James Bond is a legendary name on both the silver screen and gaming consoles, but not every 007 video game adventure shines as bright as GoldenEye.
James Bond is a character with a legendary movie pedigree and at least one classic video game to his name. The video game world would seemingly be a very different place without 1997’s GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64, but that’s not the only time that Britain’s favorite secret agent has crossed over into the interactive realm. For pretty much the entire history of gaming, Bond’s adventures have been adapted, and most of them fall short when compared to his crowning gaming achievement. Here are the James Bond games that players should Live and Let Die.
It’s fair to say that the first half of the James Bond gaming catalog fails to stand the test of time simply due to its age. Agent 007 had several outings on ancient British computers and the Atari 2600, and it’s probably difficult for a lot of people to go back to those titles for enjoyment purposes. Even in their day, Bond games were pretty simple licensed fare, not much different from any other action movie adaption hitting the market throughout the 16-bit era.
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One game worth mentioning during this early age doesn’t actually star Bond himself but his younger nephew. Based on the short-lived animated series, the James Bond Jr. games on NES and Super Nintendo were only worth a rental. Instead of doing any actual spy work, the younger Bond punches agents in the face, shoots surreal bosses with a pea shooter, and leaps across floating platforms to thwart Jaws and his various associates. The two games are from different developers, but both fail to stand out in their respective classic console libraries.
James Bond’s Most Terrible Games Explained
Once GoldenEye 007 proved that James Bond was gaming gold, publisher Electronic Arts jumped on the license and started several new productions as quickly as possible. This may be why 007 Racing ended up seeing release on the PlayStation in 2000. An unusual spinoff featuring revived baddies from the films and unusual missions that don’t require James to get out of an assortment of movie-accurate vehicles. In addition to the racing, objective-based missions and car combat round out the campaign. While an interesting idea for a Bond game, the end result fails to impress across the board.
Most of Bond’s gaming adventures could be described as average after GoldenEye 007, although games that try to sport that name tend to end up worse off than more original titles. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent is a spy shooter released in 2004 that fails partially because it doesn’t feature James Bond in any meaningful capacity. Its connection to the GoldenEye film and game is also nonexistent, as the titular GoldenEye for this game is a new character with a cybernetic eye tinted with a gold hue. It’s hard to get over a blatant attempt to cash in on Bond’s most famous game, but those that do could do worse when digging through the PlayStation 2 generation.
James Bond’s Most Recent Horrible Games
Surprisingly, one of the worst games to bear the Bond name is also the last one released. 007 Legends released in October 2012 as Activision’s last crack at the license, and it was removed from digital storefronts a mere four months later. A best-of compilation of Bond’s film adventures featuring Daniel Craig’s likeness, the game was meant to honor the fiftieth anniversary of the franchise. Instead of doing that, Legends put the franchise on ice for almost a decade thanks to a campaign that lacked an overarching narrative and bland gameplay that aped the publisher’s Call of Duty series.
Thankfully, 007 Legends will not be the last word for James Bond in video games, as Hitman creators IO Interactive are the next developer to get a crack at the cinematic legend. Considering how close Hitman can get at times to a Bond game, it seems like a perfect match even if it will take the series away from FPS. Still, change can be a good thing, and it’s no doubt that IO will produce something much better than some of the bottom-of-the-barrel adventures Bond has been through over the years.
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