Posted 16 January 2011 - 06:57 PM
Not from what I see.
Now to update my old list to include Blood Stone and Goldeneye Wii. Nightfire is still the best.
Everything or Nothing
Agent Under Fire
Quantum of Solace
From Russia with Love
Looking at this list, I realize how competently made the Bond games often are, and how broken gameplay elements really never plagued the franchise. What makes these games succeed or fail is how authentic they feel to the Bond universe. The ones toward the bottom of the list aren't terrible games per se, they just don't offer up anything interesting (OK, GE Rogue Agent is a bad game and a Halo clone, but let's try to forget about it).
Night Fire is so successful because it looks, sounds, feels, and handles like a cinematic Bond adventure. Outstanding graphics and level design also push it to the top of the list, and while Brosnan's voice may be absent, his Bond character was channeled flawlessly (and, arguably, better than what was seen in DAD).
Blood Stone, while boasting mediocre cut scenes (which, at least for me, were always what I looked forward to most in the Bond games) handles extremely well, is well scored by Richard Jacques, has a wonderful sense of atmosphere, and mimics the traditions of the Craigverse in spades. The story is staggeringly weak, but the other elements tie together so well that it really doesn't matter. It also has the best ending of all the games, and leaves us champing at the bit to get our hands on the sequel, something I don't think we've ever experienced as fans of the games.
Goldeneye Wii is almost overwhelming in how very well produced it is, clearly being given a large budget and a fair amount of time to polish. If all Bond games got this sort of treatment I'd be a happy camper. I rank it below Blood Stone for this reason, and the fact that the groundwork for the plot and locations were already in place. Blood Stone was created from scratch.
Everything or Nothing is arguably the game where it all comes together story wise. The casting and voicework is flawless, the cutscenes and graphics are at their best, and the Bond atmosphere is at it's peak. However, the level design is repetitive and often boring, with Bond battling through either a villa, driving along a crowded street, or shooting it out in one of a dozen control rooms. In addition, the shooting itself is a little spotty, with the reticule offering a unique attempt to change the way TPS are handled, but ultimately proving more clunky than we would like to admit. All in all, this is the only Bond game where I can say it's the level design that hurts the overall experience (and hurts it a great deal). It is, however, the closest thing we have and possibly ever will get to a cinematic James Bond adventure on our consoles. Blood Stone's scope is wide, but EoN's is enormous. If only the levels reflected this.
Agent Under Fire, as the first next gen Bond adventure, is a pretty mediocre game but it nails the tone of the early Brosnan films and has a wonderful multiplayer component. It also makes good use of the gadgets and is the first game to fully integrate driving into the overall experience and story.
Quantum of Solace was created on the COD4 engine, which sums up Treyarch's approach on this one. This is a Call of Duty clone without the polish, story, and fun factor that those games all feature. A clear cash in, it's infuriating that this game has made more than twice as much as Blood Stone. With that said, the marketing for this game was fantastic. Commercials hailing it as the best game since GE007 no doubt helped a great deal. It makes Blood Stone's failure all the more upsetting.
Goldeneye 007 got it all started, but at this point it's dated and I've always found it boring (and before anyone says that it's dated because it's 10 years old, Ocarina of Time still blows most modern adventure games out of the water, GE is just boring). A great memory, but that's where it should remain.
From Russia with Love was really interesting. I remember seeing the massive cover from Game Informer with Connery's face in front of a red background. The inside was hugely exciting, loaded with the promise of seamless exchanges between on foot and driving sections, Connery providing the voicework, and the ability to zip around on jetpacks. This was going to be good. Imagine now the soul crushing disappointment when the final game arrived and it turned out to be an EoN clone with atrocious writing, bland shooting, a colorless and often blurry environment, and stunningly bad voicework from all involved. The Aston Martin DB5 handled amazingly poorly, the focus aim feature encouraged shooting enemies in the chest rather than the head, and the jetpacks, while cool, were used sparingly. The best missions in this game were the ones Feirstein crafted on his own, such as the factory mission and the finale (that is, until they jumped the shark and showed that Grant somehow survived getting wrecked by that train). I could go on about how bad the music was, how the framerate chugged, and how the source material was butchered beyond words, but I think it will suffice to say that this game was in pieces altogether. Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you should. They should never have gotten Connery back. What an enormous disappointment. Some nice takedowns, though.
Yeah we're not talking about Rogue Agent. Can you believe Ken Adam was involved? Christ.
There's a lot of fun to be had with these games, it just feels as though they constantly have come up short one way or another. I guess we can chalk that up to the difficulty and restrictions of creating a licensed game, but really as many have pointed, Bond should be perfect for the gaming world. Let's hope the next one maintains the quality of the last two, while also improving on them.