mikeinsc's Quantum of Solace (Xbox 360) review

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 Even though Bond games have appeared on almost every platform in gaming history, it was the N64's Goldeneye that really cemented it as a potentially powerful game brand. Now, while that game has aged about as poorly as a game can age (but isn't it odd that the first good console FPS...was on a Nintendo console?), it's still the benchmark every developer is aiming for. They've tried to not go FPS (Tomorrow Never Dies and Everything or Nothing) and it was, to be gentle, horrible. They tried to change the storyline a bit (Rogue Agent) and it, too, blew. They even tried to bring back old Bond actors (To Russia With Love) and they, too, sucked.

So, Activision got the franchise from EA and put on decent-but-not-amazing developer Treyarch in charge of it. So, on the heels of a less than stellar Call of Duty game, Treyarch delivers...probably the best Bond title --- but, sadly, still not a great game.

Visually, Bond looks outstanding. Nothing else really does. The environments look like last-gen outcasts. Not horrible, but kind of, well, vanilla. Which makes the fairly rampant slow-down during intense firefights a bit hard to explain. There really isn't a need for it. And, of course, with Treyarch, it's all extremely scripted. Once you learn where enemies will appear, it will never change. They will come out in identical order as well. It's not a terribly difficult game to figure out. The guns all feel nice and the enemies' response to you shooting them is visceral. It feels like you're hurting them. There is also a ridiculous balance beam mechanic you have to go through several times and it's just bad. It hurts the game, which is a bad thing.

Also, they should've been honest and called it Casino Royale since MOST of the game follows the events of Casino Royale. QoS does appear...but for less than half of the time.

The game isn't bad, but it's hard to recommend it over a large array of other shooters. It's not the worst on the market (that'd be Legendary), but it's not an upper echelon title, either. 

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