Game Review: 'Quantum of Solace'

Fans of the first -- and very successful -- James Bond game for the Nintendo 64 once more have something to be excited about.

Since "GoldenEye 007," which came out about 10 years ago, many games have followed in the James Bond franchise. None, however, has been able to hold a candle to the original, which was one of the best, if not THE best, first-person shooter games ever made.

But Activision's "Quantum of Solace," which was released earlier this fall, may end up rejuvenating fans who have waited a long time for a playable Bond game.

The game combines elements from the previous Bond movie, "Casino Royale," with those from actor Daniel Craig's latest adventure.

When you start the game, you're dropped into a scene that seems to fit in somewhere after the previous movie and before the beginning of the new movie. As you continue, you experience dialogue and game play based on both games.

But the game isn't a spoiler. About 50 percent of the game play is based on "Casino Royale," so it does a good job of not giving away too much to those who have not yet seen "Quantum of Solace."

Although the game does not exactly follow the plot line of "Quantum of Solace," it gives you enough of the movie to pique your curiosity. The game also includes great cinematic movie cuts that give it some depth and context.

The underlying software system for the game is based on another popular Activision game, "Call of Duty 4." Those familiar with that game will easily jump into "Quantum of Solace." But experience with "Call of Duty 4" is definitely not a prerequisite.

The game starts with an easy tutorial that gets you accustomed to the buttons and movement. Like most first-person shooter games, "Quantum of Solace" revolves around the main character taking down enemies and moving along to get to the final stage.

There is not a lot of space for exploration here, as it is a track-based game that doesn't provide much room for playing around off the course.

The closest you will come to controlling your environment is when you choose the destroyable elements in the game that are used against your enemies. When you're under attack by several enemies, you can often counter them with objects, such as exploding gas tanks.

Taking cover from enemy fire in the game is pretty good. But you might happen upon a couple of glitches when you try to pull out of cover. You might also find that you are not fully protected, even when you are in cover.

You can basically make it through this game if you take advantage of the right opportunities to take cover, because your health regenerates when you are protected. These opportunities make the game less challenging and pretty easy to win, but they also prevent a lot of unwanted replays.

Throughout the game, you also have opportunities to play little mini games that involve the unlocking of doors. I found that it did not add much to the game and could even be considered a nuisance. It is also not something that is featured in the movie.

Overall, "Quantum of Solace" is a very playable game that does not focus on the gadgetry as much as previous games. From beginning to end, it is about five hours long, which is pretty short for standard-price video games.

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