A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that 007 Legends is a first-person shooter based on several James Bond films. Like the movies, it shows a bit of blood (red puffs appear with each bullet hit), includes the occasional word of light profanity, features some sexy women with provocative names, and touches on mature subjects like drugs. It's worth adding that this is a clear exercise in cross-promotion marketing, timed to arrive at roughly the same time as Skyfall and a new Blu-ray collection marking 50 years of Bond. There's a good chance people who consume one of these products will be drawn to the others.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
007 LEGENDS puts players in the shoes of Daniel Craig's James Bond. He gets shot at the very start, falling from a train and plunging into a raging river. Half conscious and underwater, he relives several past missions, specifically those from the films Goldfinger, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, License to Kill, Die Another Day, and Moonraker (Bond is portrayed by Craig in all of these memories rather than the original actors.)
Players dive into the action headfirst, engaging primarily in first-person shooter missions that cover the films' more spectacular moments. Punctuating the shooting are mini-games and one-off activities, including fighting, driving, and skiing segments. Kids also get to engage in stealthy sequences in which Bond must investigate rooms for evidence using his high-tech phone. Outside the story players can tackle challenge missions, shooting to top their friends' performance on leaderboards, or engage in multiplayer combat online or on the same screen.
Is it any good?
007 Legends isn't a good game. While tackling five classic Bond films in a single game might seem like a good idea on paper, it makes for a wildly incoherent and unsatisfying narrative. It's even harder to get excited by the gameplay. Enemies act seemingly without regard for their own safety, weapons are terribly unbalanced (shotguns rule all), secondary objectives are trying, and cinematic sequences are thoroughly uninspired. And everything takes place within a bland world that looks like it was created for previous generation consoles.
The only real reason one might want to pick up this game is for its online multiplayer, which is thankfully free of both stilted storytelling and predictable computer-controlled enemies. It lightly recalls that of better Bond adventures, including the classic GoldenEye 007 (especially when playing split-screen). Even then, there are plenty of better games in the crowded genre of online shooters.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what a career as a secret agent might really be like. Do you think spies ever become engaged in wild firefights? That they travel from one exotic location to another dismantling nuclear weapons and meeting beautiful people?
Families can also discuss violence in media. Can you think of anything else you might do in an action game other than fighting?
- Platforms: Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, Windows, Xbox 360
- Subjects: Social Studies: global awareness
- Skills: Collaboration: cooperation, teamwork
Thinking & Reasoning: solving puzzles, strategy
- Price: $59.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Activision
- Release date: October 16, 2012
- Genre: First Person Shooter
- ESRB rating: T for Blood, Drug Reference, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence
For kids who love games with fast action
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.