007 Legends will leave you shaken and confused.
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the famous spy. With many ways for loyal fans to celebrate, developer Eurocom wanted part of the action by releasing 007 Legends. After last years Goldeneye Reloaded, it's interesting to see a new bond game so soon. It's obvious that 007 Legends was on a tight schedule for the Golden Anniversary, and it really does show. As the game tries to celebrate the long running franchise, it turns out more of an embarrassment. With it's uninspiring gameplay, low production value and glitches, 007 Legends isn't a great way to celebrate the iconic secret agent.
The game opens with an in-game cutscene from this year's highly anticipated film, Skyfall. Bond is fighting on top of a moving train, when he is accidentally shot. You are then presented a flashback from one of his previous missions, Goldfinger. This is the basic setup for 007 Legends. Each level is presented in a flashback, and they're all taken from previous Bond films. There's Goldfinger, Licence To Kill, OHMSS, Die Another Day, and Moonraker. This might not be the best choice of films, but that's not the biggest issue. Not only does the game present each film very poorly, the game doesn't even have an official ending. Players will have to wait for the free Skyfall DLC to see it.
007 Legends plays like any regular first person shooter. It handles a lot like Goldeneye Reloaded, as it uses the same engine. Although, 007 Legends is far less polished. The visuals are something from the last generation, and the gameplay is dull and uninspiring. Most of each level consists of shooting waves of enemies, completing a hacking mini-game, then repeating it over and over. It's not very Bond-ish, and it seems more like a Call of Duty clone with James Bond slapped across it.
There are some stealth sections in the game, along with some neat gadgets. You can detect enemies with a radar on your watch, or tranquilise enemies with a dart pen. The problem is, none of the stealth mechanics are well implemented. It's extremely hard to remain undetected, and there's no ability to move enemy bodies. It's far better to just go in all guns blazing.
The Boss Battles are also poorly designed. Each of them require you to move the analog sticks up or down to punch. It's nothing more than a cheap quick time event, and it's far too easy. There is some decent voice acting though. Most of villains lend their voice to the game. Unfortunately, James Bond himself doesn't, and you will notice that as soon as he speaks. The voice acting for Daniel Craig is extremely poor at times, and it makes the iconic moments feel cheap. The background music is very good tough. Fans will apprechiate John Barry's score playing throughout the levels.
007 Legends doesn't do justice to the franchise. It sounded interesting on paper, but it simply doesn't deliver. There is a solid multiplayer offering though. Playing as your favourite villains can be a joy. There's a large selection of modes, and it also supports split-screen. Unforchanatly, this isn't enough to recommend the game. Most of the fans will find the campaign dull, repetative, and uninspiring. Fans deserve so much better, and there's far better ways to celebrate Bond's Golden Anniversary.
Review by Gareth Smith