James Bond (games)

James Bond (games)

Over the past twenty years there have been numerous James Bond games featuring Ian Fleming's British secret service agent, Commander James Bond.

Video games

History

1983-1996

Though the first official Bond game was released in 1983, 1981 saw the release of Sega's "005", which was a clear knockoff of the Bond series. Naturally, the name was altered in order for Sega to avoid paying the licensing fees for "007".

Since 1983, there have been numerous video games based on the official films, Ian Fleming's novels, and even original scripts created by the developer or publisher of the game.

The video games were somewhat prosperous in the 1980s and early 1990s, featuring a mixture of styles including side-scrolling action and text adventure.

1997-2001

The popularity of the James Bond video game series didn't really take off, however, until 1997's "GoldenEye 007" by Rare for the Nintendo 64. "GoldenEye 007" was a first-person shooter that expanded on the film and added a multiplayer component to the game. The game has received very positive reviewscite web|title=GoldenEye 007 Reviews|publisher=gamerankings.com|url=http://www.gamerankings.com/htmlpages2/197462.asp|accessdate=2006-01-29] and sold over eight million copies.cite web|date=2002-09-24 | url=http://www.rareware.com/company/press-microsoft1.html | title=Microsoft Acquires Video Game Powerhouse Rare Ltd | publisher=Microsoft | accessdate=2006-05-13] Subsequently, virtually every Bond video game has attempted to copy "GoldenEye 007"'s accomplishment and features with varying degrees of success.

The next Bond game, based on the film " Tomorrow Never Dies", was not developed by Rare, and featured a third-person viewpoint in contrast to "GoldenEye 007"'s first-person perspective. When the game met muted success, the next title, "The World Is Not Enough", returned to first-person. However, publisher Electronic Arts, which owned the rights to publish video games based on the Bond franchise, chose different developers for different systems - Eurocom for the Nintendo 64 and Black Ops for the PlayStation, with drastically different results. Eurocom's N64 title was released to good reviews, while Black Ops' PlayStation version met with less success. Neither game garnered the financial or critical success of "GoldenEye 007", and EA finally decided to detach the games from the films.

In 2001, EA released "" for Xbox, PlayStation 2, and GameCube, featuring an original storyline and lacking the likeness of then-Bond Pierce Brosnan. The game took risks by adding the new elements of "rail" shooting and driving segments to a first-person shooter; the results were mixed.

2002-2005

EA refined the gameplay and released "" in 2002, again featuring an original story line but now fully sporting Pierce Brosnan's likeness. The game received better critical success, although the PC version, which, like "The World is not Enough", was a completely different game on an alternative platform, failed to garner similar reviews.

', released in 2004, is notable for being the first successful game to break away from the mould laid out by "GoldenEye 007". It was also the first Bond game to use an entirely original story, unrelated to the Ian Fleming books, or MGM movies. ' featured a third-person perspective, and altered the multiplayer portion of the game, adding a cooperative element. It was also the first game to cast well known actors in the roles of its characters including Willem Dafoe, Shannon Elizabeth, John Cleese, and Judi Dench among others, not to mention Pierce Brosnan himself providing the voice and likeness of Bond, and Tomorrow Never Dies screenwriter Bruce Feirstein providing the story and dialogue. While "Nightfire" was the first James Bond video game to have its own original theme song, "" was the first to have its theme song performed by a noted singer, in this case Mya Harrison who also provided the voice and likeness of one of the game's characters. Some reviewers referred to this game as 2004's James Bond film, and with Brosnan's subsequent departure from the role, the game is considered by some to be his swan song as "007".

In the autumn of 2004, EA Games released "" for the Xbox, PlayStation 2, GameCube and later the Nintendo DS. This is the first game based on the 007 franchise in which the player does not take on the role of James Bond himself, but rather an aspiring 00 Agent recruited by Auric Goldfinger, the villain from the film and novel "Goldfinger". The game has little to do with "GoldenEye" the film or the video game, and was released to mediocre reviews.

EA attempted a further change of direction with 2005's ' of the 1963 film "From Russia with Love", in which the player controlled agent "007" with the likeness of Sean Connery. Similar in gameplay and style to ', it nevertheless featured the innovation of a retro setting, and used the likenesses and music from the original film (although anachronistic elements such as the Jet Pack from "Thunderball" were also included). This was the second game based on a Connery Bond film (the first was a 1986 text adventure based upon "Goldfinger") and the first to use his likeness and voice, as agent "007". It should also be noted that is the last James Bond game that EA Games marketed before they lost the rights to Activision in 2006.

