James Bond: Quantum of Solace First Look

We track down Activision and Treyarch's first game based on the James Bond movie franchise.

James Bond: Quantum of Solace is the upcoming game based on Ian Fleming's iconic British spy, who's been around since 1953. The character has appeared in 14 novels and 22 films over the past few decades. The special agent has even starred in an array of games published by everyone from Nintendo to EA since 1983. The latest publisher to try its hand at the multitalented spy is Activision, which has tapped internal studio Treyarch to craft a new action game based on the most recent Bond films starring Daniel Craig. We watched a run through bits of the upcoming game at a recent press event held at Treyarch's Santa Monica offices.

Expect to play through scenarios from the new Bond movie, as well as 2006's Casino Royale.

Quantum of Solace marks the first game appearance of Daniel Craig's Bond and, although it's named after the latest film, it will cover the previous film, Casino Royale, as well as Solace. Covering both movies actually works out, given that Solace is a proper sequel to Casino Royale and picks up roughly an hour after the events in that film. Treyarch is taking a pretty standard action approach to the game, in that you'll be running Bond through his paces across various set pieces from the films that will have you spying, fighting, and shooting. Unfortunately for hardcore fans, Treyarch hasn't included a "bedding the ladies" component, which keeps Quantum from being the definitive Bond experience, but there's always the next game.

Our demo of the game broke down into looks at three different levels, all taken from the Casino Royale portion. The first demo was set during the latter part of the film, in which Bond chases his current special lady Vesper into a house on the canals of Venice. For the purposes of the game, Treyarch has taken some dramatic license and dropped into the house a whole bunch of foes who will stand between you and Vesper as she rides an elevator up to the higher levels. Your goal is obviously to follow her, dealing with the opposition in one of two ways: stealthily taking them out when possible or shooting them full of bullets. The demo of the level showed a pretty logical assortment of spots in the house where one method worked better than the other, which kept the action varied. The other element to the sequence involved making your way through the house environment, which, in typical dramatic Bond fashion, was beginning to sink into the water.

The second level that we saw was taken from a bit earlier in the game and was set in the casino that serves as the film's centerpiece. Bond's task is to shadow and protect main baddie Le Chiffre from assorted goons who would like to kill him. Bond receives direction via an earpiece as he navigates the guard-filled halls of the casino. The level skewed a bit more toward the stealth side of things; the initial demo level found our demonstrator attempting to tear through the halls on a shooting spree that got him smacked down pretty quickly. His second attempt to go through the level was much stealthier and saw him avoiding guards and even taking to the exterior of the building via windows to make his way to different areas. The exterior route also let Bond do some eavesdropping to get some useful information.

Once that was done, Bond was guided back into the building, where he took to the air vents for some more sneaking. Along the way he engaged in some stealth kills, which took the form of button-pressing minigames. After a bit of stealth, the level took a more action-oriented spin as Bond dropped from the vents into a firefight that was complicated by the presence of vision-obscuring steam. Once the shooting was done, the level was back to more sneaking that showed off a lock-picking minigame, which segued into another firefight. This time, though, we got a chance to see some of the level interactivity working in Bond's favor as he shot down a chandelier that took out some of his foes. As with previous games, Quantum of Solace will feature a bullet-time mechanic that will slow down time and let players target with greater accuracy.

Quantum will be the first Bond game with Daniel Craig donning the dapper tuxedo.

The final level that we were shown was taken from the early part of Casino Royale and followed Bond as he ran through a construction yard. The sequence is pretty faithful to the scene in the film, although obviously extended in a few places for dramatic license and gameplay. The demo showed a brief portion of the level and focused on the sequence in which Bond is running through the construction site and leaping around moving platforms and girders.

The gameplay appeared to be solid across all three levels that we saw. What stood out to us were the shifts between first- and third-person perspectives, which happened often. The basic logic is that you'll play the game in first person but the perspective will switch to third person at certain points, such as when you take cover or engage in melee combat. It's an interesting wrinkle to the action, but we're not sure how we feel about it, considering that it may make gameplay a bit too disjointed. Nevertheless, we'll reserve judgment until we play it ourselves. The rest of the gameplay was pretty straightforward and seemed fine. The action and stealth sequences look good. The stealth-kill and melee system look satisfying and seem as if they'll be pretty easy to handle. The assorted weapons are what you'd expect and should suit the action fine. It's also worth noting that the action in the game will revolve around Bond on foot and won't include any car sequences.

