The name�s Bond, James Bond. There have been plenty of James Bond games out over the years, but very few of them have seen great success. The biggest one to date has been Goldeneye, which was released on the Nintendo 64. Then there was a serious drought of quality Bond games until EA released Everything or Nothing, which took the game to the third person perspective. From Russia With Love follows in its� footsteps, but can it live up to the same quality? Read on to find out.
The story loosely follows the plot of the movie, and EA has added some of its own to the story and taken out other parts. The main plot is that a Russian defector wants to turn over a piece of Russian equipment to the MI6, but it is all an evil plot. The group Octopus (known as SPECTRE in the movie) really wants the chance to take out Bond. Once the groundwork is laid out, you are treated to the all too familiar Bond experience.
From Russia With Love
From Russia With Love is a mix of third-person based level along with vehicle based ones. For the most part, you will be on foot, but there will be times when you get to commandeer cars, boats, and jetpacks. The levels that contain the vehicles are not that special as the control is a little loose. On one of the driving levels, I found it very difficult to maintain control of my car as I traveled at faster speeds. However, these levels were a nice little distraction to keep things interesting.
As you would expect, James Bond is equipped with a variety of gadgets to help him throughout the game. As I mentioned earlier, you can use a jetpack, and there is also a mini-helicopter called the Q-Copter. You are also equipped with a laser watch and a briefcase turret among other things. These gadgets can be upgraded throughout the game by earning Research Points. Research points can be earned by finding schematics in the levels, by performing special moves, or by completing certain mini-games. While you have all of these cool toys at your disposal, you are never really given the opportunity to use them at will. The game will tell you when you should use the gadgets.
Different Type Of Action
From Russia With Love mixes up several different types of actions to vary the gameplay experience. You will find your typical gameplay when you simply use the auto aim feature and take out the bad guys one by one. The game also incorporates elements of stealth in order to take the enemy by surprise. Is there any enemy with their back to you and has no clue you are there? You can crouch and slowly walk up behind them to take them out before they know what hit them. Got an enemy around the corner that you want to eliminate? Walk up against the wall and you can put your back against to peer around the corner without being detected. You can then lock on to the enemy and take them out with your gun. The final way to take out the bad guys is by using Bond Focus. Bond Focus allows you to achieve a high level of accuracy in order to shoot specific items that the enemy may be carrying. For instance, you stumble upon someone and they are carrying a radio that you could use to call for backup. Simply engage in Bond Focus and you can take the radio out before they have the chance to use it.
The game is fairly easy, even on the higher difficulty settings. The AI is not the brightest in the world, and you will often find the bad guys just standing there shooting at you without taking cover, making them easy targets. Other guys will just run straight at you with guns blazing. It�s not that hard to take them out, and you can usually accomplish that without having to use any of your special moves. Because of the easy difficulty, you will find yourself moving right along in the game and probably getting bored quickly. While most of the stuff is cool and interesting, the execution of everything makes the game a little stale.
From Russia With Love contains a multiplayer mode, but no online play. There are 2 multiplayer modes with 3 different game types. The modes are Play Now and Survival Royale. Play Now matches are duels where you can choose the game type, map, and settings, and then head in to battle. The different game types are Classic, Sabotage, and Dogfight. The Classic game is your basic free for all where the last man standing wins. Sabotage is a team based mode where you need to plant a bomb in your opponent�s base and have it detonate in order to win. Your opponent has a limited amount of time to disable the bomb before it explodes. Dogfight is the same as Classic except that you are in jetpacks. In Survival Royale, 2 to 16 players play in matches with varying game types, rules, and maps. You also have the ability to upgrade your character between the matches. It�s a shame that no online play was included though.
As usual, the game looks pretty good as do most of EA�s Bond games. James Bond actually looks like Sean Connery (the actor who played Bond in the movie). The rest of the characters look really good as well, and they are all animated nicely. The levels do not show off a lot of the detail, but they are pretty interactive. You can shoot different areas of the levels to create some impressive explosions. The bad part is that these explosions often create the game�s framerate to take a hit. The camera can also present a problem in the PSP version, you may often find it hard to tell what is going on because of poor camera angles. Thankfully you can spin the camera yourself, but that is only somewhat helpful if someone is shoting at you while you are trying to spin the camera just to see them.
Impressive Audio Xperience
The audio experience in From Russia With Love is pretty impressive. Sean Connery provides the voice work for James Bond. It�s pretty to cool hear Connery as Bond again, but it is also a little strange because of how old he is and how young Bond is. It makes it feel like everything about Bind aged except for his stunning good looks. The rest of the cast provides excellent voice work as well, and the music is perfect for the game. EA nailed the classic James Bond theme on the head.
For the most part, From Russia With Love is an enjoyable gaming experience even though it is a rather short one. The easy difficulty takes away from some of the enjoyment of the game. As always, it is cool to use the Bond gadgets even if you are forced to use them certain situations only. If you are looking for a decent action game, you may want to check out this one. I would suggest making it a rental first because of the length of the game.