Why has James Bond's transition into gaming failed so much?

 As of recent, bond's transition into gaming has failed miserably in this decade. I was playing quantum of solace because i didn't get a chance to play it last year. Well as it turns out, this game shouldn't have even been released.
 
It felt so dull and repetitive and uninspired that it made me wonder why they are having such a tough time integrating James Bond into a 3D world.
 
Let me start off by saying that i didn't get a chance to play goldeneye until sometime after i bought perfect dark when it originally came out. when i did get to play goldeneye, i was actually blown away. i won't get into every detail of my wonderful gaming experience as you all have felt.
 
Lets just say that i was blinded by the fact that after i was done playing goldeneye, that perfect dark was the more advanced clone. But for some reason, the multiplayer brought me back many times and the single player was rather addictive. I think it was the soundtrack that brought me back and it mixed so well within the game its self.
 
However, because of goldeneye. i started to become more of a james bond fan because of this and started to watch his movies. i didn't really get into many bond films ahead of pierce bronsnans career after tomorrow never dies because they started to get dull.
 
I picked up the world is not enough for the nintendo 64 hoping for a better version of goldeneye. But no luck, while the single player was enhanced because of the expansion pack. The game didn't offer much replay value and the multiplayer was rather lackluster, it was cool to see some of the old recurring characters come back from the previous bond films.
 
Next up was was agent under fire, after watching several gamespot and ign videos with the developers commentary talking about how it would blow goldeneye away, i believed them considering it was going to be done on a next generation console at the time.
 
Mind you, i was a teenager at that time. i ended up getting it for christmas and became merely excited. i never really looked at gaming reviews because i wasn't so judgmental about gaming experiences back then. i was usually  happy with most games.
 
Anyway, i started to play agent underfire and found out pretty quickly that this game was also missing something very important. i think by that time i was catching on to bad video games and started to realize that there was something wrong with the transition of bond games. While the bond in it was ugly and didn't represent any of the actors which i believe was due to licensing issues. there were a few cool implementations but not enough to save it. 
 
Now, awhile back when i was alot younger, i had heard about a game called Goldeneye Rogue agent and was thrilled that this might be the game i was waiting for, i wasn't really intelligent or informed at the time, of companys just wanting to cash in on franchises. So i was thrilled that this game could be the sequel i was waiting for. 
 
As it turns out, this game wasn't a sequel but a prequel and i thought the whole Golden EYE was a neat idea and that this time, you won't play as bronsnan but a villain instead. i knew this had to be the awesome follow up. But as it turns out, it had lackluster graphics. Boring multiplayer and cheesy cinematic scences. and there were only a few references to the original goldeneye. it was a meaningless game with evil Written all over it. Jeff, Thank you for warning me in the most intellectual way about this pile of garbage.
 
After turning me away from EA almost completey, i noticed that 3rd person bond games started to come out and i was a little excited, but i never got a chance to actually play everything or nothing. Just from russia with love.  i didn't really think of it ether way and lost all hope for bond games. 
 
I don't understand, What is it about goldeneye that makes it so awesome over almost every other james bond game after it? why do we love it so much? It hasn't arguably aged well. and it had some limitations, but for some reason to this day. It slams the future generations of bond games.
 
Microsoft and Nintendo. I hope you are reading this, because if you are. I will gladly purchase Goldeneye for the Virtual console and The xbox live arcade versions.
 
Your thoughts?
 
Oh one more thing, The james bond game on the gameboy was a brillant pocket sized game.

41 Comments
42 Comments
Posted by deusdigit

 As of recent, bond's transition into gaming has failed miserably in this decade. I was playing quantum of solace because i didn't get a chance to play it last year. Well as it turns out, this game shouldn't have even been released.
 
It felt so dull and repetitive and uninspired that it made me wonder why they are having such a tough time integrating James Bond into a 3D world.
 
Let me start off by saying that i didn't get a chance to play goldeneye until sometime after i bought perfect dark when it originally came out. when i did get to play goldeneye, i was actually blown away. i won't get into every detail of my wonderful gaming experience as you all have felt.
 
Lets just say that i was blinded by the fact that after i was done playing goldeneye, that perfect dark was the more advanced clone. But for some reason, the multiplayer brought me back many times and the single player was rather addictive. I think it was the soundtrack that brought me back and it mixed so well within the game its self.
 
However, because of goldeneye. i started to become more of a james bond fan because of this and started to watch his movies. i didn't really get into many bond films ahead of pierce bronsnans career after tomorrow never dies because they started to get dull.
 
