007 Legends Review

A cast of five famous Bond villains conspire against you in 007 Legends, but the uninspired gameplay is your true nemesis.

Eurocom's 007 Legends is a game about falling. We see it in the way the opening minutes feature Daniel Craig's James Bond plummeting into a river after a friendly sniper accidentally shoots him off a speeding train, and we experience it in the way this latest installment in the long-running franchise reveals a fall from the innovations of 1997's GoldenEye 007 to Legends' tired mimicry of Call of Duty's core gunplay. This is a game that gets to run with Bond's legacy from half a century of cinema and yet stumbles on its face everywhere it should have broken into a sprint. It trips over shoddy AI and laughable stealth mechanics, it slips on boring boss fights and near-absent exposition, and while it benefits from decent multiplayer and challenge modes, these diversions never allow Legends to pick itself back up.

Know the context? If not, Legends never really tells you.

It's a shame, since 007 Legends has some rich source material to work with. Legends' patchwork story draws from iconic films such as Goldfinger, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, License to Kill, Die Another Day, and Moonraker, but with Sean Connery, Pierce Brosnan, and other famous agents swapped out for the dour mug of Daniel Craig, pitifully voiced by Timothy Watson. Some iconic moments lurk about the carnage (including Goldfinger's famed "I expect you to die" speech while a laser threatens Bond's privates), but they feel forcibly stuffed into the humdrum, repetitive levels and their mediocre gunplay. True, there are flashes of fun, such as a firefight outside the gates of Fort Knox, but it doesn't take long to realize that every level invariably involves sending Bond into a famous enemy's lair with guns blazing, using his often anachronistic smartphone to hack or capture data with tedious minigames, and then capping off the level with a quick-time fistfight against the likes of Oddjob or Franz Sanchez.

That's not to say that Eurocom doesn't make a few attempts to add some variety to the gameplay, but they're halfhearted at best, and taken together, they easily constitute the game's worst moments. It's most apparent in Legends' simple stealth mechanics, which consist of little more than crouching and walking quietly, and the failure of the concept becomes all too apparent as soon as you off a thug and realize that you can't do anything with his body. Therefore, the stealth sequences play as though on a timer, with Bond picking off as many enemies as he can with a silenced weapon or his one-hit melee punches before a patrolling guard stumbles across one of the bodies.

In most cases, in other words, you're probably better off just going in with guns blazing anyway. The only complication is that 007 Legends includes mandatory stealth sequences that strip Bond of usable weapons and end in instant failure if he's seen by any guard. That might not be such a bad idea, were it not for the fact that Bond has no way to peek around corners (although he can peek over ledges, provided you can get the prompt to work).

Even infiltrating the amazing lairs of Bond villains is boring in 007 Legends.

Yet at least with the stealth mechanics, there's still a dash of skill involved. That's why it's so disappointing that the aforementioned fisticuffs are so bland; you can likely go through every one the campaign throws at you without ever seeing an enemy get a hit in. In theory, at least, the ability to use your controller's trigger to avoid incoming blows renders these fights a bit more complex than the average quick-time event, but the prompts to pummel your opponent with the analog sticks last long enough that you're not likely to miss in the first place. Even the most challenging sequences last less than half a minute.

Repeat this scenario for five hours, and you've experienced 007 Legends' campaign. It's an unfulfilling slog, particularly since levels spend little to no time on exposition out of an apparent conviction that Legends' players have seen all the movies anyway, and it's made all the worse by the way the action comes to a dead halt after the Moonraker level. It won't always be thus--the idea is to release the Skyfall episode as downloadable content around the time of the film's theatrical release in early November--but Legends gives you little reason to look forward to capping off this hodgepodge saga. The visuals look as dated as some of the early Bond movies, the enemy AI sometimes runs into walls or fires directly into obstacles, and the frame rate occasionally dives into what feels like the single digits.

