You cannot review a video game based on the James Bond franchise without bringing up one of the best shooters of all time Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64. Since that game we have seen a lot of subpar Bond games and a lot of people had high hopes for Activision’s first outing since taking over the Bond license from EA a few years back. Quantum of Solace is developed by Treyarch and hopes to really put the Bond name back on the map in gamers library. So does Quantum of Solace for the Xbox 360 have what it takes to get the franchise back on track? Read our full review to find out!
Let’s get a few misnomers about Quantum of Solace. The average person would probably figure that Quantum of Solace has a story that goes along with the the movie of the same name coming out in mid-November but actually this is a game that spends about 85% of the game spends time in the Casino Royale story-line and only briefly taps into the new story-line. This is not a bad thing at all because we get a deeper look into Casino Royale (one of my favorite movies in recent years) and then taps into the new movie. The story is a big part of the single player experience and although I am not sure on naming this game Quantum of Solace but it manages to work nonetheless.
So lets talk about the single player experience which is running on the Call of Duty engine and let me tell you this really feels a lot like Call of Duty 4. That sounds like a great thing right? Bond running in the Call of Duty universe? In a lot of ways it is a great thing, the game runs really smooth, it has a really good foundation. Treyarch even adds some of there own touches to the experience, you now have the ability to take down enemies this is done by running up to them and hitting the necessary on screen buttons similar to something found in the God of War franchise.
Quantum of Solace spends a lot of time switching into more of a third person perspective as well when you go in for cover. In fact playing in cover is almost a bigger part of the experience then the run and gun aspect. You are going to find that the Gears of War style cover system is used quite frequently throughout the single player experience and the levels really setup for just that. There are a few times where the experience goes a bit away from the norm, but the majority of the experience has you running gunning, and ducking for cover and taking out your enemies.
So everything sounds great, a solid story, good mechanics, a nice new cover system, so what’s the problem? Quantum of Solace lacks heart. The game just doesn’t have the Bond feel to it. I played through the single player experience and I just never the feel that the game was going for. The AI can be down right horrendous, the quick action sequences are uninspired especially when compared to the like of the recent Bourne video game. The single player experience is extremely short, it has some great moments, but the entire experience just isn’t Bond, it doesn’t have the gritty feel of Casino Royale nor the finesse that has made Bond an amazing character to play and watch over the years.
What made Goldeneye such a great game was the multiplayer and in fact one of Quantum of Solace’s strongest suits is its multiplayer. This is the one area in the experience that does feel like a Bond game. You have a lot of Bond centered modes and the maps have a really nice simplistic feel to them that do bring you back to the days of split screen Goldeneye action. The issue here is that those who fell in love with the depth of the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare online play will be let down by the extreme lack of depth past the different modes and maps.
As I mentioned before one of my greatest problems with Quantum of Solace is not that its a bad game, because it is not. The greatest issue for me has a lot to do with the presentation of the game and that is I never really felt like it was a Bond game. With that being said the great chase scene from Casino Royale, they have done a nice job incorporating that into the game, but the majority of the levels in both the single and multiplayer experience feel far to uninspired and lack a real direction. I should mention on the positive side of things that the developers did a fantastic job of making a realistic looking Daniel Craig who you get to see in full force every time you go for cover.
So Quantum of Solace is not a perfect Bond game and may not capture a true Bond identity, but it is still a pretty enjoyable game. Quantum of Solace is really the middle of the road type of game it has a good foundation, some solid moments, but at the same time you never get swept into the experience like you did in Call of Duty 4. I did enjoy my time with Quantum of Solace, it was a quick and easy game to get through that was very enjoyable it just didn’t have the top level makings like I and I am sure many others were expecting.
I really did think Quantum of Solace was going to get the real Bond treatment and bring back a series that hasn’t been in a good direction in a long time. However the final results is an underwhelming first person shooter that lacks clear direction and character. If your in the market for a great shooter there are better games out there this holiday season, I would say stay away from putting down a purchase on this one, but a weekend rental may not be a bad idea.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.