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Quantum of Solace PreviewWriter: R J Gaffney » Blog
Posted: 29th Sep, 2008
Developer: Treyarch/Eurocom/Beenox/Vicarious Visions
Release: 4th Quarter, 2008
I told myself I wasn't going to compare the new James Bond game, Quantum of Solace, to Rare's GoldenEye from over a decade ago, and I surprised myself by keeping that promise. If anything, QoS is comparable to CoD4 with a Gears of War cover system. This is not a bad thing. While the cover system can be finicky at times, it is easy enough to get the hang of.
QoS is mostly played in the first person but switches to third person during action scenes (such as climbing, close quarter combat or using cover).
The character models are detailed enough to be recognizable without dwelling overly long in the Uncanny Valley. Another surprising aspect of the visuals was the bright colour palette. The game seems to have made little effort to appear drab and boring like the majority of current titles.
The cast from both movies have been called upon to do work for the game, which covers both Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace in an almost 50/50 split. Obviously, liberties have been taken with regards to action scenes from the game, but manage to neatly dovetail into the film narrative, deftly moving from a made up shoot-out in the ballroom of the Casino Royale to the stairwell scene in which Vespa is traumatised while watching Bond at work (ie, slowly strangling a man to death).
Quick Time Events make a major part of the game, for better or worse. While they are most often single button affairs when initiating a close quarters stealth take down, elongated scenes, such as the aforementioned stairwell battle, require multiple inputs. Thankfully, a single miss doesn't result in immediate death, reducing some of the inanity.
The two levels of Quantum of Solace that I was able to play through were great. There was less of an emphasis on gadgets and secret plans, in keeping with the reboot of the film franchise, although mobile phones do play a large role. Collecting phones scattered through levels will offer hints and details on the story and the mission.
Overall, Quantum of Solace is looking fantastic and, nostalgia aside, is shaping up to be a better Bond title than GoldenEye. Solace is due to be released on the 19th of November.
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