I picked up the world is not enough for the nintendo 64 hoping for a better version of goldeneye. But no luck, while the single player was enhanced because of the expansion pack. The game didn't offer much replay value and the multiplayer was rather lackluster, it was cool to see some of the old recurring characters come back from the previous bond films.
 
Next up was was agent under fire, after watching several gamespot and ign videos with the developers commentary talking about how it would blow goldeneye away, i believed them considering it was going to be done on a next generation console at the time.
 
Mind you, i was a teenager at that time. i ended up getting it for christmas and became merely excited. i never really looked at gaming reviews because i wasn't so judgmental about gaming experiences back then. i was usually  happy with most games.
 
Anyway, i started to play agent underfire and found out pretty quickly that this game was also missing something very important. i think by that time i was catching on to bad video games and started to realize that there was something wrong with the transition of bond games. While the bond in it was ugly and didn't represent any of the actors which i believe was due to licensing issues. there were a few cool implementations but not enough to save it. 
 
Now, awhile back when i was alot younger, i had heard about a game called Goldeneye Rogue agent and was thrilled that this might be the game i was waiting for, i wasn't really intelligent or informed at the time, of companys just wanting to cash in on franchises. So i was thrilled that this game could be the sequel i was waiting for. 
 
As it turns out, this game wasn't a sequel but a prequel and i thought the whole Golden EYE was a neat idea and that this time, you won't play as bronsnan but a villain instead. i knew this had to be the awesome follow up. But as it turns out, it had lackluster graphics. Boring multiplayer and cheesy cinematic scences. and there were only a few references to the original goldeneye. it was a meaningless game with evil Written all over it. Jeff, Thank you for warning me in the most intellectual way about this pile of garbage.
 
After turning me away from EA almost completey, i noticed that 3rd person bond games started to come out and i was a little excited, but i never got a chance to actually play everything or nothing. Just from russia with love.  i didn't really think of it ether way and lost all hope for bond games. 
 
I don't understand, What is it about goldeneye that makes it so awesome over almost every other james bond game after it? why do we love it so much? It hasn't arguably aged well. and it had some limitations, but for some reason to this day. It slams the future generations of bond games.
 
Microsoft and Nintendo. I hope you are reading this, because if you are. I will gladly purchase Goldeneye for the Virtual console and The xbox live arcade versions.
 
Your thoughts?
 
Oh one more thing, The james bond game on the gameboy was a brillant pocket sized game.

Posted by Aljosa15

Games based on licensed properties 95% of the time suck.

Posted by AjayRaz

Goldeneye Rogue Agent was complete garbage. I wanted it to be so good, but it was SO bad :(. 

Edited by ryanwho

Its not a shooter. Bottom line, Goldeneye only barely worked because that movie happened to have Bond shooting shit up in a million different places. But its not a shooter. They need to look at other things like Splinter Cell. Or Monkey Island's insult swordfighting. Here's the average Bond movie, in a nutshell.
2 to 3 spy ops (stealth)
Some kind of passive battle of wits between the hero and villain (card game, adventure game elements)
2 car chases
1 foot chase
1 torture device  
Sex minigame?
1 big shootout (him escaping)
Big showdown with the bad dude
 
In essence, a Bond game should be an action adventure game.

Posted by SirPsychoSexy
@AjayRaz said:
" Goldeneye Rogue Agent was complete garbage. I wanted it to be so good, but it was SO bad :(.  "
I liked that game
Edited by Lowbrow

Cause they keep making games that are rush jobs to coincide with the movies. (Recent exception to this might be Goldeneye, can't remember when the movie vs. the game came out). 
 
If they lent developers the IP, and let them think of some crazy shit to do in Bonds world with their own creative teams, rather than having the movies shithole script dictate the events of the game, then I bet you'd have something that comes out of that studio with a bit of substance. 
 
@ryanwho:
 
And I don't think that Goldeneye was good just because the movie came out and there were a lot of shootouts. Yes, of course it helped the fact that the game was a shooter, when so much shooting was going on in the movie, but I think it was beloved because someone had put one of the first (far far from the best) functional first person shooter out for a console. The multiplayer alone with all the unlocks was killer and made that game more than worth a purchase at the time.
 
EDIT: Hmm, that got me to thinking.... Remember the days where when anything awesome happened on consoles. Nintendo were the ones making it happen? I miss those days.... sniff.

