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Martini Man: 007 adapts nicely in Quantum 

click to enlarge A bitter, badder Bond.
  • A bitter, badder Bond.
A bitter, badder Bond. Ever since GoldenEye 64 was released on the Nintendo 64 there have been many 007 games that try to emulate the classic. The latest is Quantum of Solace, a first-person shooter based on the new James Bond movie. The story follows super spy James Bond (Daniel Craig) and touches on the events that take place from the previous Bond movie, Casino Royale, and up through Quantum of Solace.

Quantum is a first-person shooter that lets you switch to a third-person view. The game play doesn't pull any punches. And from the first level forward, this game is in overdrive with bullets flying all around you. The first part of the game feels like it would fit on one of the final levels, so there is no slowing down. At such a fast pace the levels seem to pass quickly.

Bond begins the game with his trusty P99 and a mobile phone that shows the level maps and information from enemies. It also displays advice from someone at MI6 who is keeping tabs on Bond, guiding him through the levels. As you play through the game, you'll be able to pick up two additional weapons. These weapons cover the typical range in first-person shooters and include everything from other pistols to machine guns and sniper rifles.

This Bond isn't all about shooting enemies down. The game includes a cover system (where you switch to a third-person view) that's very similar to Gears of War. You can easily take cover behind items and defeat enemies that get too close using a take-down. First Person Shooter (FPS) gamers will find that they can just shoot their way to the end, but most gamers will have to use the cover and take-down system because the game gets more challenging. One minor complaint: the game uses interactive cut-scenes a bit too much. Take-downs are executed through these cut-scenes. You essentially begin a take-down and enter an interactive cut-scene. If you do it correctly, Bond will grab the guy and take him out. Some of the game's story cut-scenes can have the effect of forcing a player to focus more on hitting the right buttons than enjoying the cut-scene action.

Quantum of Solace is not only a good single-player game, it also includes an in-depth multi-player mode. Game developer Treyarch included a number of fantastic multi-player environments in the game. These all have Bond themes but you'll still protect a VIP or detonate bombs while enemies plant more. There's also some neat Bond-specific stuff like Golden Gun where one player controls the one-shot pistol while everyone else tries to wrestle it away, Goldeneye 64 anyone?

In terms of graphics Bond's character looks fantastic since Daniel Craig's likeness was licensed for the game. Some of the game's environments also look fantastic while others look just good, lacking that extra pizazz. An added bonus is that you'll find no loading screens as you play. The game's audio is terrific. The soundtrack is epic and sounds like it could have powered the blockbuster movie, thanks in large part to the famous Bond theme song. The sound effects, especially explosions, all sound great too. Treyarch got the film's cast including Craig, Eva Green, and Olga Kurylenko to provide voice acting for the game, and they all do a great job.

Quantum of Solace has finally nailed the James Bond experience. You truly feel like you're playing as James Bond in the game, which would have been great on its own. Coupled with an amazing shooting engine (Call of Duty 4), Quantum of Solace is the Bond title gamers have been waiting for since GoldenEye. The single player campaign is a bit short, but the multiplayer mode should more than make up for it.

Quantum of Solace ★★★★✩

Rated: T for Teen. Platform: 360,PS3, Wii, PS2, DS,PC. Retail: $29.99-$59.99.


Bond is Back!

After 22 motion pictures starting in 1962 with Dr. No, the James Bond franchise is one of the most profitable in history. The 22 films have grossed more than $4 billion dollars worldwide, only second to the Harry Potter films. . The name James Bond was taken from a famous ornithologist and the super spy was based on author Ian Fleming's own exploits in counter-intelligence during WWII. In the early 60's his books were optioned for movies and that, as they say, is history.


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