Sullied by generic gun-play, substandard stealth mechanics, and an unconvincing narrative trick tying together six different Bond films, last month’s 007 Legends served as a lackluster lead-in to Daniel Craig’s third blockbuster turn as the British secret agent. This double-0 disappointment had a potential silver lining, however, in its sixth and final mission, based on Skyfall.
In an effort to avoid spoilers, Activision released the bonus Skyfall content on the PlayStation Network alongside the film (360 and PC versions land on Nov. 20.) The add-on mission is free-to-play for those who’ve already purchased Legends, but even that appealing price tag can’t overshadow the fact that it suffers from most of the same problems as the rest of the game.
Borrowing heavily from one of the film’s key scenes, the mission whisks players to Istanbul where they’re tasked with chasing an evil-doer over rooftops, through streets, and atop a speeding train. It’ll be familiar to anyone who spent the weekend wedged in a theater seat watching Bond’s latest, but the adrenaline-spiking sequence sadly loses a lot in its translation from big screen to small.
As with Legends’ other levels, Skyfall’s shooting segments feel like uninspired attempts to clone Call of Duty’s frag-happy formula, and its mission-capping boss battle is a patience-trying bore. The one bright spot is a fast-paced motorcycle chase that, admittedly, succeeded in inching me toward the edge of my couch cushion. The vehicle controls are occasionally more frustrating than fun, but the sense of speed and the familiar Skyfall vibe is spot-on.
If you’ve just seen what many are calling Bond’s best and you’re craving a bit more of Craig’s 007, this extra content should at least feed your fan-boy hunger. Plus it’s free. However, once you’ve torn through Istanbul on a motorbike and seen Naomie Harris in all her polygonal glory, you’ll likely set this mission dossier to self-destruct.
(Reviewed on PlayStation 3)