|Some or all of this article's listed sources may not be reliable. (April 2013)|
Official cover art
|Release date(s)||PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360
EU December 7, 2012
NA December 11, 2012
|Distribution||Optical disc, download|
007 Legends is a first-person shooter video game featuring the character of British secret agent James Bond. It is developed by Eurocom and released in October 2012 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, November 2012 for Microsoft Windows and December 2012 for Wii U. The game is available as physical optical disc media, as well as a digital release download via PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace on date of release. Like other Activision-published games, it had yet to appear as a digital download on the Nintendo eShop, although this is moot in this game's case as it was removed off all other digital stores without warning.
The game was released to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of James Bond in film. To achieve this the single player campaign includes one mission from each of the six actors' eras, being Goldfinger (Sean Connery), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (George Lazenby), Moonraker (Roger Moore), Licence to Kill (Timothy Dalton) and Die Another Day (Pierce Brosnan), with Skyfall (Daniel Craig) released as downloadable content for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC and included on disc for the Wii U version. Additionally, some of the original talent from the films add their likenesses and voices to their associated characters. 007 Legends is the fourth and final James Bond game title to be released by Activision, as well as the last game released ever developed by Eurocom.
Being built on the engine used for Eurocom’s previous title, 2011’s GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, 007 Legends shares much of the same gameplay, though there are some notable additions and modifications. The most significant change is the greater focus on stealth-based play, with enemy AI being more suspicious and investigative. Throughout the campaign players will frequently be presented with situations that require stealth to get past, though often running-and-gunning will also be an option. To compliment such stealth scenarios, players will have access to three gadgets from the start of the campaign: the returning smartphone, which has new vision modes and binocular capabilities; a new dart pen that can fire three different types of dart, including distraction, shock and tranquillizer darts; and a wristwatch that can track enemies and fire a laser and map nearby enemies and cameras.
Another notable addition is the incorporation of an XP (experience points) progression system. Players can use XP to unlock and/or upgrade gadgets, weapons (and attachments) and Bond’s physical abilities.
Other notable points include there being at least one vehicle-based level in each of the missions, a new free-form melee function that enables players to control punches with the analogue sticks and new weapons.
As with the MI6 Ops Missions mode from GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, Challenges will present extra missions based on assault, elimination, stealth and defence-based objectives, with adjustable difficulty. New to this mode will be the option to play special missions for some of the villains and companions from the single player. Players’ scores will be uploaded onto online leaderboards.
Multiplayer is supported across all platforms. 4-player split-screen will be available for local (offline) play while online play will have capacity for up to 12 players in a match. Players’ multiplayer experience will be indicated by their level, such as Level 50 (00 Agent Grade 0). There is also a 00 Specialization mode, similar to Call of Duty’s Prestige system. Character skins and maps from the single player will be available to players. Players can also equip gadgets to enhance their abilities, such as the Fast Switch gadget which halves the time it takes to switch weapons. Scenarios revealed so far are Conflict, Golden Gun, You Only Live Twice, Escalation, Data Miner, Team Conflict, Icarus and Black Box.
Taking place after the opening but prior to the events of Skyfall, James Bond is shot and left for dead during a botched assignment in Istanbul. As his life hangs in the balance, he begins to remember his previous adventures — foiling Operation Grand Slam, the assault on Piz Gloria, his vendetta against drug kingpin Franz Sanchez, his encounter with Gustav Graves, and thwarting billionaire industrialist Hugo Drax's plot to kill the entire human race. Straight after his return to the present day, Bond realizes that he's still alive. He tracks down Patrice, whom he was after in the very beginning of the game, to Shanghai where he stops an assassination plot and eliminates the hitman. The game presents a What if? scenario where all of the "classic" Bond adventures have taken place during the six-year gap between the storylines of Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.
The game, was developed to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the James Bond film franchise. it incorporates the stories of six Bond films, one film chosen from each Bond actor's series of films, and retelling them with an overarching narrative that ties them together, that of the progression of James Bond, from a newly christened agent on through becoming experienced as 007. The player goes through the classic Bond missions in the game playing as the Daniel Craig incarnation of Bond, as along the lines of the 2010 remake of GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo Wii, and the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 port called GoldenEye 007: Reloaded.
At the official announcement of the game on 18 April 2012, publisher Activision did not comment on which films would be remade in the game, but admitted that the upcoming Skyfall will serve as the final portion of the game.
Moonraker was revealed to be the first mission of the game, while the second mission is based on the film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Goldfinger, Licence to Kill, and Die Another Day also feature in the story.
The only mission that is not on the game disc itself is the "Skyfall" mission, which was released on 20 November 2012 as free downloadable content, since 007 Legends was released one week before Skyfall was first released in theaters. The Skyfall DLC is available for PS3, PC and the Xbox 360 and also included on the disc on the Wii U.
The composers from a previous release in the series, GoldenEye 007, returned to do the music score for 007 Legends video game. Kevin Kiner composed the music, while David Arnold wrote his own arrangement of Goldfinger for the main title sequence, a bit modernized, which features no vocals, but instruments.
007 Legends received generally negative reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 48.35% and 41/100, the Xbox 360 version 47.74% and 45/100, the Wii U version 40.67% and the PC version 16.00% and 26/100.
IGN accused the game of drowning out the Bond series' iconic moments by shoehorning them into a cheap and poorly made Call of Duty clone, further adding that the gameplay was boring and repetitive and that production had only made a half-hearted attempt to bind the chosen recreation of films together, and that the lack of overarching story offered little incentive to keep playing.
Game Informer was similarly critical of the game, describing it as "a mess of a title that’s uninspired at best and nearly broken at worst", and while the review applauded the concept of remaking films in video game form, it also attacked the gameplay mechanics as overly-simplistic with the player following on-screen prompts to perform certain actions, which was broken up by "truly awful" stealth gameplay.
The Globe and Mail went so far as to question those choice of missions in the game, claiming that fans considered them to be among the worst installments in the Bond film franchise, and that the game threw players into the middle of missions with little explanation or context to them, concluding that the game "feels like a low-budget knockoff of [...] Call of Duty".
IT News Africa's Frederick Charles Fripp thought that "it could have been a better game if Eurocom focused more on improving the graphics and changing the game dynamic from a fairly linear shooter to something a bit more complex and through-provoking." In his score of 7.0/10, he added that "it does become a bit repetitive after a while, especially if the player does not feel challenged."
More positive reviewers, such as Sean Colleli from Gaming Nexus, recognised the ambitious six-film scope of the project (in comparison to Eurocom's 2011 success with the single storyline retold and reimagined in GoldenEye 007 - Reloaded) and praised a lot of the gameplay developments, noting that the gadgets "get a decent amount of use, and don’t border on the absurd or impractical" and concluding that "gameplay is a bit of a mixed bag overall, but it definitely skews toward the better. It has GoldenEye’s pedigree in it, and I applaud Eurocom for trying new things and taking risks".
Some praise was given to the game's split-screen multiplayer modes, with IGN pointing out that localised split-screen was a feature that had been frequently overlooked in first-person shooter games, before adding that there was little to separate the multiplayer of 007 Legends from that of the GoldenEye 007 remake.
On 4 January 2013, Activision and Steam's online stores pulled the PC versions of Quantum of Solace, Blood Stone and 007 Legends without explanation or warning. Similar actions followed shortly on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, also affecting GoldenEye 007: Reloaded.
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