If 007 Legends has any redeeming quality, it's in its multiplayer mode. Gone is the tiresome stealthy gameplay of the campaign; instead, this mode has 12 arenas for 8 to 12 players that focus on such Bond-themed objectives as killing enemy players with Goldfinger's golden gun or retrieving data from a downed spy plane, all while capering around as iconic Bond personalities. It's a pity, then, that there's no one around. Only a week after Legends' release, the servers are consistently empty, which makes the return of the beloved four-player split-screen mode from GoldenEye 007: Reloaded all the more worthwhile. Decent, too, is Legends' Challenge mode with its specific objectives, which adds some meaning and urgency to campaign levels that were too dull in their own right.

International espionage? There's an app for that.

To say that 007 Legends is a disappointment is to be kind, especially after Eurocom's commendable efforts with last year's GoldenEye 007: Reloaded. Legends could have been a memorable release that reminds us why we've loved Ian Fleming's famous spy for more than 50 years, but somehow it manages to earn its place as what may be the most lackluster Bond game to date. Missed opportunities cower in every corner, ranging from an irreverence toward the subject matter in the disjointed story to the absence of familiar voices, and the gameplay feels like it started life as an amateur Bond-themed Call of Duty mod. The options offered by the multiplayer and challenge modes might entice some of the most devoted Bond fans, but for the majority of players, this seemingly rushed world won't be enough.

The Good
Local, split-screen multiplayer mode can be fun
The Bad
Horrible stealth mechanics
Punch-Out-style boss fights are dull
Lackluster presentation
Story is hard to follow if you're unfamiliar with the movies
3.5
Bad
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for 007 Legends

About the Author

Leif Johnson (pronounced "Layf") is a freelance writer whose works have appeared on GameSpot, IGN, PC Gamer, Official Xb

Discussion

0 comments
survivor9712
survivor9712

is it me or does it say minus comments 0_o

Xero1246
Xero1246

"and the gameplay feels like it started life as an amateur Bond-themed Call of Duty mod"--- I have always said it that Activision Bond games feel like COD with James Bond skins...

indzman
indzman

best bond games : goldeneye,nightfire,everything or nothing,blood stone,goldeneye reloaded

JFlame44
JFlame44

Okay, i made a horrible mistake of buying this game. The problems I have faced have discouraged me from ever even trying another title again. Goldeneye 007 *Reloaded* has been jewel, as well Nightfire, but this let me down. It was a horrible stealth mechanic, move one step out of cover and your F***ed. Suddenly you have a hoard of guards running at you, and you die, to try again another 50 times. There were a few entertaining moments like shooting down a tank, and escaping an avalanche on her majesties secret service, but once again, they were short lived. I since have had this collecting dust on my office shelf, next to other letdowns like lost planet 2. Whatever you do, don't buy this. With Far Cry 3 now out and plenty of other juicy releases like AC3, this is DEFINITELY not worth it.

Rivboets7
Rivboets7

It's a shame, I really liked the 007 games up until Quantum of Solace.  I'd say my favorite was Nightfire or Everything or Nothing.

Ezioprez9709
Ezioprez9709

Wow I'm really disapointed with this....

Hanzoadam
Hanzoadam

I'm renting it at the moment Its a lot of fun Deserves alot more than 3.5

alexstgo27
alexstgo27

el juego se salvó por el multijugador.  pero la campña esta mal para los fanaticos de James Bond por el sentido de ver a Daniel Craig haciendo la pasadas peliculas.  Hubiera sido mejor con los que tambien dieron vida al personaje de James Bond como Roger Moore y Pierce Brosman (Die Another Day)

_Alpha_Omega_
_Alpha_Omega_

3.5???? but the trailer looks promising, except the graphic....

nintendoboy16
nintendoboy16

Aw man, I love Eurocom's remake of Goldeneye 007 on Wii (something I still play sometimes). What went wrong here?

Zonno
Zonno

It's a shame licenses with such great potential (especially James Bond: stealth espionage, action, fancy gadgets, cinematics, gunfights, story arcs, vehicles, women) are executed as such (3.5 says it all) so often. Heck, for all I know it could be the new Metal Gear Solid.

 

Everything or Nothing, Nightfire and of yourse Goldeneye were pretty good when they were released. I'd love to see developers continue from there.

