James Bond in video games
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The official game logo of James Bond (007)
Electronic Arts (1999–2006)
|First release||Shaken but not Stirred
|Latest release||007 Legends
The James Bond video game franchise is a series of shooter games and games of other genres (including role-playing and adventure games) spun off from the James Bond film series developed and published by a variety of companies. The games centre on Ian Fleming's fictional British MI6 agent, James Bond.
|1982||Shaken but Not Stirred|
|1983||James Bond 007|
|1985||A View to a Kill|
|James Bond 007: A View to a Kill|
|1986||James Bond 007: Goldfinger|
|1987||The Living Daylights|
|1988||Live and Let Die|
|1989||007: Licence to Kill|
|1990||The Spy Who Loved Me|
|1991||James Bond Jr.|
|1993||James Bond 007: The Duel|
|1998||James Bond 007|
|1999||Tomorrow Never Dies|
|2000||007: The World Is Not Enough (N64)|
|007: The World Is Not Enough (PS)|
|2001||007: The World Is Not Enough (GBC)|
|007: Agent Under Fire|
|2002||James Bond 007: Nightfire|
|2003||James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing|
|2004||GoldenEye: Rogue Agent|
|2005||James Bond 007: From Russia with Love|
|2008||007: Quantum of Solace|
|James Bond 007: Blood Stone|
Early years (1982–94)
The first official James Bond video game, Shaken but not Stirred, was released by Richard Shepherd Software for the ZX Spectrum in 1982, in the United Kingdom. A year later, Parker Brothers released James Bond 007 for multiple consoles.
Nintendo years (1995–98)
The popularity of the James Bond video game series did not rise quickly, however, until 1997's GoldenEye 007 by Rare for the Nintendo 64. GoldenEye 007 expanded on the plot of the film, and is a first-person shooter with a multiplayer mode. The game received very positive reviews and sold over eight million copies.
In 1998, Nintendo released James Bond 007 for the Game Boy developed by Saffire. The game features a story including characters from multiple James Bond films, such as Oddjob and Jaws. It also incorporates gambling minigames, such as Baccarat and Blackjack.
Electronic Arts years (1999–2005)
The next Bond game, 1999's Tomorrow Never Dies, based on the film released two years prior, was the first released by Electronic Arts. Developed by Black Ops, unlike GoldenEye 007, it was a third-person shooter, released for PlayStation. Despite the game's success, it received mixed reviews. The next titles, 007: The World Is Not Enough (N64) and 007: The World Is Not Enough (PS), returned to first-person. However, publisher Electronic Arts, which owned the rights to publish video games based on the Bond franchise, chose different developers for different systems - Eurocom for the Nintendo 64 and Black Ops for the PlayStation, with drastically different results, and the N64 version getting better reviews. Both versions were critical and commercial successes.
A Game Boy Color game developed by 2n Productions, also titled 007: The World Is Not Enough, was released in 2001. The game is played from a top-down perspective, and contains seven levels. The game includes a password feature. AllGame praised the game for its diverse level designs and its soundtrack, but noted the game's difficulty.
In 2001, EA released Agent Under Fire for Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube, featuring an original storyline and lacking the likeness of then Bond actor Pierce Brosnan. The game took risks by adding the new elements of "rail" shooting and driving segments to a first-person shooter. The game has sold nearly 5 million copies since its release, making it the second-most successful game in the franchise, while only receiving mixed reviews. There are no differences between the console versions.
In 2002, Nightfire was released. It was developed by Eurocom for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, and Xbox consoles, with a PC port by Gearbox Software and a Mac port by Aspyr. The computer versions are substantially different from the console versions, featuring different missions, a modified story line, and online play. In 2003, the game also had a Game Boy Advance version by JV Games, which also differs from both the console versions and PC versions.
In 2004, EA released Everything or Nothing, developed by EA Redwood, for the PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox. Unlike the two previous installments, Everything or Nothing is a third-person shooter with driving missions, and it stars the voices and likenesses of Pierce Brosnan, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe and John Cleese, among others. It was written by the scriptwriter of GoldenEye and Tomorrow Never Dies, screenwriter Bruce Feirstein, with a plot connected to the Roger Moore Bond film A View to a Kill. It was released to mostly positive reviews, the game also had a Game Boy Advance version by JV Games, which differs from the console versions.
