|System: Xbox 360, PS3|
|Release: October 16, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Shelby Reiches
James Bond's gaming history has been both a varied and a spotty one. It really took off in 1997, though, with the release of GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64. This seminal console shooter and, to this day, dorm-room classic of the genre provided a masterfully crafted and unique experience at the time; there had been console shooters before (ports of Doom and even the N64's own Turok: Dinosaur Hunter), but they tended to offer a pale imitation of the PC shooter experience. GoldenEye 007 is often credited as the point at which consoles defined their own style for first-person shooters. It was followed by a spiritual sequel, Perfect Dark, but Rare (the game's developer) would never again make another Bond game.
Development duties shifted around, falling to Electronic Arts for almost a decade. They made games based on the subsequent Pierce Brosnan Bond movies, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough, as well as original stories such as Agent Under Fire and Everything or Nothing. There were even a pair of non-Brosnan games: From Russia with Love, which featured Sean Connery's Bond, and GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, which didn't star a Bond at all. These were primarily first- or third-person shooters, though there was also a racer thrown into the mix—the aptly titled 007 Racing.
And then Activision got their hands on the license, just in time to capitalize on Daniel Craig's reimagining of Bond. They brought out a game based on Quantum of Solace, an original title called Blood Stone, and, finally cashing in on over a decade's worth of nostalgia, an updated remake of GoldenEye 007, with its plot and story altered to better fit with Daniel Craig's new Bond. This last was fairly well received when it came out on the Wii, enough so that an HD version was released on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
This also tells of how there have been, for the most part, two different kinds of Bond games: those with original stories and those based on existing movies. Activision's philosophy with GoldenEye 007 and GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, however, has been to mix the new with the old into a third type of Bond game: A Daniel Craig reimagining of an existing tale. 007 Legends aims to take this to the extreme.
The premise is pulled right out of older compilation titles, such as Tomb Raider: Chronicles and Hitman: Contracts (both, interestingly, are Eidos properties). As the hero is either presumed dead or in the process of dying, the game consists entirely of flashbacks to previous significant events in that hero's life. In the case of James Bond, and 007 Legends, this is an excuse to reimagine the stories of the development team's favorite Bond movies, from Moonraker and On Her Majesty's Secret service (the first two levels, in fact) to the upcoming Skyfall. This brings up one of the more interesting elements of how the game is shipping, though.