Posted by deusdigit
@Lowbrow: The movie came out in 1995 and the game came out in 1997.
Posted by ryanwho
@Lowbrow said:
" Cause they keep making games that are rush jobs to coincide with the movies. (Recent exception to this might be Goldeneye, can't remember when the movie vs. the game came out). 
 
If they lent developers the IP, and let them think of some crazy shit to do in Bonds world with their own creative teams, rather than having the movies shithole script dictate the events of the game, then I bet you'd have something that comes out of that studio with a bit of substance. 
 
@ryanwho:  And I don't think that Goldeneye was good just because the movie came out and there were a lot of shootouts. Yes, of course it helped the fact that the game was a shooter, when so much shooting was going on in the movie, but I think it was beloved because someone had put one of the first (far far from the best) functional first person shooter out for a console. The multiplayer alone with all the unlocks was killer and made that game more than worth a purchase at the time. "
Sure that's all true. But again, most Bond movies don't have nearly as much to work with as Rareware did. Its an anomaly that couldn't really work with a different team or a different movie.
Posted by ArbitraryWater

Eh, Nightfire was decent and Everything or Nothing was surprisingly good. However, those are basically the only two post-Goldeneye Bond games that are worth mentioning. Everything else kind of sucked.

Posted by iam3green

it is because rare had made it. back in the day rare made great games for nintendo. EA decided to make a james bond game and that sucked. i also was a person then fell for the agent under fire. the graphics were a lot upgraded compared to goldeneye. 
 
 a lot of games that are based on movie suck because of the game being rushed to release of the game.

Posted by Jensonb

I tend to think it's because nobody seems to agree on what James Bond actually is, an action movie hero or a secret agent. Most games tend to try and make him both in the way the movies often do, but it's not as easy to blend those styles in a gameplay engine as it is to blend them in a script.

Posted by TheFreeMan

Everything or Nothing was a badass game. I'd go as far to say that it was one of my top games of last gen. Everything about that game was just.......right for a Bond game.

Posted by Lydian_Sel

Those games have sucked in sacrifice so that GoldenEye 64 still burns brighter than any star in our hearts. 
 
I for one am glad.

Posted by TheHBK

A number of reasons and here they are.  You may close the thread afterward.
 
1.  GoldenEye007 was such a fucking good game, it is hard to live up to it and games fail when they don't.  People reject anything thats not as captivating as GoldenEye007 was.
 
2.  EA had the license for a while and they fucked it up.  Its EA just using a license to make some money.
 
3.  Activision has the license now.  You think that a company that comes out with Tony Hawk Ride and 5 Hero games in a year will try hard with the Bond License?
 
4.  The games are typically tied to the movies and as such, try to make a release date to coincide.  But this means the game will suck.  GoldenEye came out in 1997, 2 years after the movie.  This game the developers more time to know the movie and get the game right.
 
5.  Finally, I think most will not say but I will, even though GoldenEye007 was an amazing shooter and game, James Bond is not for first person shooters or third person.  When thinking a Bond game, you have to think Metal Gear.  Splinter Cell.  a little Hitman.  Metal Gear, sneaking around using a gadget and taking out guards.  Fits Bond.  Splinter Cell, stories about world destruction and take over. Fits Bond. And Hitman, being dressed to fit with a crowd to get an objective done.  Fits bond.  Thats how the game should be done.  Not always shooting.  Or if they want, it could be first person, but add those elements of sneaking and taking out guards and fitting in with the crowd.  Or else, when does he get to say, Bond, James Bond and drink it up.

Posted by torus

Nightfire was very underrated- it had a very good multiplayer mode. I enjoyed it a lot.

Posted by Jimbo

Still the greatest James Bond game.
 
Goddammit, game development used to be insane and awesome.  You could make a whole game about a fish in a tuxedo, just because you had a slightly amusing idea for a title.
Edited by damnboyadvance

I don't think it failed that bad.

Posted by Spacetrucking
Posted by Alphawolfy

I actually think that Nightfire was quite decent; and Everything or Nothing wasn't too bad either (I played them both on Gamecube too!). I agree that most games that are based on movies suck really bad.

Posted by nanikore
Posted by Tru3_Blu3

Quantum of Solace wasn't a bad game.

Posted by MattyFTM

Movie games are usually bad because movie plots are so different to game plots. The pacing, the length, everything is completely different. Which means that the game rarely works. The best bond games in recent history were Nightfire & Everything or Nothing - neither of which were directly based on a movie. It allowed the developers to be more creative and they weren't tied into a specific plot. They weren't perfect, but they were very entertaining games.