As far as visuals go, Quantum of Solace is benefitting from Treyarch's use of the Call of Duty 4 engine. The powerful engine is already offering high visual fidelity and impressive performance even in the work-in-progress levels that we saw. The environments feature a high level of detail and interactive elements such as breakable objects and fabric curtains that react. The first- and third-person shifts are handled pretty well, although the camera movement looked a bit jarring to us. The upside is that the third-person perspective shows off the detailed model of Daniel Craig, which is worth some showcasing. Treyarch might have gone a little overboard when modeling the super spy, going so far as to show pores in close-ups, but the attention to detail helps the game's cinematic leanings. The secondary enemies don't get quite the same glamour treatment but they still look pretty sharp.

The game will feature a mix of stealth action and plenty of gunplay.

Audio in the game is another facet of its presentation that's benefitting from the COD4 tech. Quantum of Solace's audio team is working to craft a dense layer of sound to complement the visuals. You'll obviously hear familiar tunes such as the Bond theme, mixed in with other incidental music to frame the action. At the same time, gunfire and enemy chatter will add to the chaos of gunfights and the like. To keep things authentic, Daniel Craig and Judy Dench will be voicing Bond and M.

Based on this early look, Quantum of Solace has a nice look to it and is taking an interesting approach to serving up a Bond experience. We're curious to see how the Quantum of Solace levels look and play, but we expect that they'll be in line with the Casino Royale ones we saw. We're also curious about the game's multiplayer experience; Treyarch said that multiplayer would be included but kept mum on the specifics, which are expected to be released later this year. Bond fans will want to keep an eye out for James Bond: Quantum of Solace, which is set to ship later this year across all platforms. For those keeping track, Treyarch is handling dev chores on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions, whereas the rest of the platforms are being handled by Beenox (Wii and PC), Eurocom (PlayStation 2), and Vicarious Visions (Nintendo DS).

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Discussion

236 comments
allotheabove123
allotheabove123

cod4 engine with Treyarch who is making cod5 and this with that same engine it looks good it is supposed to play alot like call of duty 4 i wish infinity ward could have done Turning Point fall of liberty it would have been much better

drink_oh_yes
drink_oh_yes

OMG! the graphics look great and the gameply looks awsome! I hope that the crane chase in casino royale looks great fun!

jdawg2519
jdawg2519

Can anyone say "preorder?" or how bout, "show me the vids?"

sniperboy_recon
sniperboy_recon

Dude i just cant wait for this game.... its goin to be awsome.... its like COD4 with Rainbow 6 coverage Im also gonna see the movie!

wwefan20
wwefan20

give us vids its goanna be awesome

masterchief375
masterchief375

If this game is anything like Everything or Nothing I say they have a hit on their hands, but if not, let's keep our fingers crossed and hope they do the Bond franchise sum justice.

Jagrofess
Jagrofess

Looks like a nice next-gen Bond game, has the potential to shine...

pistolpowell
pistolpowell

Game looks like it has a chance. Although, i think that Goldeneye for N64 was the best! Especially considering when it was released and the system it was on. Just imagine if they remade it on the next gen systems! That would be sweet!

burnit2earnit
burnit2earnit

could be good considering it is using the cod4 engine and a team experienced with that engine

kweeni
kweeni

woa the graphics look sweet! but if they can make this game for ds, why no psp? why never psp?!

fowler84
fowler84

yea everything or nothing was the best

xXxilluzioNxXx
xXxilluzioNxXx

hmm a james bond game lets hope it doesn't suck this time.

Chilean_demon
Chilean_demon

I just hope they don´t dissapoint PC gamers with this game...after Ironman and Hulk both with SNES Graphic details. ninjasam: I don´t know if you really played CALL OF DUTY 3.....because we can call that games in different forms, but no one of them is MASTERMIND for TREYARCH. That game was really boring....made me played Call of duty 2 a long time, until they gave us Cal of Duty 4.

Virtual_Erkan
Virtual_Erkan

The best Bond game was Everything or Nothing. The best!!!

CyanideV
CyanideV

yeah, ive never been a fan of movie based games, but it looks cool

daveg1
daveg1

looks pretty good..bond games are usaly great..