Later that year, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent was released on the same platforms with the exception of the Game Boy Advance version. A first-person shooter loosely connected to the Bond franchise a spin-off, it stars a former MI6 spy known as "GoldenEye", who works for Auric Goldfinger against Dr. Julius No. The game was panned for its misleading title and poor storyline. The game was released on PS2, Xbox, Gamecube and Nintendo DS. At the end, however, EA listed 007 Racing and GoldenEye: Rogue Agent as spin-offs, out of their canonical order they have built.
2005 saw the release of From Russia With Love, based on the film of the same name. It starred Sean Connery once again as James Bond, and the other characters had the same likeness of the original cast. The game is a third-person shooter in the same style as Everything or Nothing, with expansions in the story and certain details changed (such as trading SPECTRE for OCTOPUS, due to legal problems). The game received positive reviews, and was released on GameCube, Xbox, PS2 and PSP.
Electronic Arts announced in 2006 a game based on then-upcoming Casino Royale, but it ended up being cancelled, because it would not be ready by the film's release in November. This fact, which would lead MGM to lose millions in licensing fees, along with EA's commitment to move away from movie franchise games and focus more on internal intellectual properties, led the company to abandon the Bond franchise in May 2006.
Activision years (2006–13)
Shortly after Electronic Arts abandoned the license, in May 2006, Activision acquired non-exclusive rights to develop and publish James Bond games, which were to become exclusive in 2007. Activision's first game was a tie-in to Quantum of Solace. 007: Quantum of Solace, which also included elements from Casino Royale, was released on 31 October 2008. it was released on PS3, PS2, Xbox 360, PC, Wii and DS. The game received mixed reviews, with the PS2 version receiving the best reviews.
At E3 2010, Nintendo revealed GoldenEye 007, a Wii-exclusive remake of the critically acclaimed 1997 game. Developed by Eurocom, using their Dead Space: Extraction game engine, the game updated the story of the movie, with a script by Bruce Feirstein and the current Bond actor Daniel Craig as 007, it received positive reviews. A month later, a leaked media release suggested that Activision had hired Bizarre Creations to work on Blood Stone, an original Bond story written by Bruce Feirstein. Both games were released on November 2010. Blood Stone was released for PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and DS, with mixed-to-positive reviews. In December 2010, a video (later backed up by Activision) and some screenshots from a new Bond game were leaked, identified as developed by Raven Software. This new game was thought to be set for release in 2011, but Activision never commented on any connection or status of that apparent title. In 2011 Activision ported the new GoldenEye 007 (featuring Daniel Craig's likeness and voice even though the film and original game featured Brosnan) to PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. Entitled GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, it presents an HD remastering of the original Nintendo Wii shooter from the previous year.
On 19 April 2012, Activision announced plans for a new game titled "007 Legends" to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the James Bond film franchise. The game has been described as a "greatest hits compilation", retelling six film narratives with an overarching storyline to connect them together. Activision did not comment on which film stories would be included in the game, but announced that the gameplay mechanics would return to the first-person shooter after Blood Stone experimented with the third-person perspective suggesting that this had been the case due to the mixed reviews the game in question had received. On 21 May 2012, Activision released the first trailer for 007 Legends. Thereafter, the missions are revealed to be based upon Goldfinger, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Licence to Kill, Die Another Day and Moonraker. On 9 November 2012, Activision added the last mission to the game, released as a downloadable content, which was definitely based on Skyfall. The game received negative reviews from several reviewers. Eurocom has since closed down.
On 20 February 2013, Activision confirmed that in 2013 it would be backing away from licensed games in a statement though not confirmed, the James Bond game license may have been revoked.
On 7 January 2014, president and co-founder of Telltale Games Kevin Bruner has expressed an interest in making a future James Bond game if he were ever afforded the chance. He stated that "I'm a giant James Bond fan and I'm always frustrated by games that make him a mass murderer." When he was asked which license he'd adapt next if money and licensing hurdles were not a factor. "He's a super-spy, and that's a different skillset. The films make him less of a mass murderer, and there's not much killing in the books – more spying and intrigue."
On 21 January 2016, president of Curve Digital, Dominic Wheatley expressed his interest alongside the company in the series, saying "I'd be very happy to have a James Bond licence. We could do a cracking game around that," adding that these opportunities are overlooked by the bigger firms, since Electronic Arts and Activision have their own IPs and no longer want to "promote someone else's brand."
Shortly after James Bond 007 was released in 1983 by Parker Brothers, another video game was announced, titled Octopussy, based on the film of the same name. The game was planned for release on the Atari 2600 System, Mattel Intellivision, and compatible systems. Set for release in the summer of 1983, it was cancelled shortly after it was announced by Parker Brothers.
