My enduring memory of Casino Royale is the scene where Daniel Craig wades out of the ocean in his speedos. Apparently this vision of slick-skinned beefcakery caused some viewers to swoon, and understandably so. Me, I was simply staring in incredulity at the size of the man, thinking "bloody hell, how does he move? Look at the size of those muscles on his shoulders - can he even lift up his arms with those dog-sized lumps of meat squatting on top?"
Quantum of Solace provides the answer to this query. This is most certainly not somersaults-over-the-rooftops Bond. This is Bond as lumbering hulk, more rifle-wielding rugby player than graceful super-spy. It's like steering a rhino. A rhino with a sub-machinegun. While this might well reflect Craig's shaved-gorilla physique, it's perhaps not the sort of kineticism and athleticism many might expect or hope an e-Bond to possess.
So don't expect much in the way of acrobatics: this is almost exclusively a game of combat. Specifically, it's a first-person shooter, though the camera will switch to third-person when requested, or during occasional moments when the game decides it's imperative you see its unnervingly motionless 3D render of Craig's scowling face. Developer Treyarch claims his terrifyingly plastic phizzog will be fully animated come release, though that day does seem worryingly close.
Built from the Call of Duty 4 engine (though you wouldn't recognise it as such) QoS sticks doggedly to shooting - the 007 staples of driving sections and mad gadgetry won't feature. Possibly, this is a bold decision, an attempt to escape the gimmickry and heavy scripting of EA's Bond games in favour of something earthly and intense. Equally possibly, it might end up feeling like Bond skins taped over a hasty Any-FPS skeleton. While we've only seen two levels so far, the bizarre presence in those of exploding fuel tanks ("mousetraps", according to Treyarch) inside a posh hotel lobby and waves of lookalike baddies popping up from nowhere suggests this an action game that very much plays by the rules.
Arguably, there's no reason it shouldn't be so. Casino Royale may have been a slick, timely reinvention for Bond, but it was also just a modern action movie - so there's every chance that its fans really don't want anything more than guns and terrorists from the videogame adaption. Whether anyone was hoping for quick-time events and hacking mini-games seems less likely.
The game's appeal to Bondophiles will likely increase thanks to it chronicling the events of Casino Royale as well as the upcoming film. Makes sense, what with QoS being a direct sequel to CR. That said, quite a lot of CR features Bond sitting around a poker table frowning at people, which doesn't make it ideally suited to videogaminess. With that in mind, QoS: The Game extends certain sections of the films in the name of high-action. So the scenes in which Bond would excuse himself from the poker table to quickly go change his shirt or kick a man's head in now become half-hour opuses of destruction, as our boy cheerfully carves up an army of terrorists lurking in the casino's backrooms.