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Bond misses the target.

Byline: MICHAEL BROWN

James Bond: 007 Legends Format: PS3 Price: PS37.99 SOME people argue that unnecessary sequels or remakes can in some way tarnish the original experience. Of course it's not true, as the likes of the Matrix sequels and Deus Ex: Invisible War cannot diminish what came before, but you'd be forgiven for feeling they do And with 007: Legends you can see the developer's thought process - people like James Bond films. And Call of Duty games. And both make shedloads of money. So mash them together and you can't fail to make oodles of cash.

But while that may be true, the result is something that fails to capture what makes either of those franchises a success and it leaves a feeling of sadness because it shouldn't be this hard to make a good James Bond game from such great source material.

The new, overarching storyline attempts to knit together elements of five films, but even then the choices - Goldfinger, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Licence to Kill, Die Another Day and Moonraker - are a little suspect.

And from the opening level it's clear things aren't right. Rather than the light, relatively sunny adventure romp everyone remembers Goldfinger to be, you're faced with a dark, grey, bland industrial complex into which a Daniel Craig-a-like Bond is sent, smartphone in hand.

Not one moment of it feels like the film and there's something that's just wrong about foisting modern aesthetics on to a version of the classic 60s tale.

And the longer you play the more you find the continuous niggles overwhelm the experience.

Why, for example, bother to pick the worst of Pierce Brosnan's outings and include Halle Berry's character Jinx if you are not going to bother paying for her likeness or voice? Other than possibly actor Toby Stephens was free and looking for an easy payday, it seems to make no sense.

Also the lack of any other Bond than Craig seems to miss the point that part of what makes particular films so special is the actors in the lead role. His new gruff persona is at odds with the spirit of the stories this tries to thread together.

A major irritation too is the rather abrupt ending of the campaign. While a sixth section based on Skyfall is to be released as free downloadable content in the near future, it's not an addition but actually concludes the campaign story. You can understand wanting to try to protect the plot of the new film, but it does mean a rather sharp finish to the single-player experience until such a time as it's available.

However, if there is a positive to take from the experience it's the multi-player and specifically the four-way split-screen option.

It's actually quite refreshing to be able to sit down with a few mates on the sofa and enjoy a bit of friendly banter rather than having to go online and endure the rambling abuse of unintelligible teenagers from the far side of the globe.

But in truth, with that the strongest aspect to recommend, for anyone who already has Goldeneye: Reloaded, there's no major impetus to buy this new game.

And for those that don't, well, that's still the best Bond game since Goldeneye 64 so buy that rather than this.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 26, 2012
Words:559
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