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007 Legends is a first-person shooter video game featuring the character of British secret agent James Bond. It was developed by Eurocom and released by Activision on October 2012 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, November 2012 for Microsoft Windows and December 2012 for Wii U. The game is available as physical optical disc media, as well as a digital release download via PlayStation Network and Xbox Live Marketplace on date of release. It was removed off all other digital stores without warning. The PAL Wii U version of the game was released in some parts of Europe on 6 December 2012, and in the United Kingdom on 21 December 2012. The release was cancelled in Australia.
|Series||James Bond video games|
|Release||PlayStation 3 & Xbox 360|
The game was released to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of the James Bond film series. To achieve this the single player campaign includes one mission from each of the six actors' eras, being Goldfinger (Sean Connery), On Her Majesty's Secret Service (George Lazenby), Moonraker (Roger Moore), Licence to Kill (Timothy Dalton) and Die Another Day (Pierce Brosnan), with Skyfall (Daniel Craig) released as downloadable content for the Xbox 360, PS3 and PC and included on disc for the Wii U version. Additionally, some of the original talent from the films add their likenesses and voices to their associated characters. 007 Legends is the fourth and final James Bond game title released by Activision, the last game Eurocom developed before the company ceased operations and also the last James Bond video game to be available on home video game systems, to date. The game received generally unfavorable reviews from critics, according to Metacritic.
Being built on the engine used for Eurocom's previous title, 2011's GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, 007 Legends shares much of the same gameplay, though there are some notable additions and modifications. The most significant change is the greater focus on stealth-based play, with enemy AI being more suspicious and investigative. Throughout the campaign players will frequently be presented with situations that require stealth to get past, though often running-and-gunning will also be an option. To complement such stealth scenarios, players will have access to three gadgets from the start of the campaign: the returning smartphone, which has new vision modes and binocular capabilities; a new dart pen that can fire three different types of darts, including distraction, shock and tranquilizer darts; and a wristwatch that can track enemies and fire a laser and map nearby enemies and cameras.
Another notable addition is the incorporation of an XP (experience points) progression system. Players can use XP to unlock and/or upgrade gadgets, weapons (and attachments) and Bond's physical abilities. Other notable points include there being at least one vehicle-based level in each of the missions, a new free-form melee function that enables players to control punches with the analogue sticks and new weapons. As with the MI6 Ops Missions mode from GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, Challenges will present extra missions based on assault, elimination, stealth and defence-based objectives, with adjustable difficulty. New to this mode will be the option to play special missions for some of the villains and companions from the single player. Players' scores will be uploaded onto online leaderboards.
Multiplayer is supported across all platforms. 4-player split-screen is available for local offline play while online play will have capacity for up to 12 players in a match. Players' multiplayer experience are indicated by their level, such as Level 50 (00 Agent Grade 0). There is also a 00 Specialization mode, similar to Call of Duty's Prestige system[vague]. Character skins and maps from the single player are available to players. Players can also equip gadgets to enhance their abilities, such as the Fast Switch gadget which halves the time it takes to switch weapons. Scenarios revealed are Conflict, Golden Gun, You Only Live Twice, Escalation, Data Miner, Team Conflict, Icarus and Black Box.
The game begins with the opening chase sequence in Skyfall, in which MI6 agent James Bond (likeness of Daniel Craig, voice of Timothy Watson) pursues the mercenary Patrice in Istanbul, only to be accidentally shot and wounded aboard a train by his partner Eve Moneypenny. Plunging into the river below, Bond begins to flash back to several of his previous missions that took place in-between Quantum of Solace and Skyfall.
In Miami, Bond awakens in a hotel room to find Jill Masterson dead from skin suffocation, coated in gold paint. Days later in Switzerland, Bond infiltrates the facility of Auric Goldfinger, the man responsible for Masterson's death. He discovers Goldfinger's plan to irradiate the United States Gold Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky in Operation Grand Slam. Bond manages to convince Goldfinger's personal pilot, Pussy Galore, to inform the CIA, and he and the United States Army manage to thwart Goldfinger's scheme in the nick of time.
In the Swiss Alps, Bond and his lover Contessa Teresa "Tracy" di Vicenzo, daughter of Italian Unione Corse boss Marc-Ange Draco, escape via skis after an attack by soldiers of Ernst Stavro Blofeld, a terrorist mastermind residing in his mountaintop lair, Piz Gloria. Bond is injured by a helicopter gunship during the gunfire, and Tracy is in turn captured by Blofeld's men. Sometime later, Bond and Draco lead an aerial attack on Piz Gloria in order to rescue Tracy. They succeed. However, on their honeymoon, Bond and Tracy are attacked by Blofield and the latter is killed.
Bond finds his CIA agent friend Felix Leiter maimed in his house alongside his dead wife. The man responsible is Franz Sanchez, a Mexican drug lord whom Bond and Leiter had unsuccessfully attempted to take down weeks earlier. On a quest for vengeance, Bond and DEA agent Pam Bouvier infiltrate Sanchez's facility inside an old Otomi temple, intent on killing him. A car chase ensues, and Bond kills Sanchez with the lighter given to him by Felix when Bond found him on the floor.
