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It's interesting as to the time of this release, is it an indication of the direction the producers are going to go in with the series, is it going to be an indicator for when the next film will be out? Also is going to be an indicator as to who will be the next James Bond. I mean who is the likeness going to be, or who is going to voice Bond
I really like the idea of it being an origin story, I think it would be a lot of fun to play as an up and coming Bond. It's something new and different
I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about a new Bond game, the first one since 2012 (no, I don’t count World of Espionage). And since I have annoyed my family members with my rants and sending a bunch of tweets is a bit impractical, I thought I’d make a post here, in the hopes that people find it interesting. It’s a combination of what we know, some assumptions and a bit of wish listing.
What we know
- The game is a “wholly original story”. Players “earn their 00 status in the very first James Bond origin story”.
Or at least that’s what the press blurb tells us. However, Bond already has an origin story. Ian Fleming wrote about it, the screen writers adapted it for the films and changed it again when Daniel Craig took over (from Bond being in the Navy to being in the SAS). Both Skyfall and Spectre expanded on that and told us a lot about how Bond grew up. Casino Royale shows us how Bond got his 00 status. So that last line is just plain wrong.
What does this mean for the game? Will they write a new origin story for this Bond? Will they just fill in the gaps? Will there be any connection to the films, especially the Craig continuity? No one knows for sure, but I think EON will try to get some elements from the film franchise into the game. Things like the Walther PPK, the Aston Martin DB5, the dinner suit and the vodka martini. My gut feeling is they’ll pepper in some of these elements, but they’ll stay away from things like Oberhauser or Bond growing up at Skyfall. The challenge with having an origin story is, in my mind, having the freedom to do things differently from what’s established, but still make the audience feel like this is a Bond game. Therefore, I think they won’t go the CR-QOS-route of hardly any Bond theme and saving the catchphrase for the ending of the film, but at the same time I wouldn’t expect any established Bond characters like Q, Moneypenny or Blofeld to be major players in the story, nor do I expect Bond’s earning of the 00 status to play out exactly like the CR PTS.
- The game will use IO Interactive’s Glacier Engine, an engine they’re also using for their upcoming Hitman 3 game.
This engine is a big deal for that kind of game we’re going to see. The Hitman games have a bit of a formula to them: you’re tasked with assassinating a few targets, but you arrive at a swanky party or at a reception or in a busy town and have to infiltrate the target’s hiding spot or have to get rid of the security, while not raising suspicion and killing as few people as possible, preferably only your targets. Protagonist Agent 47 has to disguise himself, trying to access higher security levels, getting keycards to access locked rooms and find a way to get his target isolated. After he makes his kills, he needs to get to an extraction point without his cover being blown. The Hitman games give you the possibility to kill the whole secret gathering of 100+ people, but that’s never a good idea.
This is very different to the Bond games we know, where you practically shot everything that moved, unless it was Natalya in GoldenEye 64. Playing the waiting game is key here, being stealthy is too. Bond is usually a more high-octane sort of adventure, and it’s difficult to know if there will be differences in playing styles for Project 007. ‘Guns blazing’ is never a good option when playing Hitman, but Bond might need to do this occasionally. The Glacier engine boasts updates to the AI and to have more crowded spaces, so perhaps this tells us that thinking and planning might be a better idea than shooting. This game will play out more like Bond snooping around his hotel room in DN, than shooting up a library in GE. Though it’s my hope that IO Interactive tries to make some big set piece levels instead of just rooms you wander into.
- The game will be playable for next-gen consoles.
Time to buy yourself a new PlayStation or Xbox, because you’ll probably need them! Or a powerful PC… Hitman 3 will also be available for the current generation (PS4, Xbox One), so depending on how long it’ll take them to develop the game and get it on the shelves, Project 007 might also be available on these, but I’m not willing to bet on it.
What we can assume
- We'll get a new Bond
As this is an origin story, I don’t think they will make us play with a de-aged Daniel Craig. The origin story might’ve changed, and giving Craig’s Bond 2 different backstories is too much. Besides, I assume Craig himself isn’t really keen on getting into a recording booth and record lines as Bond; or getting his face scanned again (putting his 8 year old 007 Legends scan into this game wouldn’t work). I also assume that the gap between the eventual release of NTTD and the announcement of Bond #7 is big enough to release a game in between with an original Bond model. If a new Bond gets chosen before Project 007 launches, EON might want the new actor’s face as Bond in the game and a quick change might happen; but as the film franchise is in flux, I think a generic Bond is probably the way to go, which may or may not be based on the voice actor they get. I doubt they’ll use a potential Bond for this like Cavill or Turner, but rather a British bloke who does voice work.
