From Russia With Love

Review

posted 4/21/2006 by Cyril Lachel
other articles by Cyril Lachel
One Page Platforms: PSP

Bond does have a healthy selection of weapons at his disposal, all of which can be upgraded at least once.  Most of the weapons are your standard Bond fare; you get your trusty PP7, an assault rifle, a shotgun, an even a bazooka.  Along for the ride are a few Bond gadgets, like the Q-Copter and the Laser Watch.  The problem is that outside of a few specific locations, you won't really have much of a use for these gadgets.  They are nice to have around, but it's a shame Electronic Arts didn't go that extra step and pack this game with memorable (and useful) items.

As I said before, every gun in From Russia With Love can be upgraded.  You gain experience from simply killing your enemies, the more guys you mow down in a row the higher your experience goes.  You also get extra points for shooting bad guys in their weak spot and disposing of them in a timely fashion.  By the end of the game you will have upgraded every major weapon in the game as well as a few you probably don't use that often.

One problem people had with the original console version of From Russia With Love was the game's length, a dedicated player could easily bust through it in a matter of hours.  Instead of making the PSP version longer, Electronic Arts actually made this game shorter!  By cutting out all of the driving sequences this PSP Bond gets rid of the few exciting elements from the original console game.  It's not that these driving missions were especially good, but they were a welcome change of pace to the run and gun action that makes up the rest of the game.  Considering that some of the PSP's best games are racing titles it seems odd to exclude these missions in this port, and worse yet, it makes the experience that much shorter.

As it is From Russia With Love is an excruciatingly short adventure that fails to recreate the best elements of the movie.  The game is made up of eight short and linear levels that will take you no more than four or five hours to complete.  The locations are varied, with featuring a battle on a train, in a factory, gypsy camp, and of course, a secret lair of the evil Octopus organization.

Unfortunately this video game version of From Russia With Love doesn't follow the movie as closely as you might expect.  Much of the game takes place away from the action of the movie, allowing you to see new locations and use alternate vehicles (such as the jet pack).  Some of the best moments in the game come when you see things you remember from the movie, such as the action-packed heist at the Russian consulate.  But more times than not you'll be playing something that has nothing to do with the film, something that just doesn't add much to the overall experience.

Between these levels you see the story unfold thanks to a number of interesting cut scenes.  It's great to have Sean Connery back as Bond, even after all of the other actors have had their shot, Sean is still the best.  Unfortunately it's been 43 years since From Russia With Love hit theaters, and Sean Connery's voice is not the same.  The Bond in this game sounds old and haggard, not the young and full of energy Bond you remember.  Nevertheless, it's great to have Mr. Connery back, even if his voice isn't quite right.  It's a shame that the script writers didn't give the actor more to do, his sequences are over far too quickly.

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