Haller
Haller

Goldfinger's golden gun? Just because they have the word gold in it doesn't mean the two things are related. Two different movies with two different actors as Bond.

brok
brok

Anyone surprised by this verdict has nobody to blame but themselves. I've said it before and I'll say it again- Eurocom's last decent Bond game was TWINE. They didn't even have the decency to rip the bots out of TWINE or Nightfire and put them in here? Pathetic. And for crying out loud, can they PLEASE find a different version of the Bond theme to blast out in every single bleeding trailer they make?

QOSMSTR
QOSMSTR

Great review! Had a feeling it wasn't going to turn out how i hoped.

entereddanny
entereddanny

I really can't appreciate playing through Goldfinger, License to Kill and Die Another Day with Daniel Craig.

Electrum78
Electrum78

I love how brutal Gamespot are!

True gamers here

killip
killip

Can't say I'm suprised, I had a feeling it was going to end up a bit rotten. Still, Blood Stone was a great game.

jake44
jake44

I don't see why everyone is making fun of the game...It's almost as good as Resident Evil 6.

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

still gettin it....though not right now :p

 

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

There's something seriously lame about the idea of James Bond using a cell phone as some sort of omni-gadget. Really, really lame.

Kaz32
Kaz32

Hm, heheheheh, HAHAHAHAHAHA! I knew this would suck!

Sardinar
Sardinar

Developers are no longer afraid of consciously releasing shitty games just for the sake of making some money.

xolivierx
xolivierx

when I read the score I actually laughed HAHA...and to think I had previously thought this game could be interesting lol....bond died when the N64 was no more

mikezer0
mikezer0

Still a better game than Resident Evil 6.

bayernfan
bayernfan

Do not know about this one, but if you want a Bond experience in gaming, Everything or Nothing (Pierce Brosnan, Willem Defoe, Judy Dentch, John Cleese) will give you your fill.

starduke
starduke

Okay, just one thing...when has 007 ever really sneaked around? I've seen all the movies, except Skyfall, and it seems like his style is more "in your face" then sneaky.

tibbydriver0540
tibbydriver0540

Got it from Gamefly today. Played it for about 20 minutes. Put it back in its envelope and its in the mail already.Horrible game. if you want a decent Bond game try Bloodstone.

Xero1246
Xero1246

Agree with you mate those were EA bond games......EA did a much better job than Activision

franu
franu

 @alexstgo27 No viejo, el juego es malo aun sin Bond. Daniel Craig es un maestro. Pero no es un juego asqueroso por eso.

mr_gibberish
mr_gibberish

 @parrot_of_adun I know you wrote this some time ago but yet I want to say I feel the same way too! It is so weird that he uses his smartphone for everything. It was the same in the GoldenEye remake. There is that club level where you have to use it to do face recognition. M says down the phone, "Use the app" almost to say, "there is an app for that!" I understand in the modern day the whole concept on gadgets are not really.....well..... A concept any longer. Plus everyone has gadgets now with their phones, tablets etc and not just for the amazing spy or super solider. It just all became a bit too tongue in cheek! But this feels so pasted on as a easier way out kind of method. Plus Bond does not seem as cool with just a Smart phone. Yeah gadgets might not work for the new Bond films any longer but this is a video game and it should be seen differently!

suplax
suplax

@Gelugon_baat

You can't be that dumb... it's unbearable to even think about it. Leif Johnson is a freelancer right ???

Can you please tell me the name of the corporation who hired him to do the review ?!? Oh... right it's at the top of your internet web browser right now....

A company takes full credit or demerit for his employees , freelancer or not.

 

Kaz32
Kaz32

 @mikezer0 Warfighter, 007 Legends and Black Ops 2 sucks. RE6 is actually better than these piles of dogshits. Just see the IGN score, don't spew bullshits here.

 

Or, if you want great games, wait for Assassins Creed 3, Farcry 3, Hitman Absolution or buy either a 3DS or PSvita and buy Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward.

3v1LR0n1N
3v1LR0n1N

 @bayernfan

 nice i was just thinking the same thing..though i thought bloodstone was a great one too....even though its pretty short :p

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

 @starduke He's sneaked plenty. It just happens that pugilism and fire end up solving more problems.

