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From Russia With Love

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent, eh? Who'd have thought it would have turned out that badly? With all its hi-tech glitz and pizzazz, Rogue Agent was just too far off the 007 scale. So much so, that even Bond himself bowed out in the first act. Enter From Russia With Love to clear up the mess. Bond has gone back to the '60s, he's played by Connery, and the only real gadget we'll get is the jet pack. The rest of the world-saving duties will have to be performed through actual espionage.

The Return of the King team is working on the title, and this is a great start to shaking off our doubts. And, with news that the game will actually follow the plot for once, that's another notch on the bedstead. So far, so good.

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Although EA says From Russia With Love will be a 'director's cut' of the film (the jet pack never appeared for instance), it's also being careful to remain faithful to perhaps the darkest Bond story Fleming wrote. The tones of the game are washed out with sepia, Sean Connery is providing not only his likeness, but his voice talent as well, and the combat is far more visceral than before.

Connery's fighting style was always more brutal than any other Bond, so this has been taken into account. Melee combat will be crunching, scuffling, bone-breaking stuff, including boxing of all things, something Connery's Bond was rather adept at.

Apart from a jet pack, Bond will have a simple rappel device, explosives, bugging devices, plus his trusted Walther PPK. We'll be able to upgrade gadgets by finding and earning cash from bonus kills, and taking out goons with style. A new aiming system will enable us to target specific parts of an enemy's body. If someone is about to throw a grenade, we can shoot it from their hand, sending them into a blood-spattered panic. Equally, headshots or knee-capping will put someone down quick sharp, either flat dead or maimed. Bond's vehicle missions, while usually quite segmented in other Bond games, now blend seamlessly in missions. If we see a car, we can jump in. Or, if we prefer a little light footwork, we can choose to rappel and walk. The choice is yours.

Although Live details are sketchy, we know we'll be able to take advantage of customisable options. Okay, it may not be an FPS, but the fact EA is considering it can only be a good thing. All together now, "Nobody does it better..."

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