007 Legends brings Bond into the Call of Duty engine again, and one had to wonder what the point is. The game is stocked with the now routine suite of multiplayer options, from leveling to weapon loadouts, and so little of it is actually related to the license.
Activision has effectively found a way to sell Call of Duty multiple times a year, yet in the process of trying to hide that, have created a clumsily executed shooter that is competent on its best day. It’s almost instantaneous from the first time the gun snaps into iron sights how desperate Legends is in trying to recapture marketing glory. The familiarity within the engine is there, but it’s like eating plain vanilla ice cream after eating vanilla ice cream with sprinkles. It’s missing a flavorful edge.
The question posed in the title seems obvious: Bond fans, right? That would make sense, and for all of the single player missteps (and there are many), the license is used. In multiplayer, it’s hardly a flicker, so again, who is this aimed at? Playing as a Bond villain in multiplayer is conceptually striking, yet a fumbled execution means these are character skins with familiar weapon loadouts. Players run around maps, shoot people, and gain experience while looking at hands that could belong to anyone. It’s routine, and almost offensively so as it’s being sold at full price.
Curiouser, Activision throws this dud out to the market with about a month to go before Black Ops 2. The chances of Legends forming a community eager for DLC – which Legends is primed for – is almost nill. The majority of this built-in audience will be reaching for sprinkles.