DJFMBEN
DJFMBEN

Is this game using the GTA IV physics and graphics engine?(looks awsume but like wwng3 said the movie based videogames r weird lol just read he's comment)

wnng3
wnng3

I simply cringed when I read the phrase "for creative license, they added extra gameplay to this scene" One big part that really makes movie-based games suck is when the gameplay makes certain scenes from the movie drag on. Like when hours of gameplay are added to a scene from the movie that the main character walked outside to get the mail or got themselves a drink of water.

dsilent1
dsilent1

Hopefully, after a long time we'll get a good game based on a movie...cant wait for the opening chase from Casino Royale.

theQU35TI0N
theQU35TI0N

This game is an underdog... people think it'll suck cause its movie based lol... I think it'll be good... I'm excited to play it =)

Kashmiro
Kashmiro

Ok, this game looks really good... but Warriors was fun it followed the movie perfectly and played like Grand Theft Auto, that makes an awesome game! Goldeneye was the birth of console FPS the multiplayer was just awesome... sorry if you didn't have friends in the 90s or if you just weren't born...

ninjasam
ninjasam

Sorry to double post but also note that the game is being made but Treyarch, the masterminds behind call of duty 3.

ninjasam
ninjasam

mikethemonkey I hate to break it to you buddy, but Warriors and Goldeneye were NOT GOOD GAMES. Warriors you should have no defense for it was crap, you can put up an argument for golden eye though. Personally I hated the unfair design of characters and it lags a little. Controls were iffy because of the stupid design of the n64 controller

balanekk
balanekk

and LOrd Of the Rings games kicked f'ing ass

mikethemonkey
mikethemonkey

zoidsj you are STUPID! What about Goldeneye and Warriors. Did these games suck. Not all games based on movies suck.

zoidsj
zoidsj

i dont think it will be good did everyone forget that movie based games suck?

stankypastah17
stankypastah17

Everything the preview stated felt derivative and boring, I hope theres something to the game that can't be described properly on paper, because right now I'm already smacking myself in the face over another movie game.

Chilean_demon
Chilean_demon

I like the idea, it seems pretty nice have a Bond game....the only good part is TREYARCH....I still don´t trust this guy, the really make the worse CoD. But I think I will try this one.

DavidFry1
DavidFry1

Leaving the pc behind. Thiis week planning on getting a ps3.

geeko316
geeko316

COD4 was created by Infinity Ward, and this game by Treyarch. It may have the 'precious' COD4 engine running it, but it will only look as good as Treyarch can make it look. which so far is not that great. IW used the COD4 engine better IMO.

enix165
enix165

New Bond, you say? Another reason for me to get a PS3...better not be some junk game like a few Activision games I've seen. But it's Bond; how can it be terrible, unless they gorify it and add that 2-weapon rule from Halo and CoD? Hope the multiplayer Q-Claw's like it was in Agent Under Fire, hanging off ceilings out of view and picknig people off is fun...

xanisk89
xanisk89

All people saying the game looks bad...you realize it's running off your precious CoD4 engine you all hold in such high regard? Despite all that though....this game looks neat but I'm not so sure what'll happen with it. It could either be a great movie video game (not a great track record for this stuff) or it'll just be mediocre or flat our bad (more likely due to track record of this stuff). It does however look good.

Septim007
Septim007

Hmm, seems pretty cool. It sounds sort of like it might be a little bit like The Bourne Conspiracy. I hope not though. TBC was cool but I wouldn't buy it. I love Casino Royale so I'll keep an eye on this one.

ali_gholizadeh
ali_gholizadeh

wow i am just waiting to play it on ly XBO360 you know in my country (IRAN) games release later than other parts of world but still i am waiting for it.

killzone_gamer
killzone_gamer

I find it odd that this will not be going to PSP. It seems a good little game to be put on there. It's on my tracked list, I doubt I'll buy it, but nonetheless it looks like its worth a demo download.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Vicarious Visions is all about the handheld stuff man. :P

otanikun
otanikun

Another tie in game? To be expected, but I'm hoping this is fun at least, although I'd like to see a return to classic roots like in GoldenEye

undercover2784
undercover2784

yeah that comment was pretty irrelevant now that I think of it.

ish58
ish58

that is probably the stupidest comment i have ever seen before

Kiogora
Kiogora

This is gonna be so sick, but noone has more s.t.d's than James Bond, he sleeps with everyone

T1MBO
T1MBO

As far as i can recall, Bond has been the only good movie tie-in game i know. Hopefully Quantum Of Solace can keep this up! I loved Nightfire.

Rooster703
Rooster703

I really liked how Casino Royale turned out and cant wait for Quantum Solace, the game should be great since its combining the two.

Bnd13007
Bnd13007

Movie is going to be the best, game also!