Preview: Activision are offering a tour through six of 007′s ‘legendary’ missions, but we’ve got seven reasons why 007 LEGENDS is looking more James Pond than James Bond.
The film was originally conceived as a quick cash-in on the Star Wars phenomenon, and it shows. Bond with laser pistols? Come off it. Moonraker is generally considered to be one of the worst in the entire franchise and now it’s being presented as a “legendary” mission? There’s hover-gondolas for crying out loud! It took the brilliant villain from the previous film, Jaws, and ruined him, first turning him into a comedy routine, and later a good guy. Don’t forget that the plot revolves around Hugo Drax launching a nerve gas from space, because that makes all the sense in the world, but thankfully it does look like developer Eurocom have at least tweaked that plot point a little bit.
2. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
When the pub discussion turns to ‘worst Bond film ever’, you’re likely to hear George Lazenby’s only film mentioned more often than Moonraker. These people are wrong (see above and trust that I’m utterly correct), but On Her Majesty’s Secret Service certainly does have that stigma attached to it.
Personal feelings about the film aside, this is more a story of Bond falling in love than the typical save Britain/the planet plot. The assault on Blofeld’s stonghold amidst the Swiss Alps does provide some quintessential Bond action, but you’re forgetting this is a movie that ends with James’ greatest failure and loss. After marrying the one woman he can allow himself to love, she’s murdered in a drive-by, and it’s thanks to the two villains he failed to stop during the awesome action in the snowy mountains. How does a game all about shooting people hope to cover that one?
3. Die Another Day
Okay, so Brosnan’s best outing, Goldeneye, is out of the question, but Die Another Day? Like with Moonraker, they’ve picked this Bond’s weakest film. There’s the invisible car that isn’t really invisible, the god awful Jinx, and Bond surfing. The last of the action set pieces takes place in the snow, which we’ve already had with On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. If we’re going to pick and choose films to give us as broad an experience as possible, can we please have some varying locations? Especially for a series well known for its globe trotting. There’s also the only sex scene in the entire franchise, and don’t we all want to forget that?
With this and Moonraker I’m starting to be convinced that people are trying to make us focus on Daniel Craig. Speaking of which…
4. Daniel Craig
Now I’ve got nothing against Craig’s portrayal of Bond (I’m actually a big fan), but when you’re making a game that’s based around the history of the franchise and you’ve picked films for each of the other actors, why do you then dump modern day Bond into them? It just doesn’t make sense. Well financial sense maybe, but it seems counter-intuitive to what Activision are trying to pull off here.
His delivery of “Goldfinger. You expect me to talk?” doesn’t even come close to Connery’s either.
Not the movie itself. No, the fact that 007 Legends is a game celebrating fifty years of James Bond by including missions based on films from each actor that has taken the role – well, except the newest one that is. That one you have to buy as DLC*. Good old Activision.
*It’s been pointed out in the comments that the Skyfall DLC will actually be free, and released at a later date so as not to spoil the movie. Apologies for this mistake.
6. It’s not just a movie tie-in, it’s six of them
We all know that getting a movie tie-in right is a rarity. We can count on one hand the games that have actually done it well. With 007 Legends, Activision aren’t just attempting to get it right once, but six times. Some of the movies chosen are questionable at best, too. When EA held the licence, they realised the futility in that approach and decided to go their own way, giving us pretty decent attempts like Everything or Nothing and Nightfire. Activision failed with Bloodstone, so they return to the tie-in and seem to be throwing everything at the wall in the hope it sticks. Once again they’re chasing the spectre of a fifteen year old game. Goldeneye is one of the few games that got the tie-in right and the Bond franchise is at its worst when it stands under Rare‘s shadow rather than trying to forge ahead.
Because Moonraker is that bad it deserves to be mentioned twice. What about Live and Let Die and have the voodoo vibe? Or The Spy Who Loved Me and the underwater Lotus? Roger Moore did manage the odd decent film during his run, you know.
007 Legends, from Activision, will be released on 16th October (US) for PS3 and Xbox 360, and on a later date for PC and Wii U.