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Panel of experts take on `Quantum of Solace` videogame

22-Oct-2008 • Gaming

Each week The Times puts on a show for people who really know. Here, espionage experts study the new Bond video game Quantum of Solace.

Bond needs to find his way into a locked hotel room, killing the guards en route

Harry Ferguson (ex SAS): I wouldn’t have hit the guard on the head like that. When I do, they tend to turn round and hit me back.

Will Geddes (threat management): That second takedown was better.

Harry: If you find yourself standing outside on the ledge of a 20-storey building like this, something has generally gone wrong.

Bond is discovered and bullets start to fly

Will: You’ve “gone loud”. I think the AI is impressive. If you mess up, the rest of the guards come charging in. But when you’re scoping out a room like this you should put your head round the door at a level that’s unexpected.

Gerry Hall (electronic counter measures): What he should use is an eyeball, a small camera that you can roll into a room that rights itself, so you can check that the coast is clear.

Harry: If you were trying to get around unobserved, you’d take some of that washing and go out as a cleaner. If you’re in evening dress and carrying a gun it might attract attention.

Bond enters the ventilation shafts of the hotel

Will: Unless you have a schematic, you’ll get lost.

Harry: Shafts tend to collapse under your weight.

Will: If I was in the position of the bad guys, I’d have littered the place with PIRs [passive infra-red sensors] that detect movement, like on burglar alarms.

Harry: I’m just wondering how much paperwork all this would generate.

Bond uses a lockpick Harry: There’s a department of six that spends all its time working out how to get through locks and alarms. Normally for a job like this you’d plan in advance, and then the plan would go wrong 20 seconds in. So this is pretty accurate.

Will: A lot of training is on when to shoot and when not to. That’s why stealth is your best option. On the rare occasions I’ve been in a firefight, the one thing you can’t count on is civilians.

Harry: I’d quite like to see some civilians here. In the real world there are always noncombatants around.

Will: It’s good that the baddies aren’t all grouped together. That’s a sign of training. I see Bond’s using a 9mm. You might as well throw the gun at them.

Harry: Funnily enough, this is now becoming closer to the real job. In the Cold War it was all terribly polite. Now with the terrorist war, the chances of being in a firefight are greater.


Our panel was impressed by the way the game offered the option of playing stealthily or going in all guns blazing. All favoured stealth.

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