By F1000003 4 Comments
I am continuing with the rather futile task of playing all the video games.
I went to see Skyfall this week. It's rather good. I also played 007: Racing this week. It isn't.
Game 000009: 007: Racing
A few firsts for this series. This is the first driving game I'm writing about; this is the first original PlayStation game I've got to; and this is the first time I've decided to stop playing a game because I was finding it too difficult. (Although 005 and 007: Licence to Kill went unfinished due to budget constraints and technical difficulties respectively.)
007: Racing has you play as Pierce Brosnan's Bond and puts you in control of a variety of similarly handling weapon mounted vehicles. The game offers a reasonable amount of mission variety - from simple races to more detailed objective based combat scenarios... shoot down a helicopter, infiltrate a base, Speed-esque don't slow down or the bomb will explode challenges, etc... However the game is really let down by poor controls, which are not sensitive enough to provide the level of precision needed to complete the more combat heavy focussed challenges.
The driving of the cars actually handles reasonably well - and they deform after taking damage in a semi-realistic way. (I believe the cars are modelled using four-collision boxes!) Driving fast through some of the levels is quite fun, but it is the slow paced nature of the combat that really left me frustrated with this game. In particular, aiming your weapons is a very hit and miss affair. Your guns always shoot exactly in the direction that your car is facing - and the game just doesn't offer you the precision of handling to aim accurately when driving slowly, (no power-steering on these cars!) None of this would be a particular problem, as a slow and methodical approach to some of the levels was clearly intended, but the occasional sections where time limits are imposed on you makes finessing the controls way too challenging to be fun.
Another small annoyance I had with this game was how it would automatically switch weapons when you collect a new power-up. Picking one up in the middle of combat really breaks up the flow of the game, as you have to slowly cycle back to your weapon of choice.
The game has a total of twelve missions, each with two difficulty settings. Some of the missions also offer you the opportunity to replay them in a challenge mode where you are given additional constraints to satisfy in order to unlock various cheats.
It's a shame really, this game looked like it could have had a lot of potential, the cars have a lot more weapons and gadgets available than your standard Bond game driving level, but it really could have done with some more polish before it was released. Someone should make a better one of these.
I spent last weekend in a flooded Venice, so made a start on the equally tough, equally frustrating, 007: The World Is Not Enough for the Game Boy Color. (I very much doubt that I'll reach the credits on that game either) I also have the N64 version ready to start playing this afternoon, I seem to remember that game coming out about the the same time as Perfect Dark, and I don't recall it being compared favourably. Then it's only the (apparently abysmal) 007: Tomorrow Never Dies for the PlayStation left, and I'll have played all the games beginning with "00"!