007 – From Russia With Love
Goldeneye on the N64 changed everyone’s preconceptions about what one could expect from games made from films. Goldeneye ruined relationships careers lives. Furiously addictive and satisfying it challenged you to master it and became a compulsory purchase like no game has for any system since then.
Such success didn’t escape the notice of a certain industry behemoth and without further ado Electronic Arts bought up the license perhaps judging that the game’s huge success was more down to the Bond brand than programming genius. In truth it was a mixture of both and subsequent EA efforts while selling well have yet to acquire that elusive cult status.
EA bought the Bond brand hook line and sinker and it quickly became apparent that MGM weren’t making films fast enough for the biggest 3rd party games publisher in the world. As well as making a game to accompany each new Bond film EA started looking for new ways to release Bond-branded titles initially inventing stories then plumbing new depths with the release of a new ‘Goldeneye: Rogue Agent’ game. In using the name EA laid bare their jealousy of Rare’s masterpiece and their frustration at being unable to replicate it for all to see.
Then came a revelation. There have been plenty of Bond games and many of them have never been made into a videogame – ever! Finally here was something they could work with and they wouldn’t have to worry about the latest Bond film being a bit rubbish – and let’s face it most of them are these days.
Nobody would argue that From Russia With Love isn’t a classic of espionage action and that’s what makes it ideal for adaptation. It’s got it all – Sean Connery the Cold War Blofeld as the head of SPECTRE the romantic backdrops of Istanbul and Venice and of course the delectable Daniela Bianchi.
After years of stewardship of the Bond license EA have finally got it right. A classic Bond spying-and-sexiness storyline classic cars and locales stealth and driving gameplay. They’ve used their financial muscle power to get Sean Connery himself onboard. And as well as including digital versions of original stars Tatiana and Red Grant they’ve thrown in some new characters for good measure – played by modern personalities Maria Menounos and Natasha Bedingfield. It’s nice to see EA doing something interesting with the Bond license while they bide their time for the next film to come out and it might just be a treat for Bond fans too.——
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