Quantum of Solace: The Game

Xbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 16

Digital FoundryXbox 360 vs. PS3 Face-Off: Round 16

Mirror's Edge, Brothers in Arms, Fracture, Guitar Hero, Baja, FIFA, Quantum of Solace.

The latest bloody skirmish begins here. Seven more cross-platform releases are appraised for your feverish attentions across the next few pages, backed - as usual - by the best range of comparison assets on the internet. That'll be full 720p and 1080p HDMI 24-bit RGB screengrabs, and h.264-powered 1:1 precision videos.

Before we begin proper, let's kick off with a bit of good news. 2K has just updated BioShock with a brand new patch for the disappointing PlayStation 3 conversion of the game. The numerous promised bug-fixes have all materialised, but better than that, the vastly annoying blur effect has been substantially reduced. What blur there is now appears to be down to the reduced sub-720p resolution and, alas, this combined with the wildly variable frame-rate remain. More details on the befores and afters at the author's blog.

Getting back to the present, there's an intriguing selection of seven games in the line-up, including one of my personal favourite games of the year: DICE's innovative Mirror's Edge.

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Quantum of Solace: The Game

Quantum of Solace: The Game

A measure of mediocrity.

It's Bond! With Gears of War cover mechanics and the Call of Duty 4 engine! How can it possibly fail? As it turns out, by being dull, repetitive, unchallenging, ruinously linear, and one of the shortest full-priced games ever. Quantum of Solace: The Game (in case we got confused with, I dunno, Quantum of Solace: The Hamper) starts off with solid fundamentals, only to undermine them in depressingly swift fashion. The controls are pleasingly refined and well-implemented, with an intuitive cover system that does a fine job of giving 007 the ability to switch between walls, boxes and cover points with the minimum of fuss. But it's nowhere near enough. All too quickly, the game settles into a tired FPS routine that plays itself.

The chief culprits are that twin FPS menace of linearity and predictability. Right from the very start, there's rarely an opportunity to improvise or think for yourself. Just point Mr. Broody in the direction you're told to, crouch behind cover, wait until the obliging enemies pop their heads out and repeat until the area is clear. It would be nice if all the people copying Gears of War actually paid attention to what it was doing, rather than phoning in superficial explanations.

Initially, there's a sense that the enemies aren't as clueless as the usual drones that populate mass-market shooters, but it really is just window dressing. Destructible cover allows you to send enemies fleeing in panic, and occasionally it even looks like they're working as a team trying to outflank you and pressure you into making mistakes - but it's little more than a scripted illusion, so the core gameplay degenerates into stop-and-pop. With the now-standard recharging health mechanic reducing the challenge almost to zero, it's actually harder to screw up than not. Assuming you've got motor function, finding cover when you're shot at will be enough to get you through most situations unscathed.

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Quantum of Solace

Bringing Bond back from the brink?

We feel like we've done this before. Every time a new Bond game is announced, there's that faint, distant hope that this will be the one, this will be the next GoldenEye, or at the very least it won't be the fumbling, half-finished mess that licensed movie-based games are notorious for - and we're always disappointed in the end. But the licence, having both plumbed the absolute depths and scraped sort-of respectability under EA, is now in new hands, and consequently the next James Bond videogame comes with new promise.

Bond game gets Bond actors

Craig, Kurylenko, Google Image Search.

Activision has secured the services of pretty much all the major actors from Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace for its upcoming James Bond game.

FeatureQuantum of Solace: The Video Game

A license to kill, but not a lot else.

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?"

Activision making more Bond

Reveals second secret project.

Activision boss Bobby Kotick has revealed the company is working on a second Bond game, after he restated its commitment to revitalising the brand, GamesIndustry.biz reports.

No new Bond game until 2008

Another Guitar Hero, though.

Those of you expecting Activision to turn around its first James Bond game with the sort of reckless pace associated with some of the licence's recent offspring may be pleased to learn that the publisher has other plans.

Activision gets James Bond

Licensed up to 2014.

MGM Interactive and EON Productions have awarded Activision the rights to develop and publish games based on the James Bond film licence until 2014.