In the never ending supply of movie tie-in games, few barely achieve anything beyond mediocrity. Which brings us to our latest game, Quantum of Solace, developed by the same team that made Call of Duty: World at War, Treyarch. Can a team that has already put out a good FPS title be able to do the 007 franchise justice?
I say this because most movie tie-in games stumble right out of the gate with a general lack of story, but Quantum of Solace breaks the mold. The story spans not only the Quantum of Solace film, but Casino Royale as well. They do a decent job mixing the two by flashing back to Casino Royale after a handful of missions into the Quantum of Solace story. This works fairly well, but also can be kind of confusing. The game takes a couple hours to progress through the Casino Royale missions, but the flashback decision does work out.
The controls handle like any other FPS: left stick to move, right to move the camera, triangle is used to jump, circle to crouch, X to take cover, R1 to fire your weapon, and R2 to throw grenades. You can carry up to three weapons, and although you will always have your P99, you get two additional weapons which you can cycle through with the L2 button.
The gameplay is pretty fun and plays similarly to other FPS titles. You control Bond through each level, moving between pieces of cover and taking out various enemies. You will play through most of the game in first-person view, but taking cover will zoom the camera out to a third-person perspective. The focusing may take some getting used to at first, but Treyarch did a wonderful job at making the experience almost seamless.
The game does a good job at mixing fast paced firefights with slower paced stealth missions. Most levels will have you running from area to area, shooting it out with dozens of goons. But the few levels that require a stealthier approach are where the game really shines. Sneaking around corners with your silenced P99, you will disarm cameras and take out enemies in silence; it’s just an incredibly fun experience.
There are also some hand to hand combat features. When approaching an enemy, press the right analog stick (R3) and a mini game will pop up, asking you to press the correct face button. Pull it off, and you’ll perform an instant knockout; screw up though, and you may end up dead. There is also the occasional boss fight, which occurs in quicktime events. This may not hold well with certain players, but it is infrequent enough that the QTEs never get annoying.
As you play through, you will also notice that there are some destructible elements within the environments. Fences blistering, barrels breaking, and fire extinguishers exploding are some the instances that you will encounter. There are plenty of games that have more destruction than Quantum of Solace, but it was still nice to see Treyarch go that extra distance in certain areas.
The graphics for Quantum of Solace are quite nice for a movie tie-in game; in fact it stands out quite nicely when compared to other FPS titles. The background sounds are a mixture of the James Bond theme songs, and most of the original actors’ voices are utilized. Not up to the same standards as high-end titles, but it works rather well nonetheless.
Quantum of Solace comes jam packed with online features, and this is where the game really shines. There are nine different game types, all of which are a blast to play. You have your standard conflict (death-match) and team conflict (team death-match). And there is also team control, which will have teams competing to capture zones.