Version reviewed is the PS3/Xbox 360/PC edition of the game. There are variations of the title with different features (and different developers) for PS2, Wii and the DS which we may review at a later date.
I’ll admit right from the start that I’ve not played this one yet, so my witterings below are based on watching Ant play the game when we captured the footage. I’ve purchased the PS2 version of the game which I’m going to play at some point (same argument for every other game in my collection – one day…), and I will probably buy this one as well eventually as the levels on both versions of the game differ. The gameplay style also differs between the two – PS2 Quantum is a traditional third person, over the shoulder affair similar to Resident Evil 4. For PS3 Treyarch opted for a mixture of classic Bond first person gunplay mixed in with some third person gun play when taking cover or taking down enemies. This mixed approach works to a degree but I think I’d have preferred for it to stick with one or the other for the sake of clarity. Most of the promotional material ahead of release showed a lot of Daniel Craig’s craggy features in-game, whereas you’ll spend most of your time staring down the barrel of a gun.
Our little intro sketch plays on the fact that this plays a bit like one of the Bond games featuring Pierce Brosnan, and could even be a cheeky reference to the Goldeneye remake. It’s been that long since we filmed it that I can’t remember, but in any case I think it’s amusing enough. It also refers to the fact that, whilst this game is called Quantum of Solace, the majority of it is flashbacks to Casino Royale. Flashbacks that make the story much more action packed than it was. That’s the confusing thing about this one, and I know they missed out on publishing an official Casino Royale tie-in when it came out, but if you’re going to tie in to the previous film then surely that shouldn’t be the majority of the game? That said, Quantum of Solace was hardly the best film in the series, so it’s probably more a comment on the quality of that movie than anything else.
It’s also in the true tradition of other Bond games in that there are multiple versions of the game – the most notable example is The World Is Not Enough, which had significantly different releases on N64 and PS1. What this means is you’ll have a different experience if you play and compare the PS3, PS2 and Wii editions. The PS2 release seems to have the best overall aggregate score (huzzah for Metacritic), but if Ant thought the PS3 version was bad we should count ourselves lucky that he hasn’t encountered the Wii version. By all accounts it seems like a rush job from a developer I’d not previously heard of, and it’s also quite informative that this is the only third party title they’ve ported to the Wii to date. Their own original titles seem to have fared a little better, so I’ll cut them some slack for this one.
The one aspect of the game we didn’t touch on in the review is the multiplayer, which by all accounts seems to be traditional Bond multiplayer fare. I’ve never found much enjoyment in Bond online modes unless playing against friends, much like we used to do back in the day with the original N64 Goldeneye. To be honest I think that many people are tied in to the whole Call of Duty thing that you might be hard pressed to find a game on there anyway these days, much like when Ant bought Transformers War For Cybertron and there were literally zero other players online. I’m sure the £6.29 spent on additional multiplayer characters was money well spent, for anyone that bought them.