With the official announcement due in April, MI6 previews some of the features in the forthcoming videogame "From Russia With Love" by EA Games...

FRWL March Report
31st March 2005

As MI6 exclusively revealed in January, the next James Bond game from EA will be titled "From Russia With Love" and set around the 1963 film. 007's likeness and voice in the third person perspective game will be none-other than the original Bond - Sir Sean Connery.

A New Twist
"From Russia With Love", Connery's favourite film, will be the basis for the game, which will retain the early 1960's setting.

Rather than create a by-the-numbers game based on the film, EA have expanded the storyline of the movie to include additional action sequences, equipment and characters.

MI6 looks at the double-o-seven most important additions and twists...

Above: The first look at the digital Connery.

001: Travel
At least three new locations will be added to the adventure: a chilly warehouse set in the foothills of mountains, an aerial gun fight around Big Ben in London, and a bike chase through an underground box-car railway. The climax of the film, where Bond pins Klebb to the wall with a chair to avoid her deadly poison shoes, will be featured - but before the end of the game. Instead, players will have to guide Bond to glory in a climactic battle in an underground base.

Above: Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi pose for the press in a rare candid shot (image courtesy CinemaRetro magazine).

002: Equipment
As well as throwing in a few more locations, EA will be supplying Bond with extra equipment for this version of the "From Russia With Love" adventure. Expect to see the classic "Thunderball" jet pack and "Goldfinger" Aston Martin DB5, as well as other elements from Connery's era of movies.

003: New Faces
Due to many of the original cast members being either retired or passed away, EA will also be adding some additional characters to the classic mix. Following on from the successful "Everything or Nothing", top Hollywood talent will be supplying voice and likeness to the new characters.

004: Assistance
In previous 007 games, the Bond Girl has popped up in the cinematic cut scenes and little else. In "From Russia With Love", Tatiana Romanova will be essential to the success of the missions, working with you in certain locations where she will assist with advice, and others where you have to protect her safe passage. Bond may prefer to work alone, but he will also receive help from Kerim Bey and other MI6 operatives throughout the game.

005: Continuity & Change
An essential aspect of the movie series, "From Russia With Love" will feature some continuity and some change on past elements. Returning from past Bond games will be the Rappel Gun from "Everything or Nothing" and the Laser Watch from "GoldenEye 64". Change will come in the form of the Q-Copter which is a 1960's flying predecessor of the Q-Spider, and the Serum Gun which, when fired at enemies, will cause them to go berserk and take out everyone around them.

006: Freedom
The last James Bond game, "Everything or Nothing", offered some choice for gamers as they selected different vehicles or different approaches to completing the same missions. With "From Russia With Love", players will be granted even more freedom to steer 007 to success. Mission objectives will be more open ended, and more importantly, flexible in the order in which they can be achieved. As well as the regular 3rd person perspective roaming and shooting action, and driving sequences, players will also have to solve time critical puzzles with Bond - another addition to the successful EoN format.

007: Appearances
Early work on the game assumed a next generation console release (PlayStation 3, XBox Next), so game models have been pared back for release on the regular PS2, Xbox and GameCube platforms. Although the polygon count and texture definition has decreased from initial plans, the appearance of the early development version is still stunning, and improves on "Everything or Nothing" in every department. The lifelike models and animation of a digital Sean Connery will amaze even the hardcore gamers.

Above: Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi pass the time between scenes (image courtesy CinemaRetro magazine).

Development of the game will take place at EA Redwood studios (USA) and will ship in late 2005 / early 2006 on Microsoft Xbox, Sony PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube. An official announcement of the game is expected in April 2005.

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