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December 9, 2008
James Bond: Quantum of Solace - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
29/10/2008ActivisionActivisionTreyarch12-12
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating
Disc60MB720pDD5.1NoM

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QOS switches to third person when taking cover.
Casino Royale was a brilliant James Bond movie, certainly one of the best and with a worldwide take of just under $US600 million is one of the biggest movies of all time. November 2008 has seen the release of the second Daniel Craig James Bond movie, a movie which could be seen as the second part to his first - Quantum of Solace. Ofter only a couple of weeks the movie has grossed $US500 million and may even surpass Casino Royale. Now, we have the videogame tie-in from Activision which actually covers both movies.

Fortunately for Activision the filmmakers have given Treyarch materials from the movies filming including photographs and dailies so they could ensure the game was as authentic as possible to the cinematic experience. This extends to re-creating many of the more thrilling moments from the movies such as the brilliant crane jumping sequences from Casino Royale and the finale of Quantum of Solace (which we won't give away). The game though expands on the films by including extensive sequences not shown in the films such the opening mission with a shootout at Mr White's house. If you haven't seen the movie yet, we suggest you do so before playing this game or the plot will be given away.

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One of the sequences from Casino Royale!
Quantum of Solace plays primarily as a first person shooter, however there are moments when the game switches to a third person perspective - when James Bond is taking cover behind objects or moving along ledges for instance. Combat is primarily with the use of guns, however it is also possible to melee nearby enemies. The action is fast and fluid and as with Treyarch's other titles the AI is fairly good as they move around and take cover as required. What does surprise, and disappoint to an extent, is the lack of gadgets in this game. Sure the filmmakers have kept away from this in the theatrical versions, however in much the same way they have expanded the storyline and action sequences it wouldn't have been a stretch to add a few new items to the mix. Locations are taken straight from the movies but expanded greatly with entirely new areas to explore.

James Bond handles quite well. The control scheme is very similar to that in Call of Duty (as you can probably understand) and everything is responsive as a result. There is a wide range of weapons on offer from pistols to shotguns, sniper rifles to machine guns. You won't be disappointed.

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Daniel Craig's likeness is superb.
Multi-player is an area where one could certainly spend a considerable time and Treyarch have put in some great 'themed' modes. As well as your normal Classic (where you start with a pistol, but can pick up numerous other weapons littered around the level) and Conflict Free For All styled games the game includes a Bond Versus mode where one player is James Bond and must either kill all the opposition or diffuse two bombs, Bond Evasion where you have MI-6 Vs the Organisation and must keep bond safe, Territory Control where you must hold a control point against an opposition team. Finally the game includes a Golden Gun mode where one person has and controls the golden gun (shaped like a pistol but with bullets that explode). When the man with the Golden Gun is killed others can pick up the gun. Whoever has the Golden Gun is permanently visible on the radar. A great mode which kept me entertained for hours. Playing online is pretty lag free, but is dependent on everyone’s connection obviously. At the conclusion to each round you earn credits which can then go towards purchasing new items, or buying perks such as increased health or increased damage. Sadly, there are no Challenges like those in Infinity Ward or Treyarch's recent Call of Duty game.

So what are my issues with this game then? Well, to be honest, it's just disappointing. Treyarch are brilliant developers - no doubt about it - with Call of Duty 4 being one of the best shooters of all time in our books. Knowing that this game runs on the same engine, and is by the same developers makes it even harder to understand why it seems so 'clinical' and by the numbers. There are few true James Bond moments. Sure you can shoot exploding tanks and water extinguishers, you'll have a couple of moments where you'll have a QTE pop-up so you have to press a button within a second or so, and there are some rudimentary lock picking moments, but there are no real gadgets, no real surprises, and surprisingly a lack of tension throughout the game.

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Seems there has already been some action here.
Another gripe that I must mention is the length of the game. I completed it in well under 10 hours - I would say even under 8 hours - which for me, is too short. Why is it that developers think they can give us a game of that length and still expect us to pay full price. Oh, that's right, the multi-player. Well that won't help the millions that don't play online and given our experiences there aren't too many playing online right now either as we struggle to get into many of the less popular game modes.

Despite running on the same engine as Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 4 this isn't an overly impressive game to look at visually. Sure, Daniel Craig and the other main actors have been modeled fairly well but the environments often look pretty bland with some average texturing. Fortunately the game manages to retain a solid fame rate which goes some way to making it above average, but you won't be using this as a game to show off your PS3 on a technical level.

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Taking cover behind the pillar.
Much like the visuals this game is solid sonically, but never really stands out as a showcase title. Voiceovers have been provided by the real actors including Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Eva Green, Mads Mikklesen, Olga Kurylenko and Mathieu Almaric. The actual delivery of the dialogue is pretty solid, but the scripting a little off compared to the movies. The games music is primarily the James Bond themes from the two movies, while the effects such as gunfire and explosions will have you rocking your seat. As we mentioned though, while it works, it's nothing too special.

Ultimately James Bond: Quantum of Solace is an entertaining game, but lacking in some areas such as visuals and single player game length. If you're a fan of the movies you may want to check this out, but just don't expect too much.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSApparently this uses the COD4 engine - it just doesn't look like it!
66%
SOUNDVoice acting is pretty good and there is plenty of James Bond theme music.
78%
GAMEPLAYIt's a first/third person shooter, but not the best we've ever seen.
69%
VALUEIf you don't play a lot online you won't get value here, and there aren't a lot of people playing online which makes that side questionable too!
61%
OVERALLQuantum of Solace is a better then average game, but the longevity probably won't be there and technically this is a disappointment.
65%

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