Moderator
Posted by Goly
@ryanwho said:
" Its not a shooter. Bottom line, Goldeneye only barely worked because that movie happened to have Bond shooting shit up in a million different places. But its not a shooter. They need to look at other things like Splinter Cell. Or Monkey Island's insult swordfighting. Here's the average Bond movie, in a nutshell. 2 to 3 spy ops (stealth) Some kind of passive battle of wits between the hero and villain (card game, adventure game elements) 2 car chases 1 foot chase 1 torture device   Sex minigame?1 big shootout (him escaping) Big showdown with the bad dude  In essence, a Bond game should be an action adventure game. "
If done right this could be the perfect formula for a Bond game, or any game for that matter. 
Posted by Kowbrainz

 Goldeneye was fantastic, I don't think I can say anything on that which hasn't already been covered by anyone else. I liked Tomorrow Never Dies more than most Bond games... the story mode seemed alright and some of the gadgets seemed to be taking the series in the right direction. The multiplayer stuff was pretty shoddy in comparison, but it was okay.
 
I have Goldeneye Rogue Agent in my game cabinet right now... somehow felt like buying it after playing it with a friend one weekend and having mild fun with the traps in multiplayer. A lot of the games I played with that particular friend were pretty terrible, glitchy games though... I remember he was also how I first found out about True Crime. 
 
I also played Agent Under Fire and Night Fire with the same guy, think the most fun we had was with the grappling hook in one of the games' multiplayer modes by grappling around to weird out of bounds places on each map and hiding proximity mines for the other player to scout out. When you have to resort to that kind of crap in a shooter to have fun you kinda know it's not good. 
 
I tried Quantum of Solace on the Wii with a friend last year but I don't think that version would really be fair to judge even if the other console versions were decent. I won the DS version of Quantum of Solace in a Nintendo competition but that game was just terrible.

Edited by GreggD
@Killjoy said:

" Monolith showed that a great spy game is possible with No One Lives Forever and NOLF 2. It's sad they never got the chance to work on a James Bond game. "

What's more sad is that their series will probably never continue. I'm pretty sure Sierra's owner now owns the rights to NOLF. Also, isn't that Activision-Blizzard? The most sad aspect of the whole thing.
Posted by Subject2Change

GoldenEye was fantastic and that one on the PS1 wasn't bad either 007: Tomorrow Never Dies. But as others have stated liscensed games generally do quite poorly, there is only so much of a movie (that spans 2 hrs) you can put in a game that should last from anywhere from 6+ hours and anything shorter is deemed not worthy of a purchase by many gamers; and even that 6hrs is cutting it really close.

Posted by Interfect

Ya they need sex mini games.
Posted by Dylabaloo

Night fire i have fond memories playing multiplayer, that game kicked ass you could throw odd jobs hat! Everything or nothing was good from what i remember. There was also one other James bond game for the ps2 i remember playing but i can't remember :( But lately bond games have been pretty lackluster.

Posted by zombie2011
  • Goldeneye
  • Nightfire
  • From Russia with Love
  • Everything or Nothing (My fav and the best bond game)
 
All of these are great games that also happen to have bond in it.
Posted by Akeldama

movie based video games = shit  
 
its a law

Posted by j_drace

I love James Bond and he was definitely one of my biggest child hood heros growing up, but the games now suck.  They suck because they just tie them in with the movies like every other game of that nature.  There were only a handful of good Bond games.  GoldenEye was obviously the best and it dominated my N64, Nightfire was good and I still had a lot of fun with it, Everything or Nothing was very good, and finally From Russia with Love was OK.  They need to change everything about the Bond games now.  Bond games need the Batman Arkham Asylum treatment.  Batman games used to blow for the same exact reasons and then Arkham Asylum came out and was like BLAM.  I agree with the above posters that Bond should not be a first person shooter, it should be a third person shooter or at least offer both like MGS 4 did.  I also agree with the above poster about incorporating some MGS and such into a Bond game.  That would be fantastic.  I think the Bond Franchise is so good and that Bond as a character has so much potential in video games, but no developer wants to take the time and develop something good.  It's sad, but that's how it is.

