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Fave Five... James Bond Games

by Phillip Stortzum - November 9, 2012, 7:22 am PST
Total comments: 11

Five games starring the man with the license to thrill.

The 23rd installment in the long-running movie franchise has breached theaters in the U.K., and many are calling it a grand film. It releases to the American masses today. In celebration of that and the 50th anniversary of James Bond, comes what I call the five best James Bond video games on the market. Trust me -- this will be a better ode to Bond than 007 Legends, though that shouldn't be too arduous of a mission. So lock and load your Walther PPK, take your drink shaken and not stirred, and get ready for these five terrific Bond games.

5) James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire (GCN)

The first of two James Bond games on this list that were not based off of movies or books, 007: Agent Under Fire was a last generation title featuring a Bond not modeled after the likeness of an actor. The game featured run and gun action, plenty of gadgets from Q to tinker around with (or to actually complete missions with), as well as driving and on-rails segments. To say that Agent Under Fire was lacking in gameplay variety would be a lie even a spy like James Bond couldn't say with a straight face. Alongside the solo missions, there was of course the Bond game staple of having full multiplayer options. And like any good multiplayer game, Agent Under Fire had the option for bots! Why games made in 2012 cannot have a feature a PlayStation 2-era title had is beyond me, but perhaps someone out there can set me straight on that.

4) GoldenEye 007 (Wii)

When you try to create a re-imagining of a classic game, it becomes incredibly difficult to get your game to step out of that classic's shadow. While Eurocom's 2010 GoldenEye 007 on Wii did not surpass Rare's 1997 classic, it did run close with it, offering an alternate take on the film's story with current Bond Daniel Craig in the driver's seat. Eurocom's retelling of the GoldenEye story was altered with new plot points to make more sense in a contemporary setting. Also, alongside the updated story were updated levels which even featured some cool destructible level environments. The Wii remote added some of the greatest first-person shooter controls on a console allowing pinpoint precision and accuracy. It was just a breeze aiming and shooting enemies. And when the enjoyable solo campaign ended, or was no longer the player's chosen glass of vodka, they could hop online with up to seven other players across ten well-made maps for a license to frag. So why is the game not higher on this list? Well, I feel this version of GoldenEye felt a little too much like a Call of Duty, than what I would like from a Bond game.

3) James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing (GCN)

Like Agent Under Fire, Everything or Nothing featured a wholly original plot attached to it, but unlike every other game on this list, Everything or Nothing was played from a third-person perspective. The game would be Pierce Brosnan's last performance as James Bond (I'll always love you in that role, Pierce), shortly after Die Another Day. Joining him was an all-star cast: Dame Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Heidi Klum, and Richard Kiel who reprised his role as Jaws. The game had a mix of stealth, cover-based gunplay, gadgetry, and even some well done driving sections in Bond's Aston Martin. I was amazed most by how EA managed to spare no expense on the production values, thus, creating a game that looked and felt like James Bond through and through. Adding in some two player cooperative gameplay to sweeten the deal even more, Everything or Nothing made for an incredibly rewarding Bond experience.

2) 007: The World Is Not Enough (N64)

The second game developed by Eurocom on this list is 2000's 007: The World Is Not Enough. The game was based on the 1999 movie of the same name (well, nix the 007 part). After Tomorrow Never Dies (PlayStation) negative critical response, Eurocom opted to send Bond back to his first-person lineage as a certain well-known and loved 1997 Nintendo 64 game had made popular. The end result was EA's attempt at creating a GoldenEye-like game with mission objectives that needed to be completed in order to finish a given level. TWINE was a fantastic first-person shooter with over a dozen solo levels spanning familiar locales of The World Is Not Enough film, multiple difficulty settings also added in harder enemies and more objectives to complete. Thrown in for good measure was a multiplayer mode which could fortunately be played with bots as well as human opponents, offering an immense amount of fun as players hunted one another across the well-designed maps, one even taking place high in the sky on a plane. TWINE was a terrific Nintendo 64 shooter that hit home the point that James Bond was a force to be reckoned with not only in his films but in his video games as well.

