“007 Legends” attempts to pay homage to 50 years of Bond movies, but flat, repetitive gameplay and shallow storytelling will leave players neither shaken, nor stirred.
“Legends” puts players in the shoes of Bond as he has flashbacks to some of his older missions. These missions take place across a legacy of films, including “Moonraker,” “Die Another Day,” “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” and a few others. Traveling through the history of James Bond as Daniel Craig’s version of the character should be interesting, if nothing else, but what we’re left with is a game that loses most of the personality of the films.
The story carries players through visions of the past memories of a wounded and drowning Bond. Starting in a scene from the upcoming “Skyfall” movie, Bond takes a spot of friendly fire while having a round of fisticuffs with a foe on top of a train. After being wounded, Bond falls off of the train into a river and begins to remember his past exploits. The game’s six chapters represent a specific Bond movie, each one starting as a juxtaposed non-sequitur to the chapter before it.
Powered by the “Call of Duty” engine, “Legends” can be broken down into five different categories of game-play with little to no variation, all of which will look familiar to anyone who has played any “Call of Duty” title: Stealth sections, vehicle sequences, investigation areas, first-person fights and actual combat make up all of what “Legends” has to offer. These sections change very little when they appear in each chapter and leave the game feeling like a by-the-numbers affair.
Stealth sections are cumbersome and aren’t very rewarding; getting caught–outside of the game’s few instant-fail stealth sections–offers next to no punishment and can often feel like more of a reward as players can jump right into actual combat instead of having to slowly creep to their objectives. Vehicle sequences are difficult to control. First-person fighting is incredibly goofy and is the way most of the chapters conclude with no changes to the actual game-play during each individual fight. Investigation areas offer the more interesting bits of game-play in “Legends,” but quickly devolve into clumsy scavenger hunts. And finally, the combat plays like a “Call of Duty” title and offers most of the fun “Legends” has to offer, but even that boils down to a straightforward shooter experience that doesn’t feel exciting or particularly interesting.
“007 Legends” isn’t a horrible game, it isn’t a great game either; it’s just a game. There is nothing particularly interesting about it, but it isn’t broken either. What should have been an interesting trip through the present-day world of Daniel Craig’s Bond, is actually a game that is missing out on any personality. Even hardcore fans of the Bond series should take caution before purchasing this title.
3 out of 5.