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007 Legends Wii U review

Take a trip down memory lane with the 50-year-old spy who loved you

GoldenEye 007 was over a decade ago. Despite that, fans of the timeless N64 classic still cling to the hope that someone, at some point, will make a new Bond game that can hold a candle to Rare's defining title. Developer Eurocom's had plenty of attempts: it's been making Bond games since The World Is Not Enough on N64 in 2000.

A dozen years and five games later, we arrive at 007 Legends, a celebratory game marking Bond's golden anniversary. The premise is interesting. Unlike previous Bond games, instead of committing to the events of a single movie, 007 Legends plucks scenes out of six: Moonraker, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Die Another Day, Licence To Kill, Goldfinger and the newest flick, Skyfall.

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Each film gets its own mission, with multiple scenes in each that will have the nostalgia glands of long-time fans tingling furiously. Sounds great on paper, but this multi-plot setup is the cause for this game's first major flaw. There's simply no coherent plot to follow, nothing ties together.

One minute you're in a bedroom with a girl who appears to have been turned into solid gold, then you're skiing down mountains shooting at helicopters and then you're being airlifted into a complex of ancient ruins. There's no explanation of what's going on and nothing to connect each scene.

So, unless you've got 50-year-old Bond movies fresh in your memory, you won't have the foggiest idea what's happening. If you are a devout Bond fan, you'll despise the fact that Eurocom has recast Daniel Craig as Bond in all the classic films. Blond Bond on Goldfinger's laser slab? This is retconning of the worst kind.

The Spy Who Bored Me

The missions are equally flawed. What set GoldenEye apart in 1997 was that it made you feel like a cunning spy by giving you a variety of objectives and setting you loose in a range of hostile environments to figure things out largely for yourself. 007 Legends completely misses this point. Missions are essentially linear paths, with big white objective markers indicating where the game wants you to go and highlighting whatever button it wants you to press.

The objectives are spliced with 'investigative' scenes in which you're asked to track down secret doors, finger prints or safes to crack, but since these always lock you in a single room, there's very little actual investigating to do before you find what you're looking for and it's back to the Rambo-style gun battles.

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The core shooting gameplay can offer an enjoyable standoff or two, but it's an experience that is sadly marred by a string of technical shortcomings. The GamePad offers little to enhance the experience, with a small and all but useless map in the centre of the touchscreen and giant buttons down the left and right that offer slightly more convenient access to weapons and gadgets during shootouts. There's nothing revolutionary and no Wii Remote support.

The AI henchmen show little intelligence or self-preservation. They don't work together and lack general spatial awareness, blindly shooting at walls. Arguably, level textures this ugly do need killing. A levelling system that has players rank up to unlock new perks, weapons and gun attachments as they progress through missions feels out of place, like a shallow afterthought.

Occasional attempts at stealth are ruined by unintuitive level design and the inability to move corpses, which makes staying undercover almost impossible. Since the enemies are short a few brain cells you're always better off charging in guns blazing, while scripted fights are so easy they might as well be automatic.

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10 comments so far...
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  1. KH81314 Saturday 26th Jan 2013 at 07:20

    I haven't bought a video game based on a movie and I'm not gonna start now.

  2. Rainbow Shifter Saturday 26th Jan 2013 at 09:21

    Would you like to expand on that?

  3. MartinIsAwesome Saturday 26th Jan 2013 at 10:25

    I haven't bought a video game based on a movie and I'm not gonna start now.

    Y'know, not all film related games are bad. Sticking with Bond, Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough on the Nintendo 64 were both very good.
    And while I've not played a lot of movie tie-ins over the years, the ones I own have all been pretty good. Power Rangers The Movie on Megadrive for example is basically Streets of Rage with colour-coded teenagers with motocycle helmets.
    Also, I remember ONM one reviewed Kung-Fu Panda for Nintendo DS and praised it for being a pretty good Metroid clone.
    Don't rule out all movie games as terrible because there are a few gems out there.

  4. danbish Saturday 26th Jan 2013 at 15:20

    So much potential...utterly wasted.

  5. imbusydoctorwho Monday 28th Jan 2013 at 13:11

    Biggest disappointment of the year, for me.

  6. toffeeman30 Monday 28th Jan 2013 at 13:32

    this doesnt do the system a favour. nintendo should have stepped in and banned this game if its this bad. nintendo and bond usually go hand in hand

  7. dave666 Monday 28th Jan 2013 at 14:09

    This game is by no means terrible, it's just not that good either

    the problem here is that this game is clearly unfinished and should have not been released in this state. Eurocom have been making bond games for many years now and have always done a decent job, TWINE, Goldeneye wii, Nightfire, were all above average 007 titles and 007 legends was easily their most ambitious attempt thus far and I believe that if Eurocom had been given the time and resources needed this game would have been a classic.
    This saddens me a little because I have loved all bond games since Goldeneye 64 and was really excited for legends, especially after the awesome Goldeneye wii.

    So why would Eurocom just all of a sudden drop the ball after all these years, I think it might have something to do with the fact that the studio was on it's last legs coupled with the pressure from Activision to get 007 Legends out the door in time for the release of skyfall.

    But in spite of all it's short comings, I still enjoyed 007 Legends and if your a bond fan there is fun to be had. But I would only recommend this game to BOND FANS ONLY.


  8. Tams Monday 28th Jan 2013 at 17:46

    Not great to judge it by the trailer, but even the trailer looks bad. The animation looks clumsy and the background looks more detailed than the faces. The human models look like they are made of plasticine. The combat looks bland and there seems to be a lot 'preset' actions. It essentially looks like a poor COD mod. If even the trailer can't be made to look good, I don't have high hopes the game is good at all.

    I'm not a fan of COD like combat and I don't think Bond fits it well. I hope the weapons at least sound somewhat realistic, or at least not all sound the same. Not only that, there seems to be a lack of gadgets. Even Daniel Craig's Bond has some gadgets.

    What seems the worst, seeming as this is a Bond game, is that the Daniel Craig's Bond is everywhere. I disagree with dave666 here. I don't think this looks like a good game for Bond fans, even if you like some Bonds more than others. Perhaps it's better for COD fans who have a very cursory interest in Bond.

  9. dave666 Monday 28th Jan 2013 at 21:02


    the reason I recommend 007 Legends to bond fans is because I't gives you the chance to play through memorable bond moments, and as a bond fan myself I can't deny that this did put a smile on my face.

    I wouldn't recommend 007 legends to COD fans at all simply because if they want another good fps title they have plenty of other quality fps's to choose from.

    why would they need a below average 007 shooter ?

  10. Quantum Raven Saturday 2nd Mar 2013 at 12:01

    ONM just copied a review of the game on a rival format word for word so this is NOT a legitamite review and I think they should be forced to re-review it in the same way that they should be forced to re-review NSMBU because I got 007 Legends before this "review" even got published and I can safely say that 007 Legends is one of the best games I have ever played and just because a videogame is based on a movie (or in this case six movies) does NOT automatically mean it's rubbish because 007 Legends is a masterclass in showing that games suitable only for adults do not have to be ultra-violent and have blood geysering everywhere. It's not quite as good as Goldeneye 007 but 007 Legends does provide some solid action and a great gameplay experience.

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