Sorry if this post is long. I am just so excited for this game! Bond has always been a more personal family like business and I feel IO Interactive are really the perfect company for this. Also the Hitman series is pure class. I’ll try break my speculation down into smaller sections so it isn’t so much of a drag.
I’m very curious about the level design. Absolution had some larger levels and some that were more condensed and featured some cinematic moments. I’m wondering if they will take that path. I would love one or two levels that are large enough to feature a car chase/ vehicle chase or two as well as some casual driving around. Nothing too open world and the other levels featuring a few smaller locations. Whatever they choose I hope they keep the environments dense with interactivity, secrets and personality. Like Deus Ex:Human Revolution. I almost feel in a strange way that Mario games are great at getting this right with levels where everything serves a purpose and goes towards making the game fun.
I was wondering if they may use Arkham Asylum as a basis and just have the game set in one major location with a few smaller levels, like an island, (very Dr. No). That way the island could feature a casino, lair etc. It would be a small contained open world full, so it wouldn’t feel bare and so you didn’t feel like you had to drive 10 minutes across a blank map to get to something important. It also would feel purposeful and full of interactivity.
I’m hoping that like Hitman, the mission objectives for 007 can be approached in multiple ways. Perfect Dark had a range of mission objectives and I think the new Bond game could encourage that too. I would really like to see a strong emphasis on socialising and charm to get what you need as well as some more unique approaches to certain scenarios. (I’m thinking some of Roger Moore’s funny field work in the old Bond films). Would also love Bond to face off with the villain at some point in a game of cards or some other test of wit. I guess for an example, Bond has to gain access to a castle on top of a snowy mountain where the villain is up to something shady and at the bottom of the mountain is a nice little ski village. Bond can either try to seduce a woman and gain access that way, sneak aboard a cable car up there or beat the villain in a “friendly” competition of cards or shooting or something that nets him an invite to a party up at the castle.
Another type of gameplay I would like to see included is some investigation and problem solving, Bond is after all, a type of detective. Finding clues around the world, overhearing conversations to get extra info etc would be just awesome and provide a lot of wow moments for the player. Hitman does such a good job at this already by having the player just soak in the world and start to ask questions and what if scenarios to test.
I think IO’s NPC systems are going to play a large part in making this game feel unique. I don’t necessarily think the enemy AI is as important as say the other opportunities that could be presented. Like in Hitman when you can walk in front of a camera crew and a reporter and you can see them realistically react and comment on it. That’s awesome and the stuff im looking for in a Bond game but with Bond’s flavour.
I mentioned interactive environments above. I have always loved Max Payne for what it does with its environments as well as classics like Duke Nukem. Sure the water reacting to bullets and things are super important but I would love interaction on a greater depth. Being able to sit down on chairs, play a game of poker, eat snobby food and have Bond comment on the things he sees around him almost like an old Lucas Arts adventure game. I think Splinter Cell Double Agent on PC impressed me at times with simple things. For example I was sneaking around in a terrorist base and turned the light off in an office. The bad guy entered and instantly commented that he hadn’t turned the lights off before he left and was instantly suspicious and searching the room. That moment still impresses me to this day.
On the dialogue I would love the ability to have dialogue choices that fit either different Bond’s or reflect the mood the player thinks Bond would be feeling in the moment. I think this would be great if Bond had an option to seduce a woman for information, but could fail if his answers didn’t suit the character he was talking to. I would really like Bond to be commenting on things he sees in the world around him and be able to talk to a range of NPC’s.
If there are gadgets in the game I think you could have ones that appear only for a mission and some that might be more multiple use and can be used in different creative ways that the player can dream up like Zelda Breath of the Wild. Encourage the players to experiment.
I would love a range of weapons in the game. I don’t think the game should force you into too many combat scenarios if logically there would be other ways around it. Don’t turn Bond into a killing machine. Have brawls and shootouts and things but keep the confrontations small and personal. In the Arkham games they don’t put Batman against 50 things all the time. They save those larger moments to make them more punctual. I think hand to hand combat will be very important. They need to show Bond’s range of training and have the fights feel rough and dynamic. Guns should be limited in ammo and maybe Bond can only really carry his PPK concealed. Other guns he has to be more crafty with like Agent 47.
As I said earlier, though they may save this idea for a sequel, I would love some sort of vehicle section. I would prefer it if there was a larger level where you need to travel by car/vehicle for one or two locations and the game uses that area to spawn a car chase, rather than it be a seperate level. Looking for something seamless I guess.
I would love a range of secrets and references hidden in the game. Have Bond track down hidden Q gadgets to unlock and use in replayable missions. Maybe have unlockable skins which come with unique weapons or diagloue from Bond history. Would also love the ability to craft your own Bond with hair presets from famous Bonds.
Make the story interesting. Have it be about Bond’s struggle with killing and how he overcomes it or something interesting without it being too serious and losing that fun adventure factor.
I would love to see them as long as they are natural and engaging and don’t make it look like Bond is turning his back on his mission. Perhaps side missions could directly feed into making your main mission easier or more treacherous. Here are some examples: Bond is contacted by Mi6 while on his mission at an island resort and told a high profile assassin happens to also be on vacation. They ask that if he has time, take out the assassin in revenge for the assassin killing an Mi6 agent previously. If Bond ignores the side quest the assassin might turn up later and cause trouble for him during a later point in the game. Another example: Bond goes to a bar and as the player you can ask him to drink too many Martini’s at which point he enters a drunk nightmare about his past life where he loses his parents, or at Eton or his time in the Navy.
Just have an awesome villain and a henchman for Bond to do battle with. Possibly boss battles where you have to use your wits and problem solving skills to outclass an opponent with an advantage.
Have a great supporting cast of characters for Bond and the player to connect with. Have a great leading girl.
Some smaller wants
I would also like to see Bond’s character model get roughed up when he is hurt. Small detail but worked wonders in the Batman Arkham games.
Have Bond need to escape some death trap that the villain has left him in.
Have a grand two army showdown Roger Moore, Lazenby and Connery like at the end.
Gotta have some quips
Free roam level of Mi6 offices so I can visit M and Q’s lab and flirt with Ms Moneypenny and a small part of London for a sneaky side quest or two.