Bond Has Rich Gaming History

There have been many video games of different genres about James Bond. The earliest of these games were different from those made today as they included side-scrollers and text adventures. These games were made in the late 80’s and early 90’s and were somewhat profitable.

In 1997, “GoldenEye 007” was released for the Nintendo 64, setting a benchmark for Bond games that companies still strive to achieve to this day. “GoldenEye 007” was a first-person shooter (FPS) that featured multiplayer components, expanding on the “GoldenEye” movie’s plot. The game was met with critical acclaim, garnering nearly perfect scores from every game publication at the time.  It became the third-best selling Ninetendo 64 game and won several awards.

“GoldenEye 007” was the first FPS game on a gaming console to become a huge hit, paving the way for the explosion of this genre, which continues today. Almost every Bond game released after “GoldenEye 007” has tried imitating its features in order to recreate its success. Some have come close, though “GoldenEye 007” remains the most successful video game in the Bond franchise.

The second most successful Bond game was released six games later in 2001, for PlayStation 2, GameCube and Xbox. “Agent Under Fire” features an original storyline and took several risks beyond simply its original plot such as adding rail shooting and driving elements, which were new to the FPS genre at the time. Despite being met with mixed reviews, the game was a commercial success.

The Bond games have featured a variety of actors as Bond, though more recently they have been the actors from the films. Pierce Brosnan portrayed Bond in “GoldenEye 007,” 1999’s “Tomorrow Never Dies,” 2000’s “The World Is Not Enough” and “007 Racing,” 2002’s “Nightfire” and 2004’s “Everything or Nothing,” though he only voices Bond in the latter. 2005’s “From Russia With Love” featured Sean Connery’s likeness and voice. 2006’s “Quantum of Solace” was the first to feature Daniel Craig’s likeness and voice, which can also be found in the 2010 remake of “GoldenEye 007” and “Blood Stone.” The most recent Bond game, “007 Legends,” features Craig’s appearance but not his voice, with Timothy Watson doing the honors.

“007 Legends” was released in October for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 and at the beginning of this month for the PC, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film franchise. It will also be released for the Wii U later this month.

The game commemorates the Bond films by initially featuring five missions, each from a different film: “Goldfinger,” “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” “Moonraker,” “License to Kill” and “Die Another Day.” A mission from “Skyfall” will be released Friday with the commercial premier of the film. The game is an FPS with stealth elements that supports multiplayer both off-and online. Thus far the game has received mixed reviews.

The history of James Bond video games is lengthy, spanning three decades and over 20 games. It continues to thrive with as much passion and diversity as Mr. Bond himself.