From Russia with Love: A TAG Review of a Bond Classic

By Thomas Hernandez / July 28, 2023

James Bond is a timeless franchise. When it comes to video games, there is always a Bond title that someone remembers. Goldeneye, Nightfire, and Legends are just a few of the major titles. From Russia with Love is another one of the many memorable names tied to 007 films and games.

For me, it was always a tie for the best Bond game between From Russia with Love and Nightfire. Both offered so much, especially when it came to playing with other people. I chose to do a review on the former because I had the most memories of playing with friends through that particular game. 

If you have the chance, I highly recommend acquiring the game. If you have great friends to dabble in the multiplayer gameplay with, it’s an incredible mode. I have not played all of the Bond games, but having played a few, this one is surely a terrific multiplayer experience.

Bond hiding behind a tree.

Another Bond Story

The game itself is derived from the film storyline. For the purposes of this review, I will focus entirely on the game’s storyline. This offers some creative liberties away from the film, but it is fairly similar in terms of context and feel with James Bond as the main character. 

From Russia with Love starts out with Bond fighting bad guys from the criminal organization known as OCTOPUS. They are powerful and seem to have connections worldwide. This causes problems for Bond at various stages of the game.

Instead of giving the entire plot, it is essential to share the fact that the plot focuses on stopping OCTOPUS from doing more harm following the death of Dr. Julius No, a powerful OCTOPUS member that Bond previously defeated. OCTOPUS was used in place of SPECTRE, the organization’s name in the Bond films. 

By the end, Bond stops their nefarious doings. This is consistent with any Bond film and game, excluding No Time to Die. On top of that, Bond, once again in typical 007 fashion, ends up with the primary love interest.

Image of the multiplayer game mode.

Multiplayer Dynamics

The best part of the From Russia with Love game is the multiplayer. Growing up, I always looked forward to playing as Bond or other characters against friends because the game allowed up to four different individuals to play simultaneously. 

This was not always easy to make happen as a kid. When it did, I truly treasured the moments.

In the multiplayer game mode, players can choose from various stages and game modes. Each of these is related to the plot of the game, ranging from a nuclear rocket base, to a subway. 

On top of this, the players can decide what character they want to play from a large selection. Similar to the stages and game modes, the characters are all tied back to the plot of the story mode. 

The beauty of multiplayer in this game is that it is generally fast-paced with a lot to do. Each level offers vehicles for characters to use, unique weapons for players to equip, and map-dependent switches for certain power plays. 

The power plays range from a train that can be an instant kill to a slow-killing gas chamber. More or less, the power play switches I speak of can be understood as death traps. It is a Bond game so this makes quite a lot of sense. 

In an age of online multiplayer, it is nice to reflect on an offline multiplayer as phenomenal as this one. The third-person dynamic, compared to games like GoldenEye and NightFire, made multiplayer that much more interactive and fun because of the unique characters and tools. Hopefully, in the near future, new Bond games will lead to people connecting in person like how I was able to through playing From Russia with Love.

Bond next to an OCTOPUS missile.

Gameplay vs. the Bond Movie

I love any and all James Bond-related films or video games. It has been that way for as long as I can remember. From Russia with Love is no exception. Both the game and film are great to experience, and one cannot deny the excellence of Sean Connery.

The film received high praise when it was initially released, and it is still given much praise to this day. Its story follows Bond, played by Sean Connery, on another epic journey to stop SPECTRE. This criminal organization, led by Ernst Stavro Blofeld, [more context about the organization].

The game doesn’t differ much from the movie plot, except for the fact that the organization had its name changed to OCTOPUS. Having some free range in what Bond does is a slight added bonus. However, it is not an open-world game so you must stick to the objective at hand.

I am always going to choose the films over the games because of preference, but that does not take away from the gameplay at all. It is still a great experience to have, especially with friends.

Bond using a jetpack.

Is the Game Worthwhile? 

Overall, From Russia with Love deserves a 5 out of 5-star rating. This game truly offers a lot, and given the sphere of games it was released alongside back in 2005, it surely made for a unique experience. However, if this game were to be revamped, improvements to the graphic display should be made a top priority.

At the end of the day, this is just my rating based on my estimated 100+ hours playing the game. As I said at the beginning of the article, I highly recommend checking out the game. From Russia with Love is a timeless game that is best played with friends!

Do you have a favorite 007 game? Have any thoughts on the most recent film? Feel free to drop any thoughts in the comment section below!

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