JuanGonDiri
JuanGonDiri

 @starduke He does a fair amount of sneaking in most of his movies. There's just more of the 'in your face' style than the sneakiness. EG sneaking into the dam in goldeneye.....then blowing up the weapons plant.

alexstgo27
alexstgo27

 @franu bueno es tu opinion y la mia es la hubieran hecho mejor con los verdaderamente protagonizaron las peliculas del juego.  Gracias

 

tankraul
tankraul

@alexstgo27 @franu El problema para mi es Activision, Eurocom hizo un buen trabajo cuando estaban con EA en TheWorldIsNotEnough para N64, para mi los mejores son Goldeneye64, TWINE 64, Nightfire PS2/GC, EON PS2, Quantum of solace, y Bloodstone, que fue el ultimo bueno.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

 @suplax I suppose that's likely the disconnect we're seeing here; I can't say that GS would choose a freelance article for the nature of its subjectivity. That is, I doubt they make such choices based on the congruity of opinions. If anything, GS seems unusually inclined toward representing myriad opinions, where possible.

 

Therefore, we get reviews that often seem contradictory. But it seems important to understand that for GS, no review can be qualified by another, and no opinion is tantamount to authority. The greatest value we derive from a review, after all, should be the objective. Not the opinion of they who composed said review, but the picture painted between the (potentially)biased lines.

suplax
suplax

 @parrot_of_adun No problem at all mate , everyone has the right to express yourself.

I do understand the differences , but even if GS hired him , even if for a short amount of time it's because GS approve his work and opinion as if he was part of GS staff himself , otherwise they wouldn't publish , right ? 

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

 @suplax He was *employed* by GS. This, a staff member makes not.

 

A staff member is always an employee, but an employee isn't necessarily a staff member. They are not synonyms, and are thus not interchangeable (else wise "staff" wouldn't exist in this fashion). This is not something against which you can argue with any reason.

 

Sorry, just thought I'd throw my two cents in.

suplax
suplax

 @Gelugon_baat Sigh... if he is a freelancer he is the staff member for whoever pays him....

If Gamespot "hired" him its because GS approved his opinion right ? So if he fails , it's GS fault , simple logic.

Hermes33
Hermes33

 @Gelugon_baat  @suplax People who have a need to state "I'm not dumb" on the internet are exactly the same as those who say "I'm not crazy"... you work it out.

 

PS: unfortunately suplax, everyone here knows Gelugon_baat does nothing but sit on the GS forums all day and will NEVER admit he's wrong about anything - it's always everyone else is wrong, never him. Don't worry about it, he's clearly an insecure damaged person with mental issues; best to ignore him mate!

Kaz32
Kaz32

 @Pr0ving4Gr0undz  And no, I haven't played Black Ops 2, Warfighter or 007 Legends at all. I played RE6. Those other games I look at in DSP's playthrough. Here's 007 Legends. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOSyAlOOs0M

Here's Warfighter. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o1dgbdqxaQ

 

He played and love RE6 out of all these other games and you'll see why from his playthrough. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nX-7RKybsiU&feature=relmfu&noredirect=1

Here is his review.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_MY3BRrE1g

Kaz32
Kaz32

 @Pr0ving4Gr0undz  Because from the gameplay videos alone it's STILL Call of Duty with the improvements being futuristic gadgets only. I mean come on, there's already Battlefield 2142 with that awesome battleship fight segment.

 

I also know that these 3 fps games are only 5 hours long, while Resident Evil 6 is 30+ hours long on singleplayer alone, so it's definitely a better buy than these 3 fps.

 

And the game that I'm looking forward to is Virtue's Last Reward. If you have played 999 you'll definitely love that game. Impressive especially considering it's a portable game.

007 Legends More Info

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  • First Released
    • PC
    • PS3
    • + 2 more
    • Wii U
    • Xbox 360
    007 Legends ties together five classic Bond movies and his latest outing, Skyfall, in one video game.
    5.2
    Average User RatingOut of 178 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate 007 Legends
    Developed by:
    Eurocom Entertainment Software
    Published by:
    Activision
    Genres:
    Shooter, Action, Team-Based, First-Person, 3D
    Content is generally suitable for ages 13 and up. May contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling and/or infrequent use of strong language.
    Teen
    All Platforms
    Blood, Drug Reference, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence