Skyfall has becom the biggest-grossing, most heavily product-placed and most three-completely-different-films-mashed-together Bond movie of all time. Clearly then, the recently-released tie-in game must be a thoughtful, high-budget affair with a long development cycle and the upmost understanding of what makes Bond Bond. Clearly. 007 Legends essentially retells older Bold adventures but as starring Daniel 'Mini-Hulk' Craig and a raft of more modern technology. I knew in my bones that this would be a faithful and careful recreation of the cavalier Secret Agent fantasy, and definitely not a mucky, ugly, by the numbers first-person shooter whose PC version was less console port and more console diarrhea that had accidentally dribbled onto PC.
1. After a short cutscene based on the opening cliffhanger of Skyfall, we segue into a flashback to Goldfinger. Jill Masterson's horrifying, iconic, death-by-paint scene rather loses its impact when it's accompanied by immediate product placement for a Sony Xperia phone, which you must pick up from near Masterson's limp, gilded hand, gaze carefully at the logo of and then take a call on. Bond's enormous, overtly-logoed Omega watch/motion detector isn't doing too much for the gravitas either.
2. In theory this is the game running at 1920x1080 (this shot is cropped rather than resized). That blur, that aliasing, the lack of any definition - I'm not convinced. It looks abominable, and as though it's Star Trek Love Interest-style soft focus throughout. I suspect there's some upscaling going on, or perhaps it's that the game's so retrograde that it made my PC go back in time.
3. All the cool things Bond does - like jumping onto a moving truck or plunging 100 foot in the sea - happen only in cutscenes. In the game itself, he can only shoot, crouch and bunny-hop.
4. Every enemy repeatedly shouts 'I'm reloading!' to themselves, regardless of whether they have any chums in range or not. IT'S ALMOST AS THOUGH IT'S A MESSAGE FOR ME.
5. There's no mouse support in menus, so the game asks for such PC gaming mainstays as Page Up and Page Down while trying to navigate its stodgy weapon upgrade interface.
6. Time to horrible hacking minigame: 20 minutes. This involves yet another big-screen look at a Sony Xperia phone, while trying to modulate two frequency graphs by pressing T,G,U and H. On the plus side, it seemed to solve itself after a few minutes of my aggrieved scrabbling for the right buttons.
7. Bond can be shot by approximately 14 men simultaneously without being in any apparent danger.
8. Daniel Craig provides vocal duties [edit - oh, apparently it's a Craigalike. Whoops. He's got the basic impression right, but not much else, in which case], but appears to be reading his lines aloud for the first time and with evident disinterest, with the net result being that One Of Britain's Most Treasured Actors sounds as though he's about to fluff an audition for Hollyoaks.
9. During the Goldfinger mission, Bond must locate and follow a trail of nerve gas using a special filter on his SonyTM XperiaTM SmartphoneTM. Fortunately for him, deadly gas looks exactly like a gigantic purple sausage and conveniently hugs against one wall rather than spreads. If he walks into that sausage he's dead, but if he stands one millimetre to the right of it he's a-OK. While Bond needs said special filter to see it, enemies are magically aware of exactly where this invisible death-sausage is at all times and avoid it in their looped patrols.
10. The second major level is an insta-fail stealth mission which forces an immediate game-over if you are seen or kill anyone. This despite the fact that Bond just noisily left a mountain of worryingly all-Asian corpses in the room next door, so if Goldfinger and co are somehow unaware that all their men are dead and their base keeps exploding it seems highly unlikely they'd be smart enough to pull off their nefarious plans for world domination anyway. If you like, you could interpret the fact that I abandoned the game upon failing this mission for the first time as faithful, iron man-style roleplaying.
007 Legends is out now. Don't you bloody dare buy it.