Post-“GoldenEye”, the James Bond franchise benefited from a glut of video game releases which were quickly gobbled up by the public. Among them you’ll find additional movie tie-ins, original stories and of course, faithful recreations of classic films, replete with period-accurate tropes. Needless to say, “James Bond 007: From Russia with Love” is of the latter make and model. It’s basically an adaptation of the 1963 film, which was the second Bond movie to make it out of the gate. On its face, the idea sounds like it might be a rather weak idea, but in reality EA scored a decent hit with this revisionist concept.
For all intents and purposes, the progression of the story basically mirrors that of the movie. Obviously there were differences and modifications made in order to emphasize action and adventure angle, but for the most part all subsequent levels (which are divided into chapters accessible through the main menu) follows the pre-established story.
This is basically a 3rd person game that incorporates a number of neat gameplay forms under a 007 banner. For instance, you have plenty of combat, gadget puzzles, as well as driving segments – pretty much everything you’ll find in modern Bond games. The gameplay itself is rather good, especially if you’re into the assisted aiming system that EA developed for this particular title. It involves locking onto a target and then performing another maneuver for precision; this mechanic ends up making FRWL feel like more of an arcade experience than anything else. Of course the hardcore 007 fans will delight at all the hidden collectibles and “bond moments” you can pull off, which (when executed smoothly) really make you feel like a suave, thug-snuffing secret agent of sorts.
For its time (2005 – 2006), this game was a rather impressive-looking console release. It effectively blended together advancing graphics / effects with highly stylized art. For example, the character models are true to form and so are the recreated locales. Even to this day, the game looks acceptable and remains very playable, which is a testament to solid design. “From Russia with Love” is definitely a creature of its own time period, but as a idealistic, story-driven 3rd person title with additional amenities, it still manages to pull you into its world.
Creative retro gamers might even want to make their exploration of 007: FRWL into an event, of sorts. Maybe invite some friends over, watch the movie, take turns with the story chapters and finally blast each other to bits courtesy of the multiplayer mode. “James Bond 007: From Russia with Love” is basically a lovingly-rendered throwback that was designed to please fans. For all intents and purposes, it would seem as though that mission was a complete success. If you consider yourself to be a 007 fan in any way shape or form and enjoy retro gaming, checking out this game should be near the top of your list.