Of course, it should also be said that it’s no good having that power if you’re not always sure how to use it. There are moments where Quantum of Solace looks fantastic – the character models look believable, the environments and lighting mesh together and the scenery packs in plenty of detail. There are also, however, a lot of moments where you feel like you’re looking at a first generation 360 game; times when wishy-washy textures, poor animation and boxy, uninspired environments spoil the party. And what on Earth have they done to Daniel Craig? I know he’s not supposed to be the tallest chap around, but in some sequences Bond looks like a weird little goblin in a Daniel Craig rubber mask. Come on Treyarch, did the twits from DanielCraigisNotBond.com put you up to this? Still, the music is – as you might expect – excellent and the voice work from Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench and others helps give the game a slightly more convincing Bond feel.
All in all, I’d say that Quantum of Solace is one for rental only were it not for one thing: the multiplayer game. It helps that the feel is sort of CoD4 lite, but the game has a few interesting game modes all its own. You’ll be familiar with the usual deathmatch, team deathmatch and control point options, all reworked in an ‘Organisation vs Mi6’ style, but Quantum of Solace also throws in Bond Versus, where one player plays Bond as a kind of one-man Counter-Strike team while all the other players try to eliminate him, Bond Extraction, where the Mi6 team helps Bond escape from the map, and Golden Gun – a variation on the classic Goldeneye play style. Here players vie over one super weapon, the catch being that the wielder of the Golden Gun instantly becomes visible on everyone’s radar. It’s a lot of fun, and while the odds in the Bond Versus mode at first seem heavily weighted against the player in the Daniel Craig skin, you can be surprised. With a Bond player who sneaks and snipes effectively, Bond Versus can be a real thriller. If nothing else, it’s a great test for the hardcore FPS player who feels they can wipe the floor with anyone and everyone.
On the downside, the multiplayer mode does feature some of the ugliest maps I’ve seen in a commercial FPS game for some time (did anyone really think the Barge level looked acceptable?) and the animation of the Mi6 agents and Organisation troops is really weird at times. Why are they all doing the same camped-up imitation of a Thunderbirds puppet? Still, multiplayer Quantum of Solace is entertaining. Whether there’s really room for it in with Gears of War 2, Resistance 2 and Call of Duty: World at War imminent remains to be seen.
Still, it’s enough to give Quantum of Solace a slight boost. By no means is this a bad game, but given the riches pouring down on us at the moment you’d have to be Bond mad to justify buying it. Millions of people, caught up in Bond hysteria or just looking for a game with a recognisable name will probably do just that and come away feeling reasonably happy, but if you already know your Call of Duty from your Gears of War then there are better ways to spend your money right now.
Quantum of Solace is a solid but slightly old-fashioned FPS that doesn’t do as much as it might with the Bond material. Entertaining, but rather unimpressive.