007: Quantum of Solace

Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating.

Recommended age: This game has no blood, negligible language, no sexual content, and the overall tone of violence is fantastical not realistic--it's a decent alternative to games like CoD4 for younger teens.

However, it's still a bit too intense for kids, and they're probably better off playing more age appropriate content. So, I recommend this game for ages 13+.

Pros & Cons:
Pertaining to My short list.

While this game does use the same engine to power its graphics as Call of Duty 4 does, and may not use it quite as well, Bond looks like Bond and the overall graphics are sharp, with a smooth framerate and well detailed character models and environments.

The gameplay itself is moderately fun and the situations you're put through make you feel like Bond, with fun, chaotic gunfights; some cool-to-watch, quick time events, where you have to press the buttons on-screen in the correct sequence while Bond fights on rooftops and down staircases; and there are some well done stealth, sniping and timed on-foot chase portions.

The control scheme borrows its sprint and sight system from CoD4, its cover system from games like Gears of War (which displays you in third-person), and its regenerative health system from both--and uses them in an overall familiar but smooth, streamlined and functional manner.

On the negative side, it seems not much time was taken on the story, resulting in a disjointed and uninteresting mess; the levels themselves are very linear/scripted, and almost everything happens the same way twice--there aren't many alternate paths to take; and worst of all, the single-player campaign will take the average gamer a day to beat (or less; it took me about 5 hours).

However, for those that like the levels presented, there is a level select, and many of them are entertaining enough for a second playthrough; and after beating a level, you'll unlock small explorable museums in the form of M16 headquarters, where you can look at concept art hanging on the walls, and get a closer view at some of the game's life-sized character models and weapons.

So overall, this is one of the better first-person Bonds to come out in a while. And although it may not be as good as the fabled Goldeneye, it's heads and shoulders above Goldeneye: Rogue Agent--if you want a mindless but fun, action-packed shooter and are a big Bond fan, you'll probably like this game.

Alcohol and drug reference: (The ESRB didn't mention the "drug reference" in their rating, although it's mild) You see a few bottles of wine and glasses containing the substance; there is a wine cellar early in the game; some of your cover is made up of wine barrels, which spill the substance when shot; and there's light reference to heroin in a level where you try to stop its dealers from transporting said drug.

Mild language: There are under a dozen uses of d*mn, and one use of God d*mn in the main script. Other than the main script, enemies will sometimes say "D*mn it!" while you fight.

Violence: This game is loosely based on the movies Casino Royal and Quantum of Solace, with a few new sequences just for gameplay's sake. After the first level, it opens with the classic Bond intro (surprisingly devoid silhouetted Bond girls), and then uses the in-game graphics engine to power the cutscenes, which tell the game's story. But again, as this is loosely based on the movies above, it really has no congruent plot to speak of...

The base gameplay consist of using Bond's varied weapons arsenal to shoot away at the villains' henchmen, while taking cover behind environmental objects; jumping across rooftops; climbing ladders; shimmying and balancing across the side of buildings and ledges; chasing specific targets; and escorting and providing sniper fire for allied characters. Bond will sometimes have to use pure stealth to maneuver through a level, while sneaking up on enemies and knocking them out (or using his silenced pistol to dispatch of them quickly), disabling cameras and hacking locks blocking his way, to successfully traverse levels.

Bond starts out with a couple of pistol types, but gradually ends up with machine guns, assault rifles, sniper rifles, a shotgun, rocket/grenade launchers, and grenades. He'll be using these weapons against the villains' henchmen, who mostly consist of suited or fully armored thugs. The combat system is moderately violent and chaotic, with relatively destructible environments; glass breaks, wood splinters, pillars crumble, small objects fly, and Bond can detonate the many explosive objects with his gun, resulting in--sometimes huge--chain explosions taking out anything nearby.

In addition, he can use electrical panels to briefly stun enemies, and if he gets close, Bond will use many close-quarter moves to knock his enemy unconscious, by hitting them in the head with his knee and punching them a few times to finish them off. If Bond sneaks up on them, he'll either use a move to flip them over or close their windpipe, also rendering them unconscious (or dead, it isn't clear; you don't hear a snap). When you dispatch of an enemy they'll scream or grunt, and then crumple over on the floor (fly, if you use a shotgun or grenade). But (devoid cartoony blood running down the classic Bond gun scope logo when you die) there's absolutely no blood, and the gunplay and enemy reactions feel a bit staged or choreographed, meaning it isn't nearly graphic or gratuitous.

Concerning kids, it's still a bit too intense and violent, with plenty of explosions and killing; there's a couple scenes that show things like Bond dodging a knived man and then (non-graphically) strangling him (and a few other bad guys); and you hear Bond's female companion briefly mention how the villain she's after shot her father, and then strangled her mother and sister (later on you see her do the said man in with a single shot)--there's simply more age appropriate games for younger age groups. However, there's no blood, negligible language, no sexual themes, and the overall violence feels fantastical, not realistic--this is a decent alternative to games like Call of Duty 4 for younger teens wanting a relatively entertaining and action-packed first-person shooter.

© 2008-2010 jorimslist.com. All Rights Reserved. No part of this work, reviews or custom images, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system, except as may be expressly permitted by the 1976 Copyright Act or in writing from the author, pertaining to the entire site, jorimslist.com. Requests for permission should be addressed in writing to Lindenville Publishing via the About page. The ESRB rating icons are registered trademarks of the Entertainment Software Association. All the original images are copyrighted by their respective owners.