'007 Legends' is part of the industry's disappearing middle

Activision's latest Bond game is exactly what you expect.

One of the big trends in games in the past few years has been the weak middle class — the big budget games are working, the indie games are working, but the games in-between are struggling. It's a bit of a controversial topic, given that there are still plenty of mid-budget games that review well and make money, but as an overall trend, it's easy to point to examples of studios and companies that have struggled with mid-tier games. Cliff Bleszinski even gave a speech about it at 2011's Game Developers Conference.

Based on what I saw at an E3 demo today, Eurocom's 007 Legends fits pretty comfortably into that middle. It has a fun concept — stitching together six Bond movie plots (including the one from the next movie) into one overall story — with by-the-numbers execution. It's not great; it's not terrible; it's just there.

The mechanics play out like you'd expect — run and shoot, take cover and shoot, use gadgets like a ballpoint pen that can shoot darts to distract or tranquilize enemies, etc. GoldenEye Reloaded's MI6 Ops mode returns, as does its four-player splitscreen. And now players can spice things up by earning XP and spending it on weapon upgrades, attachments, etc.

The title is also semi-misleading, since the game doesn't feature Sean Connery and old Bond actors. Instead, players control Daniel Craig's likeness through all six movie plots, so the "Legends" here are the movies rather than the actors. Which is fine. And straightforward.

But that's alright, because that's what the game looks to be all about.

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