I’ve also seen the suggestion of IO Interactive letting the player create their own Bond, with the possibility of having a black or a female Bond in the game (popular in the Twitter comments); but I don’t see that happening. Firstly, because I think the engine isn’t good enough for that to happen, but secondly because EON would never allow it. They’re very protective of how they feel Bond should look, so they’ll probably want to approve the Bond model. This is not a generic ‘create your own Hogwarts student’ type of character, this is Bond. And EON knows this.
- Incoming: Gadgets and Easter Eggs
IO Interactive are big Bond fans themselves. The Hitman games have had Easter Eggs dedicated to our favourite secret agent. Ranging from Agent 47 trying to gain access to a closed off area in a tuxedo and getting told by a guard that even Mr. Bond can’t pass, to cutscenes that are a direct homage to Skyfall to killing the actual Sean Bean with an exploding pen. I hope we can expect some nice Easter Eggs to previous Bond films, that we get to use things like the exploding pen and laser watch, the attaché case or the safecracking device. A great unlockable in the Hitman games are additional costumes, sometimes serious (a swanky suit), sometimes humorous (Santa or a clown). I kinda expect this to carry over to Project 007, and we get the opportunity to wear some iconic Bond outfits, and even the infamous ones like the OP clown suit. While the Hitman gameplay can be calculated, the game certainly has its lighter moments, and I hope this is the same for this Bond game.
- A snow level?
If you listen carefully to the teaser, you can hear footsteps in the snow before the bullet gets loaded into the gun. Is this a hint already to a snowy location in the game? I hope so. Hitman’s Hokkaido level was very much influenced by OHMSS, so IOI already showed us they’re masters in creating Bondian locales.
While I said above that I don’t think they’ll follow the Craig continuity, I still hope we get some great Bondian locations. This is where Hitman shines: creating these lively locales that breathe adventure; and it’s an important element in Bond. So here’s to some cool villain bases, Jamaican beaches and thrilling cities.
What we don’t know and might be worried about
- The 00 Status and Licence To Kill
A worry I heard from a few fans on Twitter: if Bond doesn’t have his Licence To Kill, will there be enough gun play in the game? Or will Bond have to knock everyone he sees unconscious? That doesn’t sound like Bond at all… And that’s a valid remark: can Bond kill people when he hasn’t been promoted yet? When exactly will he get his 00 Status? The only thing I can say is that I hope Bond gets his 00 Status sooner than later. While knocking people unconscious with sauce cans or busts is an important part of Hitman, it’s not how Bond would do it for the entire game. Without a 00 Status, those nifty gadgets from Q Branch are also not available to use, which is where the game can shine.
- The story / the villain(s)
This is more of an IOI problem: while the Hitman levels are fun sandboxes, they basically are self-contained missions. You get your briefing at the beginning about who your targets are, but once you’ve completed the level, their deaths don’t really impact the next level. IO Interactive has tried to give the new Hitman series an overarching story, with a main villain, but his motivation is told through short cutscenes in between the levels and so far hasn’t had much influence on the game play. Even fans of the series think this is the weaker part of the games: trying to fit an arc into 3 games that are supposed to be a trilogy, but don’t feel very connected. And this is a problem EON suffered from as well in the recent Craig films: trying to connect plot points and giving Craig a formidable foe. This is where the problem of project 007 might lie: its villain. Let us hope they get some good writers (is Bruce Feirstein still working?) to craft a good villain plot.
- Driving / Cars
The Hitman games do not have any driving in them, IO Interactive hasn’t made a driving game. And yet, driving levels are a big part of the 007 games and something Bond fan look forward to. Will IO get some people to make driving levels, will Project 007 only feature cutscenes with a DB5 that you can encounter already parked when you begin the level? Only time will tell, but I personally wouldn’t get my hopes up for sophisticated driving levels.
Apologies for the length of this post, but I kinda had to get it out of my head!
I also wonder what the title will be my guess is For Queen and County which seems to bland for a Bond film but the right kind of bondness for a video game or contiuation novel.
I also wonder when it will be set I would prefer current time. The sniper riffle in the teaser looks modern enough hinting at a modern time line.
And I really hope Eon doesn't pressure them into a release date before they are good and ready.
One other thing I have been thinking about: The whole Origin/Licence to Kill-situation. (and as always I preface this by saying I am not the most familiar person with all canon, so please correct my inevitable mistakes)
My hopes are that they do not go to Bond's school time or something. Also, that it doesn't take all game to gain the 00 designation. HOWEVER, not having a LTK and not being a 00 doesn't mean Bond can't engage in gunplay or even kill people. Standard rules of engagement (for example if Bond is in the SBS for part of the game) would still apply. If he is being fired upon or there are other circumstances, he can still use force. The LTK - in my understanding - means Bond will not be prosecuted for killing while in the line of duty basically no matter what and that he will be specifically sent on assassination missions. But we know f.e. from Skyfall that other MI6 Agents are armed and can be authorized to use force on the field.
