James Bond 007: From Russia With Love Reader Review
Talk about long awaited - it's 26 years since From Russia With Love hit the cinemas. I'm not sure though that there were too many people crying out for a game conversion - I can't help thinking that EA would've been better off continuing in the vein of their previous Bond title Everything or Nothing, and creating a whole new story to base a game on. In converting an antiquated action movie to 21st century videogame, several liberties have been taken with the storyline (and cast - was Natasha Beddingfield even born when the original movie was released?!)
This, as I understand it, is a port of the PS2 version released late last year. I haven't played the PS2 version so can't say how the two compare, but the portable version certainly doesn't hold up well as a standalone game. It seems as though the control limitations of the PSP have compromised the game's control system in a fairly fundamental way. In the absence of a second analogue stick, the circle and square buttons are used to rotate the camera right and left respectively. Slowly. This works OK if you fancy a spot of sightseeing, but isn't much use in the middle of a frenzied gun battle when you need to look around quickly to get a bearing on your enemies' locations. In terms of actually controlling Jimmy B, your options are limited to firing aiming & weapons, and pressing x to follow on screen prompts. This is where an already very linear game becomes incredibly pedestrian; a scene in an early level involves leaping from a balcony onto a chandelier, which could and should have provided an opportunity to test the player's timing and dexterity. Instead, you are simply required to press x when prompted, then watch passively as Bond leaps across automatically. It's this kind of severely limited gameplay that removes almost any hint of a challenge from the game.
For the mostpart, the game displays the high production values we've come to expect from EA, but surprisingly this game is incredibly buggy. Whoever tested it needs sacking! On one particular level I found myself stuck on the spot (once when I was half way through a door, once in the middle of a garden) twice in about ten minutes. The only option each time was to restart the level. Not good.
In summary, I can't really recommend this game to anyone (if you want a similar experience on your PSP, only much better, get Syphon Filter:Dark Mirror instead) - I'm just glad I only rented it and didn't spend £30 of my hard earned money on a lazy, formulaic cash cow. Shame on you EA.
2 / 10