1. 'From Russia With Love' at E3

    By Athena Stamos on 2005-05-22
    L.A. Convention Center

    Los Angeles Convention Center

    During the E3 Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Electronic Arts showcased their new James Bond video game. You couldn’t miss EA’s booth as it was the first thing you saw when you stepped inside South Hall. Connery’s portrait towered above you as a widescreen TV replayed the special From Russia With Love E3 trailer. Four computer monitors were set up under this display, each hooked up to an Xbox where you could demo 2 regular levels from the game and one multi player level.

    In the center of EA’s booth was a huge 360 degree projection screen where short previews of their new games were played. I spoke with Producer, Steve Papoutsis, and two EA representatives, Brent Dady and Tyler Vaught, about From Russia With Love. Here’s the info I received:

    • Story: From Russia With Love will follow the movie’s story line though there will be some additions as well as some twists and a new ending.
    • Team: The same team who worked on Everything or Nothing and Lord of The Rings are working on this game. The game is built around the Everything or Nothing engine, but has been dramatically improved.
    • Environment: What’s really cool is that you can interact with the environment by doing thinks like climbing or jumping over fences, boxes, debris, etc. The Environment is also more destructible, even the smallest details like bullet holes appearing in the wall when you shoot at it will show up.
    • From Russia with Love booth

      ‘From Russia With Love’ booth

      From Russia with Love booth

      ‘From Russia With Love’ on display

      EA representatives: Brent Dady and Tyler Vaught

      EA representatives: Brent Dady and Tyler Vaught

    • 60’s Style: Cars, environment, clothes, props, and 60’s James Bond action — ie shooting from the hip, judo. EA said that because Connery was a much more phyical Bond, the game is in 3rd person to show this.
    • AI: The AI is smarter. For example – if your enemy is hiding for cover you have to make him come out, he will not come out voluntarily.
    • Clothes: James Bond has different suits that you can change in and out of during the game. For example, you can switch between his classic white dinner jacket and his stealth suit whenever you like. Changing clothes is not just for looks, the stealth suit is actually useful when needed.
    • Gadgets: The Q Copter is one of the cool new gadgets in this game. It is similar to the Q Spider in Everything or Nothing acting as an sneak attach explosive. The enemy at first won’t be bothered by it but eventually will start swatting and shooting at it — the Q Copter can take a certain amount of damage before it will self destruct. There will also be gadgets and vehicles from other James Bond movies as well, like the Aston Martin DB5 (Goldfinger) and the Jetpack (Thunderball).
    • Targeting: Auto-aim, manual aim or, lock-on targeting. Lock-on Targeting is the way to go. You’re given different options on how to kill your opponent. Shoot him in the head, the chest or just shoot the grenade on his belt and have that blow him up. By using lock-on targeting you’re actually earning more points for skill which gets you more points that can be used for upgrades on such things as: guns, armor, ect. New guns are available on each level.
    • Characters: James Bond, of course! Donald ‘Red’ Grant, Tatiana Romanova, Sylvia Trench, Miss Moneypenny and Rosa Klebb. There will also be two present day Bond Girls in the game (like the girls from Everything or Nothing) who will be announced at a later date.
    • Connery’s Reaction: “[Sean Connery] loves the game; he wants to do another one!” -EA Rep

    E3 Demos

      EA's 360 degree screen

      EA’s 360 degree screen

    • London is the very the first level in the game. James Bond is attending a party near the Thames River during which there is an attack on Parliament and the Prime Minister’s daughter is kidnapped. 007 is called in. After much ground maneuvering and taking out enemies while on top a chandelier you will use your jetpack (which is equipped with both rocket launchers and machine guns) and fly up around Big Ben to take out more enemies and then face off with the Helicopter that contains the prime minister’s daughter and her captors. The rescue scene is Bond movie spectacular as 007 flies through the firey falling helicopter to rescues the girl.
    • Zurich Factory is a level that takes place near the end of the game. This level is a car factory and has one of the most destructible environments in the game — you can choose to be as destructible as you like as it doesn’t mater as far as points go. You can jump in and out of the jetpack as you please and you’ll also be able to drive around in the classic Aston Martin DB5. Your goal in this level is to plant explosives to blow up the factory.
    • Multiplayer: Venice Level — Up to 4 people can play in a tournament. Your character choices will be villains from From Russia with Love and other classic Bond villains (ie: Dr No). There will also be some female characters, but none from any James Bond movies, as most of the Bond Girls weren’t running around and shooting each other (this is something they had to work with Danjaq on). Something different: Jetpacks, vehicles & Q Copters will be usable in the multiplayer levels. If someone has a lock on you, you will be able to get out of it by rolling, ducking, etc. There will be upgrade boxes around the levels that you can pick up. Upgrades of things like, armor, guns, the golden gun, etc. but be careful sometimes these upgrade boxes will actually be booby traps and contain a bomb.

    Into the Pixel: An Exhibition of the Art of the Video Game

    From Russia with Love: Big Ben at Night by Jason Courtney

    ‘From Russia With Love’: Big Ben at Night by Jason Courtney

    • Into the Pixel showcases examples of the worlds of the world’s best art from computer and video games. Each year’s ITP collection is selected from a field of more that 100 submission by a jury of experts from both the game industry and the traditional art world. This year a piece from From Russia With Love by Jason Courtney made the cut.

    E3 Conclusion

    All in all I was very impressed with the game demos. I really felt the Connery vibe in this game. It was as if I was actually “playing” Connery’s Bond — it’s very hard to explain. If you loved Everything or Nothing you’ll definitly love From Russia with Love too. Thank you EA… once again you’ve done it right.