In Iceland, Bond and NSA agent Giacinta "Jinx" Johnson arrive at a party held by billionaire philanthropist Gustav Graves, who is believed to be involved in the theft of military satellite components. Jinx spots Zao, a rogue Korean People's Army operative who killed two of Jinx's colleagues, and believes he may be involved. They learn that Graves plans to weaponize ICARUS, a satellite used to reflect sunlight, in order to destroy South Korean forces on the DMZ, opening the way for a North Korean invasion of the South. Bond and Jinx manage to board Graves' plane after a lengthy car chase with their Aston Martin DBS V12, killing Zao in the process. The ensuing firefight causes the plane to head downwards in a tailspin, but Bond manages to kill Graves and escape with Jinx.
In Brazil, Bond and Holly Goodhead, a NASA scientist moonlighting as a CIA agent, infiltrate the rocket launch facility of Hugo Drax (portrayed by Michael Lonsdale), a billionaire industrialist who has started his own private space exploration program. They quickly learn that Drax, a twisted social darwinist, intends to wipe out the human race while creating his own new 'master race' from personally selected specimens, spared from the destruction of Earth via biological weapons on-board Drax's personal space station. Bond and Goodhead manage to get on board the station via a shuttlecraft and proceed to destroy it, killing Drax in the process by blowing him out of an airlock.
Back in the present, Bond regains consciousness on the river bank, injured, but alive. A few days later, he is seen in Shanghai following Patrice to prevent the assassination of an unknown figure, which 007 succeeds in and kicks Patrice off a building to his death before Bond can learn of his employer's identity. After finishing his report to M through a phone call, he is informed by Tanner that another mission awaits him.
007 Legends was developed to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise. It incorporates the stories of six Bond films, one film chosen from each Bond actor's series of films, and retells them with an overarching narrative that ties them together, that of the progression of James Bond, from a newly christened agent on through becoming experienced as 007. The player goes through the classic Bond missions in the game playing as the Daniel Craig incarnation of Bond, as along the lines of the 2010 remake of GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo Wii, and the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 port called GoldenEye 007: Reloaded. At the announcement of the game on 18 April 2012, publisher Activision did not comment on which films would be remade in the game, but said that the upcoming Skyfall would serve as the final portion of the game.
Moonraker was the first mission of the game to be revealed, while the second mission is based on the film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Goldfinger is the opening mission of the game, while Licence to Kill, and Die Another Day also feature in the story. The only mission that is not on the game disc itself is the "Skyfall" mission, which was released on 20 November 2012 as free downloadable content (DLC), since 007 Legends was released one week before Skyfall was first released in theaters. The Skyfall DLC is available for PlayStation 3, PC and the Xbox 360 and is included on the disc on the Wii U. Bruce Feirstein, who wrote three films and four games in the James Bond universe, wrote the screenplay along with Robin Matthews, who works for Eurocom.
The composers from a previous release in the series, GoldenEye 007, returned to do the music score for 007 Legends. Kevin Kiner wrote and composed the soundtrack, while David Arnold wrote his own instrumental arrangement of Goldfinger for the main title sequence.
IGN accused the game of drowning out the Bond series' iconic moments by shoehorning them into a cheap and poorly made Call of Duty clone, further adding that the gameplay was boring and repetitive and that production had only made a half-hearted attempt to bind the chosen recreation of films together, and that the lack of overarching story offered little incentive to keep playing. Game Informer was similarly critical of the game, describing it as "a mess of a title that's uninspired at best and nearly broken at worst", and while the review applauded the concept of remaking films in video game form, it also attacked the gameplay mechanics as overly-simplistic with the player following on-screen prompts to perform certain actions, which was broken up by "truly awful" stealth gameplay.
The Globe and Mail questioned the choice of missions in the game, claiming that fans considered them to be among the worst installments in the Bond film franchise, and that the game threw players into the middle of missions with little explanation or context to them, concluding that the game "feels like a low-budget knockoff of [...] Call of Duty". IT News Africa's Frederick Charles Fripp thought that "it could have been a better game if Eurocom focused more on improving the graphics and changing the game dynamic from a fairly linear shooter to something a bit more complex and through-provoking. [sic]" He added that "it does become a bit repetitive after a while, especially if the player does not feel challenged."
More positive reviewers, such as Sean Colleli from Gaming Nexus, recognised the ambitious six-film scope of the project (in comparison to Eurocom's 2011 success with the single storyline retold and reimagined in GoldenEye 007 - Reloaded) and praised a lot of the gameplay developments, noting that the gadgets "get a decent amount of use, and don't border on the absurd or impractical" and concluding that "gameplay is a bit of a mixed bag overall, but it definitely skews toward the better. It has GoldenEye's pedigree in it, and I applaud Eurocom for trying new things and taking risks". Some praise was given to the game's split-screen multiplayer modes, with IGN points out that localized split-screen was a feature that had been frequently overlooked in first-person shooter games, before adding that there was little to separate the multiplayer of 007 Legends from that of the GoldenEye 007 remake.
Due to the reception, and lowering sales of console games, Eurocom in 4Q/2012, fired 150 people from a total of 200 staff, and decided to focus on mobile games. On 4 January 2013, Activision and Steam's online stores pulled the PC versions of Quantum of Solace, Blood Stone and 007 Legends without explanation or warning. Similar actions followed shortly on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, also affecting GoldenEye 007: Reloaded. 007 Legends was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Video Game Writing in the Writers Guild of America Awards.
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