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Saturday | August 18, 2018
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Quantum Of Solace (PS3)

Quantum Of Solace (PS3)

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Quantum Of Solace puts you in control of James Bond as you dish out pain and punishment to everyone who stands in your way. It takes the Call of Duty 4 engine and adds a few extras to help it try and stand out from the crowd. Have we finally got a Bond game as good as the awesome Goldeneye of yesteryear?

As would be expected Quantum Of Solace is played from a first person perspective however the biggest change from the Call of Duty 4 structuring is that developer Treyarch have decided to include a cover system which is reminiscent of Gears Of War. When this happens the game reverts temporarily to third person view.

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It works under the principle that any surface can be stuck to by pressing X and you can dash into cover by holding the button. This cover system is not entirely useless in its implementation however it is certainly not always intuitive. There are also times when the object in front of you should offer cover but James Bond will not duck behind it. Quite why this would be I can only put down to careless coding and play testing.

More problems occur with the cover system in that all the levels are focused around this mechanic. This means that the free flowing nature of the game is ruined by the stop and pop game play. The combat can at times be bland and monotonous.

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It isn’t all bad however because there are occasions when the game reaches beyond the mundane and delivers an exciting fps experience. The level design is pretty good as the developers have varied the environments incorporating rain and other variables. They certainly aren’t groundbreaking (and are at times a little clichéd) but at least some effort was placed into the work.

The game mechanics also tend to fall short of the mark. The hacking mini game for example where you need to match directional button presses and the quicktime melee events are mind numbingly boring.

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Graphically the game varies in quality from distinctly average to rather impressive. The environments for example are nicely detailed and the Daniel Craig bond character is well rendered. Unfortunately the enemies are haphazardly put together and they all look unrealistically identical. Sadly while they look the same their AI and actions are also cut and pasted. After playing a few levels it is clear that there has only been a limited amount of AI coded and that all the rolls and jumps and cover moves follow through the whole game. Obviously while we can’t expect a huge plethora of animations for every individual I would have liked to experience more than just a handful of preset animations.

The graphic shortcomings carry over into other parts of the design, such as the explosions, which while plenty are all unfortunately poorly animated. It also bears the question, why would you have 40 explosive canisters in a museum or hospital in the first place?

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Even with all the shortcomings I did enjoy most of the game, but shockingly I had it completed in just over 4 hours. If you have seen both Casino Royale and Quantum Of Solace then you will notice that many of the environments appear to have been lifted from the first movie and actually not QoS. This gives me the impression that the game was actually started some time ago then a few of the later levels were built to pad it out for release with the new name. Call me a sceptic.

Multiplayer is catered for with a variety of options. Golden Gun mode will be familiar to those who have played a Bond game before. Then we have a mode where both teams have to protect a Bond VIP which is good fun. Multiplayer actually works better than I thought it would and the PS3 connections never seemed to suffer much from lag which was good to see. Unfortunately there is a very poor multiplayer reward mechanic with only standardised cash and weapon unlocks being offered.

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At the end of the day Quantum of Solace is a pretty decent game but it is hard to recommend because so many parts of it are regurgitated from other games we have all played so many times before. It is also very short, offering around 5 hours of single player missions, most of which appear to be based on the last movie. The cover system is a nice idea poorly executed and I wish if developers were introducing this that they would at least spend some time play testing and fine tuning it before release. Nothing is more annoying that running up to an object for cover only to find you are still standing upright while getting shot in the head multiple times.

The collector’s edition we have on review today comes housed in a gold tin. There is an additional bonus disc with a behind the scenes feature and a voucher to get one from a selection of Old Bond movies for 3 dollars less. It all seems rather poor value for an additional 10 dollars. If you must get this game then I advise you to wait until it drops in price then purchase the ordinary edition. Either that or rent it over a weekend, it proves to be much better value that way.

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Shooting and killing bad guys is fun, but the cover system is flawed and sometimes annoying.
Environmental detail can be nice but the character models and detail effects are subpar.
Daniel Craig handles the voice and the score is typical Bond. Works well.
4-5 hours of single player, then it’s up to whether you find the multiplayer entertaining or not.
(Not an Average)
A respectable, short lived game which does nothing to distinguish itself from the masses.

About Author

Stuart Davidson

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