With the release of Skyfall, the 23rd installment in the James Bond franchise, on this the 50th anniversary of a British icon. It’s a series that as changed with the times and has managed to maintain its popularity throughout the years. Along with the books and the films, James Bond has had many iterations in videogame format which has ranged in success much like Bond actors. Some actors have been good, Daniel Craig for example and while others have been not so good, George Lazenby anyone? Some games have been good like Goldeneye and Everything Or Nothing, while others have left a lot to be desired such as Goldeneye Reloaded, where you actually had a golden eye and were a villain. As a result, here’s my five-step guide to making a good James Bond game.
Clear Aim for the Game:
By this I mean that there is a clear goal for the game, either a very good multiplayer game or a brilliant and immersive single player story. This is a personal gripe where games have multiplayer thrown in with no thought or care given to it at all. This is similar to single player modes too, I would prefer and believe that games would benefit from not having it and focusing on what it wants to be – a brilliant story or an amazing multiplayer game.
Built from the Ground Up:
If some of this generation of consoles’ James Bond games has shown us anything, it is that for a Bond game to be good or successful, it needs to be built with the intention of being a Bond game. Not just an action game which halfway through gets told which franchise it’s for – Resistance Burning Skies anyone?
Not Just a Re-skin of Another Game:
A fundamental for any James Bond game (this applies for every game too) – which the latest one suffers from, is that it looks like a carbon copy of another game except for a reskin. That in my opinion shows lazy game development or a lack of faith in the developer to create a good enough product on their own. It also hinders the appeal of the game as if it looks like something else, then people will be less inclined to get it if it looks like a cheap version of another game.
Match the Mood and Style of the Current Bond:
Daniel Craig’s tenure as James Bond has shown that people like a gritty more realistic James Bond on the silver screen, the same can be said about some of the popular games of this generation. Realistic or gritty games when done well can be very good, this could simply be reducing the number of fodder you have, or placing an emphasis on making guns and hand to hand combat feel more weighty and realistic. Integrate the different elements of a quintessential Bond film, a game like Sleeping Dogs showed that when all of the components are done well, then you have a great game on your hands.
Rocksteady’s take on Batman showed us that it is possible to release a game around the same time as a film without being a tie in and still being superb. A Bond game doesn’t have to be a movie tie-in, but instead be a completely fresh story which echoes the current Bond’s style and grit, not just hiring out all of Rent-A-Goon’s staff.
So there it is, my five point step to making a successful James Bond, it is something I would love to see happen especially since it’s been a long time. Too long in this editors opinion.
Hugh Simmonds writes for Analog Addiction where you can find all of your latest news, reviews and features – like them on Facebook. Follow Hugh on Twitter for his daily life ramblings or 140 character rants at mediocre football.