1) GoldenEye 007 (N64)

After you have rolled your eyes and said "how unoriginal of a choice for number one", get cozy and read why I have picked the 1997 classic as the number one Bond game. GoldenEye 007's history is quite interesting. It started development going towards becoming an on-rails shooter. The development team eventually shifted gears toward making something more akin to a first-person shooter. The fruits of Rareware's labor turned into one of the most successful Nintendo 64 games and one of the most important console games in the industries history, despite being released two years after the movie it was modeled after. It made first-person shooters on home consoles a viable idea, Halo, Call of Duty, and all FPS games that followed have GoldenEye 007 to thank. Like the game it inspired, TWINE, GoldenEye 007 had various solo missions that could be played on one of several difficulties. The harder the difficulty, the less ammo was around, the more bullets enemies could withstand, and the more objectives needed to be completed. And that multiplayer mode that became the popular go-to attraction at many a slumber party? It was added into the game late in development, as if it wasn't important at all. It seems every James Bond game has to live up to the standard GoldenEye 007 created. That's for good reason too. As Carly Simon so famously sang, "Nobody does it better."



Fatty The HuttNovember 09, 2012

I would replace your #2 (The World Is Not Enough) with From Russia With Love (GCN, PS2).

That game had very fun gameplay, cool missions based off of one of the original Bond movies (the 2nd one) and had Sean Connery returning to voice his character. It was like playing the movie. Fun gadgets too, including a mini-copter that now reminds me of the flying beetle in Skyward Sword.

house3136November 09, 2012

I’m actually playing Goldeneye 64 right now. I recently replayed the Wii version too.

From Russia With Love is basically a slightly worse version of Everything or Nothing I feel.

I would have placed NightFire somewhere on the list, as I think that is a great game. Agent Under Fire from what I remember did not feel that great and had some problems.

Fatty The HuttNovember 09, 2012

I think From Russia With Love used the licence well. It honoured the "feel" of the film and was just a fun game to boot. It used the music well and didn't attempt to moderninze the 60's estheticic in its design, story or gadgets. And it had Connery! He sounded a little gravely but it was cool to have him do the voicing.

Plus, it was just so refreshing and unexpected to have a whole game dedicated to such an old film, one that happens to be a personal favourite. For me, it seemed to come out of nowhere. Nobody seemed to be clamouring for a game for that film so I appreciated they went ahead and made one anyway. I wish they'd give the game treatment to other films, too that never got one. I suppose 007 Legends is an attempt at that. Reviews are pretty bad but I don't care. I will pick it up when its on the cheap for sure.

Mop it upNovember 09, 2012

Hey, I actually have all these! Haven't played Goldeneye on Wii or Everything or Nothing, though. I prefer first-person to third-person, something about a shooter in third-person feels awkward to me.

EasyCureNovember 09, 2012

This list saddens me because I haven't played the majority of these. I really wanted TWINE for N64 but back then my gaming budget came from saving my allowance or doing odd jobs, and the games were so damn expensive that the money went to something else.

After I played that other Golden Eye (rogue agent i believe) on GCN, I didn't feel like trying anything that came after that because I felt no one would do it better than Rare did anyway (funny, I had the same though when TND came out on play-station and I'd heard how bad it was, but then I kept hearing good things about TWINE).

I was VERY curious about From Russia with Love because I love the movie and thought it was cool they made a game about it, but gain; I just passed it up and kinda forgot about it. I'm surprised to hear 007 Legends is getting bad reviews; I was hoping to pick this up because I do enjoy the Goldeneye 007 homage that came to Wii and hoped this would be more of the same (coming to Wii U right?).

PhilPhillip Stortzum, November 10, 2012

Hi, EasyCure. 007 Legends is indeed coming to the Wii U. Perhaps it'll be better than the versions available now. (I sincerely doubt it, but one can hope.)

EasyCureNovember 10, 2012

it's Easy and hey. I've read some reviews, seems like a mixed bag. Maybe if I can play a demo of it somewhere I'll judge it for myself.

PhilPhillip Stortzum, November 10, 2012

Sorry about the typo! The T and Y keys are right next to one another!
The game seems actually more negative than mixed based on scores, but don't let that stop you from looking into it.

EasyCureNovember 11, 2012

Quote from: Phil

Sorry about the typo! The T and Y keys are right next to one another!
The game seems actually more negative than mixed based on scores, but don't let that stop you from looking into it.

I never do, reviews never have final say on any decision I make. Besides, I like the Bond franchise and even if the story is sloppily put together, if its anywhere near as fun as Goldeneye was for Wii, I'll enjoy it.

With that said.. has it been confirmed that the Wii U version will feature IR controls? I know CoD:BOII will so that's a good sign, but I'd like confirmation.

ShyGuyNovember 11, 2012

Next up: Fave Five... James Jones Games.

1. Bearrorist
3. Randomly generated Dungeon Crawler
4. Ace Combat 27: The retread
5. Man Beam

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