Quantum of Solace Wii
All wise gamers are born with the knowledge of two key facts. Firstly, you should never buy multi-format games on Nintendo consoles, as they rarely turn out well. You should also never buy game adaptations of films, as they always lack quality. I am guilty of disobeying these rule to buy Quantum of Solace on Wii. I am ashamed to say that I was enticed by the GoldenEye-esque images of Daniel Craig holding a huge gun. I’m sorry, DZ readers. I let you down.
Rather than follow the story too closely, QoS more uses the plot of the film as a starting point. It mixes in quite a few flashbacks from Casino Royale, bulking up the game. A fair amount of artistic licence has been taken with the plot, however. For a movie game, there isn’t a lot of video cutscenes. In fact, no scenes from QoS are animated in the game, probably in an effort to not spoil the plot and get you all to watch it, instead the scenes are played out using the voices only, which are at least the real actors’ voices. The side effect is the removing some of the game’s soul.
I’m all for adding in bigger action sequences to suit the game, but they’ve gone a step too far here. Instead of livening up the action, each level becomes a shooting gallery. Dispose of a hoard of identikit enemies, move to the next room, rinse and repeat. The plot takes a further hit with completely fabricated (and dull) new sections, equally jammed full of enemies. It’s all too easy to forget that there’s supposed to be a stealthy way to progress, instead of fighting through armies. The stealth method is fun for a short while, but is too monotonous and tricky to be effective in the long term, especially when running and gunning ensures much greater results.
What’s odd about games is that they seem to follow trends. Right now, the gritty realistic style is the ‘in’ thing. Most new shooters come with ultra-grey paint jobs and won’t be afraid to make you dead for taking one hit. Cover systems have become a must, and QoS isn’t one to ignore that. Functioning much like Gears Of War, QoS allows you to hide behind objects, switch from cover to cover, and dash to the next safe point. It flows well, rarely cocks up and does give the game some much needed personality. The AI on the enemies works well if you try and take cover, quickly working to flank you and pin you down. The cheeky buggers even lob grenades at you, forcing you to evacuate. However, use a more abstract strafing method and they fall down, becoming sitting targets rather than witty opponents.
Another fashionable inclusion are the real time event sequences. Part of the stealthy way of playing, creep up on unsuspecting baddies and initiate a ‘takedown’ sequence. Point and click symbols to make sure Bond finishes off the opponent in cool style, then continue your sneaky ways. These are also a good alternative to the traditional boss fights, resembling the movie events more closely without excluding the player from the battle. If you opt to be a silent assassin, then these RTEs are one of your only methods of getting rid of enemies, so prepare to see a lot of them.
The Wii version shows its inferiority to the more powerful consoles in the visual and multiplayer areas. As expected, the graphics suffer here, looking less fluid and more ropey than the 360 or PS3 games do. The 4 way multiplayer is entertaining for a short while, but again, the limited capacity of the Wii version shows through as all of the maps and game modes seem tailor made for big groups of players, instead of the pitiful 4 that the Wii version gets. Solo, however, the Wii’s motion controls give it the dubious honour of being the best single player mode.
As with most movie licence titles, QoS is an average experience, plagued by problems, that will undoubtedly sell well due to the advertising campaign and corresponding blockbuster. The same can be said for multi-format mainstream Wii titles. It is by no means a good game, but will sell well because the legions of casual gaming Wii owners will see it as a recognisable brand and buy it to play in short bursts.