A very basic video game plot would be Bond being the cocky upstart who will shoot his way out of situations and has to learn over the course of the story what a Licence to Kill really means. Basically, becoming the guy who says in SF that sometimes a trigger mustn't be pulled.
I'm not saying this is what I want. It's very clichéd. But it could be a way to straddle the divide between not being 007 yet and still having an engaging shooter.
Hmm, interesting discussion point. We can only guess who has what power, as I don't think IO will make the choice of who'll play Bond (and how he'll look) alone. I have no way of knowing what EON's agenda is, or MGM's. What we know is that EON has a list of potential Bond actors, and my honest guess is that they (provided they're auditioning actors) don't want to complicate matters. As you mentioned, getting 'video game Bond' might kill anyone's chances to become the next Bond on the big screen. If Cavill is still on EON's list, would IO be allowed to even approach him? If he's off EON's 'potential film Bond' list, then there's not much holding IO back to contact him. And then there's MGM, who might have a different approach and might want an A-lister to get the game sold... IO themselves have cast some celebrities before, the aforementioned Sean Bean, but also Gary Busey. Those roles were for limited side quests only, but it's not without precedent. As I said, it depends on how free IO is in their choices and what EON does with their audition process for Bond #7, that determines if Cavill or Idris Elba or someone else gets a call. When I said that, I based it on the fact that both times we got a video game Bond that was not an official EON Bond (in Agent Under Fire and GoldenEye: Rogue Agent), he wasn't played by an A-lister. There's no precedent for having a known actor, a potential Bond candidate, becoming the video game Bond. But that does not mean it can't happen, of course, it's just difficult to predict.
Agreed, let professional with experience in that field do that job.
And Nolan north (i think that is his name he did the voice for the Penguin in the Arkham games)
I thought Blood Stone did come up with some pretty good Bondian ideas, like the tunnelling machine, the Ekranoplan etc.
That would be cool but his voice might be too iconic and recognizable, I'd say.
This game is about the only instance of Cavill playing Bond that I'd find acceptable, and even then I'd be a little disappointed.
They should get H. Jon Benjamin to do it. ;)
Lol I know I was joking, he’s just my favourite voice actor.
That’s a fun thought. I think the radio series does show that there’s plenty of good voice talent out there (and of course Stewart’s mate Ian McKellen played a baddie in that. Was he Goldfinger?).
And don't forget that IO is releasing a VR version of Hitman so....................who knows, maybe 007 will get the same treatment.
how about a return of Colin Salmon as M?.. he's younger and would cost far less money than Stewart - plus he's got some familiarity with the franchise already. I think he'd be a good fit for M in the game.
in terms of Bond himself - if they go the direction of one of their own, and not based off the film franchise, then i think a completely original looking Bond is the way to go.. they don't need to base the look off any particular actor or even the one doing the mo-cap
... but... it would be interesting to see a Bond voiced by Toby Stephens - since he's already done it for the Radio dramas of some of the Fleming novels... not saying he's my top choice, but if they went that route, i wouldn't be opposed to it.
Salmon would be a good shout to play M from the current run of Dynamite Bond comics:
But that of course will not be the basis for Project 007.
As for Toby Stephens. Isn't he a bit old? I don't know what actors can do with their voice when it comes to "playing age". And how old do we think P007-Bond is going to be? mid-30s or maybe even in his 20s? I just realized that I have been thinking about a ver young person (early 20s) when thinking about this game, but canonically Bond became 007 somewhere in his 30s right?
It's interesting that you bring the Dynamite comics into the discussion since a lot of elements from these series, or at least some of them, would translate well to the video game medium. I remember reading Warren Ellis' Vargr storyline telling myself that a lot (the action-packed pace, the atmosphere in general) was like a video game.
Agreed I feel like they tried there hand at comic books to make up for the lack of video games and now well they are back to games I wish someone would design a 007 modal based on the comic book bond as that would look rather good
While not a design after the Bond from the comics, Hitman's Agent 47 with Archer's hair isn't that far away. Perhaps his lineaments, however, are too harsh. Either way, that would be a good start for a Bond model:
Not as familiar with the Hitman series, but I understand it that they had different 'chapter' missions/episodes that were downloadable content to the main game. If they did that for the cinematic Bond films, to put us in that experience would be incredible.