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From Treyarch With Love: Quantum of Solace Reviewed

Over the past ten years, Agent 007 has been just as prolific in the gaming realm as he has been on the silver screen. With his penchant for weapons, exotic cars, and iconic locations, it’s easy to see how the James Bond character is well suited for gaming. However, attempts to recreate the 007 experience have ranged wildly over the years, from the high point of 1997’s Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64, to the desperate lows of 2004’s Goldeneye: Rogue Agent.

Recent attempts by Electronic Arts to capture the essence of Bond in the forms of Everything or Nothing and From Russia With Love have been competent, but not brilliant. This year, Activision acquired the 007 license and created the first now-gen Bond title using the Call of Duty 4 engine. Although it’s a fairly linear affair, it’s capable gameplay and excellent production values make this a solid choice for the James Bond fan.


                       These ‘gentlemen’ are about to meet the business end of an Heckler and Kock MP5

Quantum of Solace opens in the gardens of villain Mr. White’s European villa. Players are introduced to the basic mechanics of the game; the X button takes cover behind an object, while L1 looks down the line of sight, and R1 fires. Players can either pop out of cover to drop the numerous antagonists, or make use of the extremely accurate blind fire. Some might question the ease of Bond’s non-sighted targeting, but I found it added to the thrill of controlling MI-6’s top agent.

As the player vaults from one covered position to the next, I found the gameplay to be very reminiscent of the tactical combat displayed in Rainbow Six: Vegas. While Quantum is heavily scripted and predominantly linear, its enemy AI makes firefights intense and engrossing. Occasionally, enemies will attempt to flank the player, although their primary modus operandi is to take cover and fire at regular intervals. We only came across a few instances where our covered position wouldn’t let us return fire- for the most part the system worked remarkably well.  When not attacking the foes with ballistics, Bond can also engage enemies by sneaking up behind them and pressing R3 to initiate a quick time event. Forced stealth bits are also incorporated, but they are thankfully both short and mildly gratifying.


                                                              A typical day at the office for our man, James.

Although the title is based on the Call of Duty 4 engine, the title looks and plays like a direct descendant of the Rainbow Six linage. Instead on displaying the intricate textures found in Infinity Ward’s hallmark shooter, Quantum opts for a flatter look, albeit with a greater amount of on-screen geometry. While the framerate may not feel as buttery-slick as the 60 fps found in COD4, it’s typically steady at 30 frames per second. It’s clear that the developers wanted the explosions in QoS to feel as big as their cinematic counterparts- but large blasts often shake the screen in a violent, disorienting manner.

Developer Treyarch did an exceptional job of capturing the sound, look and feel of the film. From the solid voice acting work performed by Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Eve Green and Olga Kurylenko to the excellent sound work, QoS delivers. Helicopters roar believably, and a ring of a cell phone was captured so well, I paused the game, thinking it was an actual phone ringing. Even the mission debriefing cutscenes that play between levels are an excellent reproduction of a high-tech interface shown in the film.


                                      You’ve got something on your back, Tango. Let me take care of that for you.

Beyond the fourteen level single player campaign, players have a wealth of multiplayer options. Bond Evasion casts a random player as 007, while others are split between two teams- MI-6 agents protecting the spy, and Organization operatives out to kill him. Bond Versus gives everyone a chance at playing 007, while the others prohibit the agent from disarming a set of explosives. In the Golden Gun mode player vie for the opportunity to use the famous ‘one-shot, one-kill’ weapon. Between these unique game types, the now requisite conflict, classic, team conflict, and territory control options exist.

Just as Casino Royale rejuvenated the aging 007 film franchise, Quantum of Solace marks a triumphant return to form for the game series. Developer Treyarch has created a rare entity, a licensed game that truly captures the atmosphere and allure of the film. From the game’s Bond-worthy title sequence to the marquee voice talent and solid gameplay mechanics, Quantum is the best Bond game in years.

Good: Solid FPS, with a ton of multiplayer options, a better title song than that Jack White/Alicia Keys caterwauling.
Bad: The occasional pacifistic Bond, who refuses to shoot when behind cover.
Ugly:  Explosions that shake the whole screen like an old episode of Star Trek.


About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

73 comments

  1. Wow, great score. sounds like fun!

  2. LOL at the Star Trek reference.

  3. Damn, DE you know your guns. Are you a right-wing nut-job or something?

  4. What the hell does the title of the movie mean? Good review, though!

  5. Is multiplayer as good as COD4?

  6. Is the multiplayer any good?

  7. I expected this to be a stinking pile of shit. I guess it’s only a rancid puddle of piss, instead.

  8. That actually looks like the James Bond actor. I remember the older games did a really bad version of Pierce Brosnon.

  9. This is the best Bond game ever!

  10. I don’t know about the game, but I’m looking forward to the movie.

    $60 bucks right now is a lot of scratch.

  11. My friend got the game and said it’s pretty decent but not worth $60 more like $40 or so.

  12. I still need to see the movie. Nice review.

  13. bumpmaps uber alles.

