James Bond Quantum of Solace
Players: 1+ Player Game | Release Date: 11/04/08 | Genre: FPS
When I first laid eyes on Quantum of Solace at E3 2007, I was amazed. Activision’s E3 Press Briefing showed off an early look at the game that gave Developer Treyarch the opportunity to deliver one of the best movie games of all time. With the excellent Call of Duty 4 engine, a team experienced with working in the engine, a big marketing budget, and one of the most popular characters of all time, this should be one of the bigget games of the year. Despite these high expectations for Quantum of Solace, the final product is nowhere near the quality expected.
Developer Treyarch is known for delivering good First Person Shooter experiences. They have the talent to deliver AAA titles and have proven it with titles like the recently released Call of Duty World at War. One of the problems during the development cycle of Quantum of Solace appears to have come from the development of the previously mentioned Call of Duty title. Treyarch may have bitten off a little bit more than they could chew with the simultaneous development of both titles. Unfortunately for James Bond fans, Quantum of Solace suffered from this.
There are no complaints in the visual department. James Bond Quantum of Solace looks stunning on the Call of Duty 4 engine. As we have already seen with Call of Duty 4 and Call of Duty World at War, this comes as no big surprise. The environments and characters are all highly detailed and modeled extremely well. Seeing the actors so faithfully reproduced in digital form is simply a work of art. The problem is that the story in Quantum of Solace falls completely flat.
For example, the story plays out primarily in comic book style panels with voices and no real cinematics. This is a complete waste of the license and doesn't do the story justice at all. Treyarch should have taken liberty to tell the story of the movie or tell side stories with full in-game cinematics. The engine is capable of doing this and the only reason I can see that it was not done ws due to time constraints. If Treyarch could have taken a few extra months, or had a larger team on hand, the story in the game could have rivaled the movie. That would hae been the ultimate James Bond experience. However, players are left scratching their heads, not caring about the story, and just looking to get through the next level.
Players will find only around five to seven hours of single player content. While you can go back and try the game on a harder difficulty, there is no replay value at all. All of the levels are extremely linear and the player is not rewarded for any exploration. If you venture off the path, you will find yourself lost and in a dead end.
Gameplay plays out as a typical First Person Shooter with some Third Person action sequences thrown in. This allows for the game's primary cover mechanic to function. Think of Gears of War but when you aren't in cover, you go into a First Person viewpoint. This is what Quantum of Solace provides to players There is nothing wrong with the mechanics of the cover system. It is fluid and works fine. The issue comes with the AI. The enemies are downright stupid and a group of them will have a dificult time ever taking you out. If you are shot, players will find the classic James Bond "gun barrel" icon appear over the screen. If it fills up and turns red, you die. If you hide from enemies, the bar will quickly drop down and your health will return to full strength. This does make the game easier but this isn't the problem with the gameplay. Instead, players will find the stale and boring encounters to be a turn off. I never once felt like I was James Bond or was actually making a difference in the story. Instead, I felt like a static object being thrown from linear sequence to linear sequence until the level ended.
James Bond Quantum of Solace also offers multiplayer modes. However, with Call of Duty 4 and Call of Duty World at War available with drastically better gameplay and multipalyer experiences, there is no need to even bother with this title. Quantum of Solace, in its current state, feels like an alpha release that needs more time in the oven to fully bake. Instead, we get an unfinished experience that leaves yet another sour taste in my mouth for the James Bond series. Just skip this title and move on to other more deserving First Person Shooters.
Real Life Ratings
James Bond Quantum of Solace is a title that should be reasonably safe for teens. There is violence but there isn't much in the way of blood or anything over the top that will offend players or those watching the game. Despite this, Quantum of Solace is just not a lot of fun. So even if the content may be deemed as okay by parents, there are better games out there.