This year the James Bond franchise is celebrating 50 years of gadgets, manipulative women and generally blowing shit up for Queen and country. But did you know that James Bond video games have been going strong for almost 30 years? Bet you didn't.
Boasting over 20 games of various radness, they are a pretty interesting picture of the evolution of both Bond and gaming. Here are some highlights:
1983: James Bond 007
The first James Bond game by Parkers Brothers was made for Atari 2600 and Atari 8-bit computers (aww!) and was a side scrolling game where players controlled Bond's vehicle on land and sea. There were four missions to complete, based on the movies Diamonds Are Forever
, For Your Eyes Only
, and The Spy Who Loved Me
and you shot baddies with lasers.
1985: A View To Kill
A View To Kill
was a computer game that came in two parts, an action game and a text game. Guess which one the kids like better? Set in Paris, Bond had to pursue May Day, before skipping off to San Francisco to save Stacey Sutton. The Duran Duran theme song
played in the background, which is adorable.
1987: The Living Daylights
This was the first actual film tie-in game, weirdly that had never occurred to anyone before then (over the next few years they did the same with Live and Let Die
and License to Kil
l). Published by Donmark for Commodore 64, Amiga and more, it was a straightforward platform shooter that played horizontally.
1990: The Spy Who Loved Me
Presumably because they were sick of Timothy Dalton, this Bond game looked to the 1977 film starring Roger Moore for kicks. It was released on Amiga, Atari, Sega Master System and more (a Playstaion version was planned but never came to fruition). Despite the fact that you can drive Bond around in a swish car, people pretty much hated it.
1991: James Bond Junior
Who knew this existed? Much Like Indiana Jones Jr. the James Bind franchise took a stab at generating a younger audience. James Bond's teenage nephew was required to find the "world's greatest scientists" who have been imprisoned on an island in the Caribbean. It was made for Super Nintendo, so obviously it was sublime.
1997: GoldenEye 007
Everyone's favourite game ever! Exclusively made for Nintendo 64 and featuring some of the best characterizations of Robbie Coltrane committed to gaming, it was Nintendo 64's third highest selling game and surprisingly was largely created by developers who had never worked on a game before. It was so iconic that in 2010 and 2011 re-imagining of the games were released. They weren't as fun, because the '90s will always rule.
1999: Tomorrow Never Dies
Hoping that everyone had stopped trying to find the Golden Gun, EA released a third-person shooter exclusively for Playstaion. Although it stuck pretty close with the film, people thought the controls and lack of multiplayer options was lame. Who wants to wait for their turn, right?
2000: 007 Racing
When you pretend to be James Bond, you probably pretend to be shooting European baddies, drinking martinis and going on adventures. Does anyone imagine racing? Probably not. That's why Playstation's 007 Racing
didn't do amazingly well (which is a shame, because for a straight up racing game it looks kind of cool). Thems the breaks Bond!
2004: GoldenEye Rogue Agent
The first James Bond game where you're not actually James Bond! Set in the bond universe, you play an ex-MI6 agent who is hired to kill Dr. No! Pussy Galore and Xenia are in it! WHY DID NO ONE BUY THIS GAME?
2012: 007 Legends
Um, somebody make this game into a surrealist film please. 007 Legends
is a first-person shooter where you play a different Bond in each new campaign, Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Daniel Craig! They're all here! Some people called it a lame Call of Duty
, but the fact that some of the actual actors lent their voices is good enough for us.