  14. Thanks for the review. Definitely gonna rent Quantum of Solace. Keep up the good work.

  15. I’m not a fan of Casino Royale. I liked the old films better, but the game looks good.

  16. This is a support test. Please ignore.

  17. thanks for the review. Going to rent this soon.

  18. I rented this am am liking it so far.

  19. this one seems like a decent game to try out. ive played one of the old Bond games and i really like it. maybe i will for this one as well. good review. 😀

  20. Excellent review, DE!

  21. Ill definatly get this once it hits about 20 or so.

  22. I always thought Goldeneye: Rogue Agent wasn’t as bad as people make it out to be. I liked the powers, and thought it was a decent game with pretty good multiplayer.

    Sure, it wasn’t Super Mario Bros, but it was decent enough.

  23. Nice review. I personally found it more compelling than IGN review of this game. I might rent this.

  24. One of the best reviews Ive read on the game so far. I’ll still on the fence about this one.

    Looks like Treyach didn’t completely destroy this game, like many thought they would.

  25. Gameflyed it and completely agree. I got stuck a couple of times which was frustrating, but overall it was quite fun.

    BTW, I had a Sniper rifle and couldn’t get it to zoom more than the bumper allowed. How do you get a better zoom?

  26. I’ll get this game when it goes on sale.

  27. Very nice reviews and website. Quantum of Solace looks fun but sadly with Fallout, Gears and CoD out pretty much all the time i’m gonna skip this for now. I’ll check out the single player when then game drought comes early next year.

    Oh yea and i’m really looking to the movie. 🙂

  28. Even though this is using the CoD 4 engine, it doesn’t look all that great.

  29. I hope to get this game for xmas. Im a big JB fan.

  30. Solid rental. Not worth $60

  31. Normally I would not even consider playing this game however since I am a huge James Bond fan I will most likely rent the when my final exams are over in December and my semester comes to a close.

    Thank you for the review.

  32. Those explosions sound like cheesy N64 stuff. But overall, it looks like a really fun game. I wouldn’t mind trying it, but not at retail.

  33. looks very nice. Always a fan of 007

  34. If this game is anything like the movie, it’s going to rock but as mentioned by a previous poster, I plan on renting it and knocking it out within a week or so. Excellent review.

  35. Call of Duty: World at War is just around the corner so I have no idea why they would do that to one of their own games.

  36. I doubt this game will be as much fun as N64 GoldenEye. I’m hoping it can since I like this new Bond actor.

  37. Nice review! I’ve always liked the JB game franchise, and this looks like it’s worth a rental. Thanks DE!

  38. Enjoyed the review. I might have to check this game out.

  39. Excellent and fair review.

    Going to check this out.

  40. I thought From Russia with Love was an mess, with a bad framerate and boring sequences.

    I glad someone besides EA got the chance to make a Bond game. Makes me wonder what Activision would do with Madden football.

  41. Great review!

  42. I am excited about the game and the film. I’ll probably pick up the game on my way home from the theatre. I don’t want tio see any spoliers.

  43. pretty good looking game but sounds like ill wait for a price drop.

  44. Looks pretty good, but i’ll probably rent it after I see the movie. Also, I didn’t know Treyarch was making it!

  45. If you like Bond, you will like the game. Its a really decent shooter.

  46. Seems like a pretty sweet game. If I have time I’ll have to get to it.

  47. I am almost finished with the game, and recommended it.

  48. Looks like a great game, too bad I can’t afford it, haha.

  49. Looks like a good game but there’s many other good games out so I think I’m going to borrow it from a friend that I know is crazy about Bond games.

  50. Nice review, looks fun since it’s using Call of Duty’s engine.

  51. I’ve been thinking of picking this up, looks fun.

  52. This or COD: WOW, Activision wins either way.

  53. I have always loved the James Bond games. this is just one more to add to my collection.

  54. hmm i was thinkin about getting this. It looks good so far

  55. Goldeneye forever!

  56. i dont know…COD is wayyyy better.

  57. cool…theyr using COD engine
    should be fun

  58. Great review mate! It’s a nice change to read a review from a real gamer instead from those “Professional” ones.

    I was thinking about getting this game, due to the fact that it was made using the COD4 engine. After reading this review I think I might give it a rent.

  59. Just like the N 64 version of james Bond only better.

  60. I always fear for movie-based games, but I might check this one out.

  61. Nice to see a Bond game worth playing since the highly acclaimed and classic N64 Bond game.

  62. I’m big fan of 007 game series. We needed one on next gen consoles 2 years ago!

    My brother and I spend endless hours playing split screen on the original xbox, plus I’m a big fan of the COD4 engine, cover system games(Rainbow Six vegas/BIA: Hell’s Highway), and the always interesting Bond MP game modes.

  63. Isn’t this the first Bond game released in conjunction with a movie? That alone make me trepidatious.

  64. The game looks cool, but i def can’t wait to see this film.

  65. Im still waiting to see the movie. Nice score hope its a great game.

  66. Man, it looks great. I’ve seen the movie already so i’m really pumped to play the game!

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