Before I begin this Quantum of Solace review let me just get one thing out of the way. Goldeneye on the N64 was great but only at the time. If you played it now I’m sure you’d be disappointed and realise you saw it through rose-tinted spectacles.
Right, onto Quantum of Solace. The license if now with Activision after EA’s been making a quick buck with lazy Bond licenses for the last few years. Treyarch are the developers and the Call of Duty 4 engine is used in this first-person shooter that pops into third-person when you find cover so you can see Daniel Craig’s nic-nac shaped head sulking as he reloads.
The good news is that the controls are smooth and the Gears of War-style cover system works very well. The graphics are acceptable, including the very good likeness of Daniel Craig. Even the music score is better than David Arnold’s movie score. At least it uses parts of the Bond theme to make it feel like you’re playing as James Bond himself.
What’s very strange is that you actually don’t get to play through many scenes of the new movie. After playing for about an hour you’re already near the end of the film’s plot, so the game goes into flashback territory and takes you through the events of Casino Royale. It’s your typical average FPS with some neat touches along the way. There’s a great scene where you have to stumble to your car when you get poisoned in the casino and some good-to-watch quicktime sequences. This time you can actually watch the action as the game is very forgiving when it comes to giving you time to hit the correct button in the sequence.
There are also plenty of explosives dotted about every level. This makes for some cool explosions which, although don’t look too great, still make a big boom and rid the area of enemies.
There’s also a bit of stealthy gameplay chucked in for good measure and throw-away mini games when it comes to hacking into computers or breaking locks on doors.
There’s nothing absolutely stunning in this game, however Activision have succeeded in making a game that Bond fans will enjoy playing for a short while. And I do mean a short while. You can finish it in less than five hours, even four if you race through it. The game’s also incredibly easy. Although your health bar drains rapidly when shot, if you duck round a corner it fills up again just as quickly.
Thankfully there are some fun multiplayer modes to try out when you’ve finished with the single player but maybe it’s not worth buying full price. If you rent it you’ll easily finish it in a weekend. However, Quantum of Solace did manage to charm me so it gets a very good 7 out of 10.