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007: From Russia With Love

Platform(s): GameCube, PSP, PlayStation 2, Xbox
Genre: Action
Publisher: EA
Developer: EA


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PS2 Preview - '007: From Russia With Love'

by Hank on Oct. 10, 2005 @ 1:45 a.m. PDT

From Russia With Love, the game, will be based on the classic Bond film but will also feature some new plot twists, gadgets and characters. Sir Sean Connery, appearing in his first-ever videogame, lent his voice and likeness to the project.

Genre: Action
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: EA Games
Release Date: November 1, 2005

When Electronic Arts failed to reclaim the multiplayer throne with Rogue Agent, it seemed as if nothing could bring James Bond back to the forefront, until now. Bringing back Sean Connery in 007: From Russia with Love, EA has decided to go back, way back to Bond's roots.

The last successful Bond offering, Everything or Nothing, wasn't based on a movie so the script wasn't predetermined, which worked out quite well for the game. For From Russia with Love, however, the game does have a cinematic counterpart, and as is the case with all movie-to-game translations, comparisons are inevitable.

Bond starts off FRwL with his famous line, "Shaken, not stirred," before the action sequence commences. He's off to save the damsel in distress and is in for some extra curricular activities as well … wink wink, nudge nudge. The game is a straight-out gunner, where Bond is taking on the entire terrorist army by himself with whatever arsenal he can find … and his trusty pistol, naturally.

The gameplay here is very similar to the one used in EoN: rather than using free-form shooting, the game uses an auto-locking mechanism. Instead of using the right analog stick simultaneously to move the cursor to a more accurate snipe, you'll need to first activate the mode by hitting the square button and then use the right analog stick to aim. It's hard to say if this is a better system, but we'll find out once the final product is available.

If you've played EoN before, you'll know to expect a simple run-and-shoot game, and Bond will kill almost all enemies in his path because the AI has pretty awful marksmanship. After he's through the first wave of enemies, Bond then aims to get onto the roof, where he will encounter another wave of baddies hanging from the ceiling. Using the accuracy mode, Bond can snipe the line and drop the enemies to their horrible deaths (but they're bad guys so they deserve it). You'll even see Sean Connery jump from one platform to another in order to reach his destination, and you'll finally see some of his martial art skills in action when he makes off with a jetpack.

Once strapped to the jetpack, Bond has the ability to move left, right, up, down, dodge, and shoot. He'll need to take down all enemies before the main helicopter comes into play, leading up to a nice firefight where the enemy can't hit the broadside of a barn if they tried. AI is the last component to be adjusted, so the enemies should be more challenging in the final product.

Sadly, I didn't get to see all of Bond's cool gadgets, from his car to the secret weapons that he literally has up his sleeves. I really enjoyed EoN, so I can see From Russia with Love doing well if it closely follows the movie's storyline. Most the old Bond films were the best and are still considered great movies today, so if it does follow such a great movie, FRwL has the ability to be incredibly successful, especially amongst Bond fans. (Besides, you won't see Sean Connery move like this anymore.)

Although the single player mode seems to be the heart of the game, From Russia with Love has implemented a slightly better multiplayer system, judging from the gameplay movies included with the build. You have the ability to choose from several weapons and use vehicles, so this may have a chance of matching GoldenEye. I know it's a bold statement, but from the videos, it actually looks fun. Without being able to try it, however, we'll have to wait until the release date to find out for sure.

The graphics look pretty good, bringing back memories of the sleek-looking Sean Connery. While the in-game graphics aren't quite as nice as those in the opening sequence, they are good enough and will probably get better towards the release date. The environment is interactive, so if you shoot a window, it'll actually break or leave a mark in the wall. Fire will also hurt your character, and anything seen onscreen can affect Bond in one way or another.

Games and movies aren't complete until the sound is mixed in. Even though there aren't many tracks to listen to, From Russia with Love does maintain the Bond atmosphere, with the classic Bond intro at the beginning and the inclusion of the famous utterance, "Bond, James Bond." The voices match the characters well, but during the game, the focus is all on the gunfire.

Overall, 007: From Russia with Love has a lot of potential, but since it's based on a movie, it'll depend on how loyal it remains to the film and how well it's portrayed. Gadgets are at the heart of the James Bond world, and in this preview build, we haven't seen nearly enough. With time, I'm sure the development team at EA will add in the necessary gadgets and items to make it feel more true to the Bond canon. If you are a Bond fan or enjoy multiplayer shooters, you'd do well to watch for 007: From Russia with Love as it approaches launch date.

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