Sunday, July 21, 2013

From Russia With Love, a retrospective on my first impressions

From Russia With Love is a third-person shooter based on the James Bond movie of the same name. I picked it up a while ago because people said it was good, and I would have to agree with them. I played the PS2 version, but stopped about the time I got Metal Gear Solid 2 in the mail (That's the ACTUAL Metal Gear Solid 2, not MGS3 with an MGS2 catalog sticker on it)
This game was released in 2005 for most consoles and most regions, being released on the PSP in 2006 and in Japan (Inexplicably exclusive to the PS2) in that year as well, a few months after the release of Casino Royale. A game known as Phoenix Rising (A title that was originally going to be used for Everything or Nothing) was intended to be released, starring the likeness and voice-talent of Pierce Brosnan, but it was canceled in favor of this one. It stars Sean Connery as James Bond, and while the character-model looks like him from that film, the voice is Connery's modern one, rather than clips from the movie. That's just nit-picking though. First, I'm going to have to compare it to the other James Bond TPS I've played: 007: Quantum of Solace.
For some reason the PS2 version of QoS was received better than the rest of the games were. I haven't played the other versions of it, but I have to say that I really didn't enjoy myself a whole lot when playing it. For one, the cover-system is annoying in certain places, and some of the stuff you have to do didn't appear in the movie, and the rest of it is mildly confusing and grindy. Plus it cuts out the chase-scene and just makes it into a cutscene.
Now, in FRWL, you're doing a whole lot of stuff that has little to do with the movie, but the game is at least fun. Looking back, the game reminds me of MGS3 (To an almost suspect degree), with its camera-control and stealth, as well as the aiming system being a little off. Like most TPS's, FRWL takes its aiming-system from Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell, and like most games that followed Splinter Cell, does most everything that TCSC did a whole lot better. There's a lot of stuff that happened in the game that didn't happen in the movie, but like the Harry Potter games that EA made, they make the game a whole lot more fun than if it was just a straight adaption of the film. Like I said before, the aiming is a bit off at times, to the degree that ammo is sometimes wasted, and not having enough ammo will sometimes kill you. If I remember correctly, I stopped playing the game out of a combination of frustration and the arrival of Metal Gear Solid 2, and I haven't gotten back to the game since. This was the last Bond game made by EA before the lost the license to Activision, who went on to make Quantum of Solace, Goldeneye Reloaded, 007 Bloodstone and 007 Legends. The EA branding might make gamers wary nowadays, but this game was made during their heyday, with games like Chrono Cross, Chrono Trigger, and the Harry Potter series under their belt, back before the DLC policies of Mass Effect, the publishing policies of the EA Sports games, and the DRM policies of Sim City. All in all, I'd say it's a fun game. I'll have more to say once I've finished it.