From Russia With Love is EAs latest James Bond game and uses the same third-person perspective as the last good Bond game, Everything or Nothing. Rather than an original story like EoN, From Russia With Love is based on the 1963 film of the same name. Solid gameplay, nice graphics and sound, and Sean Connery himself providing the voice for Bond are the high points here, but there are a lot of little annoyances that sour the experience.
The story in the movie followed James Bond as he travels to meet with a Russian defector who wants to turn over a Russian cipher machine called a Lektor to MI6. It turns out to be a trap, however, and the evil crime syndicate SPECTRE is behind it. From there the movie is typical Bond car chases, shootouts, and beautiful women.
The videogame version of From Russia With Love tells the same basic story but a few changes were made. Some major sequences from the movie were altered to fit the game or cut out entirely which is sure to upset a lot of die hard Bond fans. Also, SPECTRE is known as Octopus in the game for some reason which is a bit of a turn off as well. For the most part, though, the game is filled with all of the little Bond-isms that fans have come to expect. It would have been better if the game was more faithful to the movie, but it is still enjoyable overall.
As far as gameplay goes, From Russia With Love is very similar to EoN. You lock onto enemies and pull the trigger until they are dead, basically. You can also use cover and peek around corners and lock onto enemies and Bond will shoot over his shoulder among other nifty tricks. You can also manually target for headshots or to disable an enemys radio. In addition to an arsenal that includes a pistol, shotgun, rocket launcher, and more, there are also gadgets such as a laser watch and a little remote controlled helicopter. You can also rappel up and down certain points of levels in order to get around obstacles, but there isnt anything as thrilling as the rappelling sections from EoN.
All of that stuff you can do is really neat the first couple of times, but From Russia With Love never gives you much reason to use them. You can just run and gun through the entire game without breaking a sweat because the enemies are morons. Also, your hand is held through situations where you have to use gadgets and you never really get to experiment and figure things out on your own. This game is too easy and mindless and the experience is definitely the worse for it.
There are also vehicle sections in the game, but none of these are anywhere near as good as some of the sequences in EoN. Youll drive cars and a speedboat as well as a jetpack, but the controls for all three are pretty loose and the levels just arent that satisfying. Combat in these levels consist of just holding down the shoot button until things blow up. Just like in the on foot missions, the AI poses virtually no threat so the vehicle sections are ultimately pretty boring.
There are still quite a few good moments in From Russia With Love, though, so the gameplay isnt a total loss. If you are in the mood for some mindless shooting the game delivers plenty of it, and the handful of sequences that are spot-on recreations of things from the movie are really quite wonderful. The fact remains, however, that the game is still too darn easy and too much was changed from the movie to really make this a good companion to it. There is one good thing about it and that is the fact it only takes about 7 hours to play through which is just the right amount of time before youll be sick of it.
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