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Quantum of Solace Hands-on Preview

Quantum of Solace Hands-on Preview

Publisher: Activision
Platforms: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation 2
Expected Release Date: October 31st 2008
Get the Demo!

There’s a rule. You know it, I know it and the whole damned industry know it. It isn’t exactly a secret.

Games based on movies are almost universally very poor. There’s so much evidence to support this view that we could build a house out of it, and then probably charge an inordinate amount of money for it based on the way the economy is going lately. Oh, well.

There are exceptions to every rule though, a chink in every suit of armour, and as far as this Movie/Game rule goes the exception is quite clear; GoldenEye – that was a movie-based game of phenomenal quality and lasting appeal.

There’s a precedent then and with that comes something even more tempting; a hope that somehow, with a decent team and game engine behind it and with a new Bond, somehow the next James Bond computer game might not actually be all that bad. Fingers crossed.

Quantum of Solace Hands-on Preview

Expectations, Mr Bond

Things have been looking up for ol’ James Bond lately. He’s had a total facelift that’s managed to win over nearly all of the sceptics and non-argumentative lot, he’s changed everything from the cut of his gib to the way he turns people into gibs – and that’s a change which is being evidenced in the games too.

You see, there was a time when EA was the publisher that had control of the James Bond franchise and while that can’t really be called a Dark Age as such it was perhaps a little lacklustre. Nightfire, Rogue Agent, From Russia With Love – these weren’t exactly all that we knew bond could be.

So, when Daniel Craig stepped in that change was manifested for the games series too. Electronic Arts lost the game rights to Activision, who handed the game to Treyarch studios. Treyarch, often seen as nothing more than the developer responsible for the ‘bad’ Call of Duty games, was a controversial choice...but also one with some serious potential.

Quantum of Solace Hands-on Preview

The new game, Quantum of Solace is going to break away from the usual conventions in a lot of other ways too, that much is clear. It’s going to follow the plot of not one, but two films – but it won’t be following it verbatim. It’ll have the official likenesses and voices of all the characters from the film, each of whom will be giving approval to the game and it’ll be seeing a release alongside the film so that players can compare the two directly.

On paper then, it’s looking pretty good – and it should do since Treyarch has been working on the game for the last two or three years at least, using that time to add wholly new technology to the Call of Duty 4.

How things look on paper though is often hugely different to how things look in reality. Take Dr. Horrible for instance; on paper the concept of a superhero musical lead by a man who can’t chose between his three names sounds awful. In reality though Neil Patrick Harris was fantastic and I’m still listening to the soundtrack even now.

So, is it a Brand New Day for James Bond computer games, or has Treyarch too succumbed to that much-written rule of computer game adaptations and put out a game that’s so awful it’ll be proof that Bond has a PhD in Horribleness?