Posted by Spike94

Well that stinks, Everything or Nothing was great. That and Nightfire are my favroite Bond games. The best ones, as well as the only good ones, except Goldeneye. 
I have been lucky and have actually not played any bad Bond games. 
 From Russia with Love was good also. Barely played it at a cousin's, but the multiplayer was good enough.
Posted by TheJollyRajah
@ArbitraryWater said:
" Eh, Nightfire was decent and Everything or Nothing was surprisingly good. However, those are basically the only two post-Goldeneye Bond games that are worth mentioning. Everything else kind of sucked. "
QFT 
 
I actually had a lot of fun with these two games. Especially Everything or Nothing. The single player kept me occupied for months and the variety and quality of the missions was astounding for it's time. TBH, I put it above Goldeneye.
Posted by xyzygy

Goldeneye set the bar too high and now developers are scared that they won't reach that bar.

Posted by TonicBH

I didn't see Nightfire mentioned at all in this post. Go get it, dude. It's hands-down my most favorite Bond game. The singleplayer's a bit wonky but damn it has the most robust multiplayer options I've seen in a console shooter.
 
I feel you have too high expectations and blind nostalgia makes you think Goldeneye was much better than it actually was. The only bad James Bond game I played was Rogue Agent, all the others were good to passable.

Posted by AlmostApollo

James Bond games fail for you, because you didn't play the best one. Everything or Nothing was just great. It's probably in my top ten games of all time. Play it now.

Posted by natetodamax

I really liked Nightfire. It was surprisingly entertaining.

Posted by StaticInSnow

One of the main problems is that between action scenes in films you learn about the characters, they talk, you either like them hate them etc and then when the next action scene comes around you're invested with what happens to them.  For instance, in Die Hard, if it wasnt for John Mclane telling Al Powell to tell his wife he should have been a better husband (as he's pulling glass out of his busted up foot no less), then you wouldnt have felt as emotionally invested with his character as he goes on to fight the bad guys.  It's this flow and pacing that games based on films find very hard to emulate.  Not helped by that you'll play through a game in multiple sittings, whereas with a film you'll likely watch all of it in one go and because films are shorter, it's easier to remember and mull over what you've seen.
 
Another problem is that going into a game based off a film, you expect a certain amount of professionalism and quality from the script.  Unfortunately good writers for games are very rare, and games often struggle with facial animations and voice casting to make the characters believable.  Not to mention that anytime you add extra levels, dialogue scenes etc that were not in the film, it jars with your perception of how the story played out.  
 
Personally I think games based off films cannot be done without an insanely high level of care and developers should stick to making scenarios to put the characters into e.g Batman: Arkham Asylum, Star Wars: Knights of the old Republic, 007 Everything or Nothing (easily one of the better Bond games) and so on.  Giving the developers free reign over the story and the setting can only be beneficial, as opposed to being burdened with the film the property is a part of.

Posted by c1337us
@SirPsychoSexy said:
" @AjayRaz said:
" Goldeneye Rogue Agent was complete garbage. I wanted it to be so good, but it was SO bad :(.  "
I liked that game "
I didn't hate it. It was middling, neither far down the path of bad or good. I kind of liked a couple of the other PS2 era ones with out any of them being particularly note worthy.
Posted by Supermarius
@ryanwho said:
" Its not a shooter. Bottom line, Goldeneye only barely worked because that movie happened to have Bond shooting shit up in a million different places. But its not a shooter. They need to look at other things like Splinter Cell. Or Monkey Island's insult swordfighting. Here's the average Bond movie, in a nutshell. 2 to 3 spy ops (stealth) Some kind of passive battle of wits between the hero and villain (card game, adventure game elements) 2 car chases 1 foot chase 1 torture device   Sex minigame?1 big shootout (him escaping) Big showdown with the bad dude  In essence, a Bond game should be an action adventure game. "
so a Bond game should be like "God of Spy" or something?
Posted by Maxynator
Nightfire was pretty good, not great, but it had some interesting and challenging coop modes, and the bots where not to shabby either. The quality really depended on which version you where playing. IMO the Gamecube's version was the best one. but the game just lacked time invested into big and small design flaws
 
I also own QoS for the PC, the multiplayer resembles fast paced action (à la Modern Warfare, it also used the IW engine, just for a fun fact) but the game just lacked time, which resulted into big and small design flaws. I remember this horrible moment, in the first level in this waterside mansion, the water in a round fountain waves from left to right. It just doesn't make any sense to approve something like that into a game unless you have to race to reach a certain deadline.
Posted by MaFoLu

I remember thinking Everything or Nothing was really great when I played it. 
Though nothing beats Goldeneye splitscreen.