Available on: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, PC, Wii
Reviewed on: PlayStation 3, Wii
Most movie-based video games are made more for fans of the film or film series than they are for hardcore gamers. But that hasn’t always been the case for the James Bond games.
1997’s “GoldenEye 007” holds a special place in the hearts of first-person shooter fans, and “Solace” has some touches designed to attract full-time gamers. Like “GoldenEye” crossed with the recent “Bourne Conspiracy” game, “Solace”—which actually covers the events of the new film and its predecessor, 2006’s “Casino Royale”—is a first-person shooter with some third-person moments, so Bond can sneak up behind someone and take them out.
Except “Solace” plays more like a simplified version of a serious first-person shooter (like the tactical “Rainbow Six: Vegas”) than something more straight-forward (like “Halo 3”). While you can run and gun to your heart’s content, you’re better off occasionally ducking behind cover like the guys in “Vegas” do. If you’re playing the Wii version, the inaccurate controls of the Wiimote and nunchuck make ducking an outright necessity.
“Quantum” has something else most movie-inspired games don’t bother including: a robust online multiplayer component. Most versions of the game include “Bond Invasion,” in which one player has to escape before time or his life runs out while everyone else assumes the role of a bodyguard or an enemy, and “Bond Versus,” in which everyone tries to kill Bond before he diffuses some bombs or eliminates the competition.
The “Golden Gun” mode nods to a similar format in “GoldenEye,” in which one player has the titular pistol (so powerful it’s more like a grenade launcher), while the others are out to make a kill and nab the shiny shooter. On the Wii, however, the modes are different, with fun variations on “Deathmatch” and “Team Deathmatch,” and a less interesting objective-driven game called “Rush.”
Film fans might find it odd that Bond isn’t on screen the entire time, but will probably get so caught up in this trigger-happy game that it won’t matter. The game’s tight controls will be familiar to anyone who’s played a first-person shooter in the last couple years, and there’s enough variety in the enemies and locations to keep things interesting.
Hardcore gamers are more likely to find “Quantum” a good, but not great, first-person shooter. Although with so many shooters due out this month alone—including “Resistance 2,” “Gears of War 2” and “Quantum” developer Treyarch’s own “Call of Duty: World at War”—they’ll have less reason to care.
Bottom line: A film-driven first-person shooter that’s more for Bond fans than gamers.
'Quantum of Solace' video game review
The spectre of a beloved old Bond game weighs heavy on his latest shooter
By Paul SemelSpecial to Metromix
November 7, 2008