Tries to do 'everything', but comes with problems
The storyline is pretty generic Bond: crazy rich villain wants to take over the world, only he's using tiny nanobots to destroy the opposition. Bond, along with the requisite hottie, must stop him using all manner of ways. The difference between this and most games is the high number of recognizable faces and voices that lend their talents. Former 007 Pierce Brosnan is back as Bond, Dame Judi Dench is 'M', John Cleese reprises his Q from 'The World is Not Enough'. Newcomers to the Bond franchise are Shannon Elizabeth, R&B singer Mya, Heidi Klum, and Willem Dafoe as the villain Diavolos.
Gunplay and hand-to-hand combat feature prominently throughout the game. You control Bond via 3rd person, with the exception of some driving levels. Shooting requires lock-on targeting, with the ability to manually adjust your aim for a more precise shot (effective for enemies that like to take cover behind things). There is a cover mechanic, which is implemented nicely. Pop in and out of cover for quick attacks, especially when you're heavily outnumbered.
When you're in close and you want to conserve ammo, a quick tap of the 'y' or 'x' buttons performs melee attacks. It's extremely effective as long as you catch your enemy by surprise. I actually enjoyed waiting behind corners so that an enemy can rush by and then take him out with some fancy fisticuffs.
The driving elements are also done well, and you get to control all sorts of tricked-out vehicles like Bond's Aston Martin, a motorcycle, and rally car. The vehicles control decently enough, but it's the crazy explosions and general mayhem you can cause with these that make the levels fun. For example, there's a level later on in the game that has you chasing Bond arch-villain Jaws down a crowded bridge. You must maneuver your motorcycle between and around cars, exploding barrels, fiery tanker trucks, all while shooting at enemy cars and bikers. Watching the badguys fly all over the place while you zoom by is exciting.
I only give the game 3 out of 5 stars because of some glaring problems. Collision detection leaves much to be desired, especially when controlling your Q Spider, a tiny spider-like robot that can do recon, explode, or kill enemies. Also, while the cover mechanic works well enough, it isn't perfect. While taking cover, it leaves you exposed to attack from wherever the camera can't see. It wouldn't be too bad if you could easily target that enemy, but you can't; you must unstick yourself, face the enemy, target them, then attack.
For example, you could behind a large shipping container. An enemy decides to flank you and attack from the side, beyond where the camera can see. It would be obvious to Bond that someone is stand in plain sight, shooting, and would be easy enough to attack. But, since the camera can't see them, you can't target them, forcing you to step away from the shipping container, rotate the camera to target, then attack. By that time, you could lose quite a bit of health.
And quite possibly my biggest annoyance, which has nothing to do with gameplay. Saving the game requires way too many button presses. I counted seven:
First you must choose to save the game.
Ok, fine, that's logical.
Then it will ask you 'are you sure?'.
Yes, I'm sure.
Then it will ask to load the memory card you're saving too.
Um, I just loaded the game from that same card, it should be obvious what card I want to save to, but whatever.
Then it will ask you to confirm.
Damnit, yes, load!
It will then ask you to choose the save file.
Holy crap, fine!
The game brings you to a screen where you can rename the file. I don't care what the file name is, default name (007) is fine! It will ask you to confirm the overwrite of the old data.
Yes, for the love of all things good, yes!
Finally, it tells you the game has been saved, requiring another press of the button to get back to the menu.
The way I think it should be is this:
Do you want to save?
Overwrite previous save?
Yes. If 'no', then you'd go through the hassle of choosing a new name, or a new memory card, or whatever.
Done. Simple, easy, and not nearly as annoying. For that, and for some of the control problems, the game gets 3 out of 5. Again, it's by no means a terrible game. It just has its share of problems. Maybe another month or so in development could've ironed out these problems.