- GoldenEye 007
Related, a revamped version of the Nintendo 64 game by Rare was planned to arrive at Xbox Live Arcade on Xbox 360, scheduled for release on 27 February 2008, but due to financial disagreement between Microsoft (who acquired Rare and their intellectual properties in 2002) and Nintendo, the publisher of the original title, adding to that Activision had exclusive rights to publish video games based on the James Bond franchise at the time, the project was put into a blackout. Even though in July 2014, there have been reports on Nintendo 64 titles heading to the Wii U platform, no confirmation or word regarding the past, present or the future of GoldenEye 007 has been made as of yet.
- Tomorrow Never Dies: The Mission Continues
The original VHS release of Tomorrow Never Dies featured a brief trailer with Desmond Llewelyn which highlighted a game that would "start where the film ends". Footage shows Bond skiing, scuba diving and driving in third person and on a first-person shooting mission. The game was to come out on PlayStation and PC in the fall of 1998 and was being made by MGM Interactive, not EA; EA was not involved in Bond until November of that year.
A Tomorrow Never Dies game was released on 16 November 1999, distributed by EA, but with notable differences from the 1998 attempt. The game was a third-person shooter with no scuba diving level. The story follows the plot of the film, not the continuation that had been planned.
A level in the game sees Bond skiing down a mountain and killing a Japanese terrorist named Sotoshi Isagura (who had featured very briefly in the film), while on another stage Bond has a driving mission in Switzerland. These were not from the film and may have survived from the 'continuation' story.
- The World Is Not Enough
A game based on the 1999 film The World Is Not Enough film and using the Quake III Arena engine for the PC and PlayStation 2 version was cancelled in favor for Agent Under Fire. Electronic Arts thought, by 2001, that too much time has passed since the release of the film, and that the fans will be no longer interested in the product as talks of the succeeding film in the series were taking place, and eventually the process was scrapped.
- Casino Royale
Based on the film of the same name where Daniel Craig starred as Bond and was going to give his voice and likeness in the video game. It was set to release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms. The game was 15% developed when the project was cancelled as Electronic Arts would not finish it by the film's release in November 2006. Later, unfinished development screenshots from the Venice level were uncovered. However, Activision's debut in the series, Quantum of Solace combines the storylines of the aforementioned film and its successor of the same name.
In January 2012, it was announced that a video game based on Skyfall would be released by Activision. Ultimately, a downloadable level based on Skyfall was released for Activision's 007 Legends, although a full game was not released.
- 007 Racing sequel
EA Games began conceptual work on the game in 2003, under the working title of Bond6. The game was originally meant to be released in 2005, set to star Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. A video game adaption of From Russia With Love began development when Brosnan announced that he was stepping down from the role, which ended plans for Bond6. CGI work for the game was reused in television commercials for GoldenEye: Rogue Agent.
- Blood Stone sequel
In December 2010, some screenshots and a video were leaked online that depicted a new James Bond game, which shared similar gameplay to its predecessor, Blood Stone. Reportedly, the project had been in development by Raven Software, but was postponed six months prior to the leak, at which point the game was believed to be back in development.
A role-playing game, James Bond 007, Role-Playing in Her Majesty's Secret Service was released in 1983, by Victory Games, a branch of Avalon Hill.
Mobile and smartphone games
Since 2002, games featuring the Bond character and the 007 trademark have been published and distributed on mobile phones. The first two were being based on action sequences from Die Another Day, one of them was titled Hover Chase and the other was Ice Racer. Both were published by Vodafone.
In 2006, when the franchise was rebooted, Sony Online Entertainment released a side-scroll action game based on Casino Royale, which followed the storyline closely to that of the film's. In 2008, two games were developed and produced by the same firm to promote the release of Quantum of Solace, one of them was a tie-in based on the motion picture itself, featuring similar gameplay to its predecessor, and the other one was an arcade game called Top Agent. With the exception of the arcade game, the film tie-ins were developed by Glu Mobile.
In 2014, it was announced that Glu Mobile was assigned to work on a game in the franchise, in association with MGM Interactive, specialized for smartphones and tablets. A year after, it was revealed that the application is titled World of Espionage, a strategic game that recaptures the storylines of the classic adventures 007 is put through, released in July 2015. The game, after being universally panned for its uninspired content, was removed from the app stores in December 2016 and Glu Mobile pulled the plug on the title.
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- Nightfire: Source Community
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