the narrative would assimilate with developer Eurocom’s all-encompassing story, but as long as it doesn’t come at a detriment to those classic characters we have a lot of confidence. EA’s attempts at combining elements of Goldfinger with a new storyline in the last-gen outing Golden Eye: Rogue Agent were met with mixed results, so we’re hopeful this classic Connery flick will see a better representation here.
Licence to Kill
Timothy Dalton remains a personal favourite of mine in terms of Bond actors, simply because he takes the character in a refreshingly more serious tone. Lacking the dry wit and incongruous humour attempts of Moore, Dalton’s performances adhere closer to the Bond that Flemming conceived in the novels, and is all the better for it. If anything, he’s somewhere in between Connery and Craig. Sure, Dalton only starred in two films, but 1989’s Licence to Kill ranks as one of the better Bonds of the 80s (although that isn’t really hard after the likes of A View to a Kill), boasting a far darker narrative tone, with the super spy going rogue as he attempts to avenge the brutal mutilation of his friend, Felix Lighter. This would surely give Eurocom plenty to play around with, with the film featuring all manner of exotic locations and luxurious accommodation; not to mention the stunning Bond girl Talisa Soto. Sure, drug lord Sanchez is hardly the most original and captivating villain Bond has faced, but since 007 Legends seeks to include its own narrative spin on things, then there’s every chance his character may be spiced up somewhat. The set-pieces are pretty spectacular too, with the climax scene – involving a high-speed tanker chase across a dusty mountain terrain – oozing tension and providing a great backdrop for some frantic, skilled gun battles.
Tomorrow Never Dies
As much as we love Golden Eye, it’s been done to death and would make an all-too obvious choice. Even if that wasn’t the case, Tomorrow Never Dies makes for an excellent representation of the Pierce Brosnan-era, which sadly ended on a low with the catastrophe that was Die Another Day. Here however, Brosnan is in top form as the Martini-drinking secret agent, embarking on a globe-trotting adventure that sees our hero battling against the Jonathan Pryce’s media manipulator Elliot Carver. TND features a host of memorable set-pieces, including the remote-controlled car scene in the parking garage of Brent Cross Shopping Centre, London, and an adrenaline-fueled bike chase across Mahogany Wharf, Bangkok, which would translate well into playable segments. We’re sure that 007 Legends will feature several playable vehicle portions, so these sections would offer plenty of diversity in terms of gameplay, as would the Jet scene at the beginning of the film. Character wise we predict a punch-up with the Carver’s towering henchman Stamper, a bloke whose intimidating physical stature is matched only by his sadistic penchant for the art of Chakra torture. Finally, TND is probably one of the most action-packed Bond films of the Brosnan era in terms of gun battles, and the climatic fight against Carver’s forces in the bowls of a stealth submarine would make for a fitting showdown.