2008-present

Beginning in 1999, Electronic Arts held the exclusive rights to develop games based on the official James Bond films. In 2003, MGM Interactive extended their deal with EA till 2010, however, this deal ended in September 2007 due to EA's commitment to move away from movie franchise games and focus more on internal IPs. Additionally, at least one source claims that EA's inability to develop and have a game ready to tie-into "Casino Royale" (2006), led to the two companies terminating their deal, as MGM stood to lose millions in licensing fees due to EA's failure. [cite web| url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117942524?categoryid=18&cs=1| title= Bond, Superman games on the move | accessdate=2006-05-18]

In May 2006 Activision acquired non-exclusive rights to develop and publish James Bond games; an exclusive deal with Activision took effect in September 2007. [cite web| url=http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/41980| title= Activision Acquires Bond Video Game License | accessdate=2006-05-03] It was reported by Variety that Activision's first game since acquiring the license would be a tie-in to "Quantum of Solace". During an earnings report, Bobby Kotick, the CEO of Activision, announced that their first Bond game would be released in May 2008, the originally targeted release date of the upcoming movie. [cite web| url=http://www.gamespot.com/news/6155242.html| title=New Call of Duty, Guitar Hero, and 007 coming in 2007-8 | accessdate=2006-08-04] However, since the movie was officially delayed to November 7, 2008, the Treyarch-developed game is now expected around the same time. Additionally, Bizarre Creations is supposedly in the works of a racing video game using the James Bond license. [ [http://www.mi6.co.uk/news/index.php?itemid=5662 MI6 News :: James Bond racing game may be in development by Activision studio Bizarre Creations ] ]

Weapons in video games

Although James Bond is known for his use of the Walther PPK and Walther P99 pistols in the books and films, the video games often change the name of the guns to avoid possible trademark issues. For the games, the name of the Walther PPK usually is changed to "Wolfram PP7." The Walther P99 is also changed, once being referred to as the "Wolfram P2K" and once in ' as its original name, "P99." In ', the P99 becomes the SPEC 9.

List of video games

Role-playing games

A role-playing game, "James Bond 007, Role-Playing in Her Majesty's Secret Service" was released in 1983, by Victory Games, a branch of Avalon Hill.

Fanmade remakes

"" is a total conversion mod in development using the Source engine developed by Valve Corporation for the computer game, "Half-Life 2". "GoldenEye: Source" is based on the award winning Nintendo 64 video game, "GoldenEye 007", featuring Bond. An alpha release was distributed on December 25, 2005 receiving more than 65,000 downloads in 2 weeks. A Beta release of GoldenEye: Source was scheduled for December 25, 2006, but was released on December 26, 2006.

In January of 2007, it was awarded twice in the 2006 annual Moddb awards, a win in Editor's Choice [ [http://www.moddb.com/features/23825/mods-of-2006-editors-choice/2 Editor's Choice - Mod of the year] ] for the Reinvention category, and was player-voted 3rd place in the overall category Mod of the year [ [http://www.moddb.com/features/23824/mods-of-2006-players-choice/2 3rd place - Mod of the year] ] . A significant rise from the 2005 awards, which earned GoldenEye: Source 4th place in the unreleased category. On December 05, 2007, one of the developers released an unofficial patch. This patch fixes some of the bugs there are present in the first beta version. The developer team will not support this patch, and support is only available in a topic in the "GoldenEye: Source" forum. [ [http://forums.goldeneyesource.com/index.php/topic,1331.0.html| Beta 1.1h support topic] ]

References

External links

* [http://bondpedia.net/article/Portal:Games Bondpedia; The Bond Encyclopedia]
* [http://www.gamespot.com/n64/action/goldeneye007/similar.html?mode=universe James Bond universe] (GameSpot)
* [http://www.mi6.co.uk/sections/games/index.php3 MI6.co.uk - Gaming Section]
*moby game|id=-group/james-bond-licensees|name="James Bond" licensees
* [http://www.gamerwithin.com/?view=article&article=1515&cat=1 Treyarch to Develop Next James Bond Game]


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