Gamescom 2012: 007 Legends Preview – We've Been Expecting You, Mr. Bond
Written Wednesday, August 29, 2012 By Richard WalkerView author's profile
As source material goes, more than 20 movies spanning 50 years is a pretty rich archive to be able to delve into, so for James Bond's latest video game outing, Activision and 007 game development stalwarts Eurocom have been narrowing down the suave agent's finest moments for 007 Legends. The premise? Six movies representing the best – or in some cases, the movies that haven't been made into good or memorable games before – from each actor's stint as Bond, James Bond. That's six hefty missions from Connery, Lazenby, Moore, Dalton, Brosnan and Craig, but with the latter's mug tying the whole package together.
Where Moonraker would have had Roger Moore's raised eyebrow and sly grin then, instead it now has Daniel Craig's serious pouty face, and the same goes for all of the other 007 missions revealed thus far, which include On Her Majesty's Secret Service and Bond's latest outing with 007 Skyfall, due to release in October. This sixth and final mission will be available as (presumably free) DLC and so remains under wraps for now. But for Gamescom, Eurocom rolled out the newly unveiled Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan bits, with Licence to Kill (1989) and Die Another Day (2002) being rolled out for the first time, with Craig's phizog and impersonated voice in for the original actors.
Kicking off with some action from Licence to Kill, we pick up with Bond infiltrating Franz Sanchez's base of operations, where patrolling guards can be subdued with some sneaky tactics and a press of the right stick to render them unconscious. Using a radar screen on the face of his watch, Bond is able to keep tabs on enemies, meaning he's free to tiptoe around snapping necks, shooting henchmen in the head with a bullet from a silenced P99 (Bond's iconic Walther PPK, essentially) or plugging them in the spine with a shock dart from his concealed dart pen. Shocking. Positively shocking. Oh, and Bond has a silenced sniper rifle down his trousers too, which he uses to pop a few guards doing their patrols around the higher parts of Sanchez's compound.
For his stealthy henchmen slaughtering prowess, 007 is rewarded with some XP that he can use to purchase weapon attachments, upgrades, abilities and some typical Bond-style gadgets from Q's lab. Any XP you earn and stuff that you unlock along the way is spread across the entirety of the 007 Legends campaign too, so Bond will get better as you progress through the story. Oh yeah, the story. 007 Legends' six missions are tied together by a single narrative arc, the exact nature of which hasn't really been touched on just yet. And it looks like it might not be properly unveiled for a while yet, as Eurocom is remaining tight-lipped about how it's bringing together the six movies. We're intrigued to see just how the dev will pull it off. Being “authentic and respectful”, to the franchise has been a primary concern for the studio though, and consequently the team has worked closely with EON Productions in an effort to achieve that very goal.
Back to the Licence to Kill mission, and Bond goes loud, opening fire on Sanchez's men and planting C4 charges to blow the place sky high. Had 007 opted for the stealthy option, he could have used the proximity indicators on his HUD to sneak past guards and gauge their level of suspicion, but sometimes you've just got to get your gun off, right? Carey Lowell also reprises her role as Pam Bouvier in Licence to Kill, lending her voice and likeness to the character, while Toby Stephens is back as villainous toff Gustav Graves for Die Another Day. For this part of the demo, Bond visits Graves' party at the ice hotel, as he celebrates the activation of his supposedly philanthropic Icarus satellite that'll provide sun for crops. In reality, it's a big fat orbital laser. Yes, Die Another Day's plot really was that stupid.
We get to see Bond using his sexy spy camera's magnetic view to discover and isolate the power supply for the CCTV cameras keeping an eye on the area, ensuring he's undetected as he sneaks (yes, more sneaking) into the big dome where he's able to quietly sidle through the leafy foliage of the nature reserve housed within. More neck snapping ensues before 007 decides to bust out his guns again, shooting up the place with gusto. Skipping ahead, Bond gets behind the wheel of his Aston Martin (the dumb invisible one) and chases Zao (the dude with diamonds in his face) through the snow and ice, as the Icarus laser shoots its beams along the trail in a bid to blow up 007 and Jinx, who incidentally is not played by and therefore looks nothing like Halle Berry. Boo.
Evading the beams and firing a few homing missiles to blast Zao off the road, a timer pops up as Bond must put the pedal to the metal and drive on to Graves' escaping cargo plane as the seconds tick away. Stalking through the cargo hold with Jinx in tow, Jimmy B takes down some more hapless goons before busting into the plane's cockpit where Graves awaits in his silly power suit thing. Like the movie's closing moments, a fist fight ensues as 007 punches the idiotic fop in his annoying face and Graves' uses his suit's electrifying properties to try and fry the plucky secret agent. The scrap unfolds as a quick-time event, with the left and right analogue sticks used to throw punches and the left and right triggers used to dodge Graves' incoming jabs. Like the movie itself, it's back and forth as Bond is on the ropes one minute and fighting back the next. It looks fairly tense, albeit a bit daft.
As Bond writhes around on the floor in agony from a metal-gloved pummelling to the ribs, Graves' takes a parachute and leaps from the plane, slinging a spare parachute out of the hatch. “Time to face gravity,” the sneering villain quips, as Bond tackles him and they both begin their rapid descent to the ground. No prizes for guessing what happens next, and if you've seen the rubbish 20th Bond movie you'll already know anyway. No doubt the fun will be in the journey rather than the chain of events, as Bond fans will already know much of what happens in 007 Legends' missions.
Still, with single-player shaping up rather nicely and the MI6 Ops returning with a range of additional missions for Bond to tackle, there's loads to look forward to in 007 Legends. Eurocom has gone the extra mile getting Judi Dench back in as M, Richard Kiel as Jaws and Michael Lonsdale as Moonraker villain Hugo Drax, and the Daniel Craig impersonator apparently managed to fool Dench herself, which must mean he's good. Throw multiplayer with support for 4-player split-screen - as per GoldenEye - into the mix, boasting classic characters from the movie franchise, and 007 Legends represents a package of generous proportions. Or it could be another lukewarm Bond outing like GoldenEye: Reloaded... We wait with bated breath, Meester Bond.
007 Legends will be attempting re-entry on October 16th in North America and October 19th in Europe.