MI6 caught up with the production team of the
forthcoming Sony PSP edition of the latest James Bond
videogame "From Russia With Love" for an
FRWL - Sony PSP Producer Interview
3rd February 2006
How easy is it for someone who has never played a PSP before
to pick the game up and start to play "From Russia With Love"?
What features have you included to help first timers?
The target lock system makes From Russia With Love PSP accessible
to less experienced gamers. It’s something that anyone can
pick up and get the hang of within a few minutes. The more advanced
features such as the finishing moves and Bond Focus have a steeper
learning curve, but they’re still reasonably intuitive and
not overly difficult to become comfortable with.
We also have the “Operative” difficulty level, which
is tuned to so that novice gamers can enjoy the entire mission
based story mode. We’ve placed hints and tips on the loading
screens, which gamers of all experience levels will find useful.
Above: The cut scenes have been faithfully
converted to the PSP.
How did you decide which technologies to integrate for the
game? With a new range of features available to consumers what
will set this game apart past handheld Bond titles?
Our main goal was to have the PSP version of From Russia With
Love be a thoroughly engrossing PSP game, so we put a lot of thought
and effort into making it just that. The desire to create quick
and easily accessible gameplay experiences also motivated many
design decisions, from creating shorter campaigns to a new focus
on mini-games. I think that gamers will find that this title takes
the handheld Bond video game experience to a whole new level.
Visually, what improvements will we see over previous
handheld games in "From Russia With Love"?
For starters, From Russia With Love is completely 3D and
takes full advantage of the PSP hardware. The game looks
great on the PSP and retains much of the visual quality
of the console versions.
What were the most difficult aspects and technical
challenges developing the game for the new PSP platform?
How have you adapted the control system to work on the PSP?
The tricky part of adapting a console game to the PSP is
that the PSP system lacks a second analog control input.
It also has fewer buttons than any of the console controllers.
We spent considerable effort thinking the controls through.
We didn’t want to remove any functionality, yet we
had fewer options available to us.
Because of the lack of a second analog control input, we
wanted to make sure that gamers had solid camera control
and the ability to move the player while manually aiming
the target reticle. The player can enter a free look mode
by holding the L button down and moving the analog stick
and also rotate the camera on the X-axis while running through
the environments by pressing the Circle and Square buttons.
Additionally, we’ve given players the ability to
set their control preferences such as manual aim sensitivity,
manual aim input (analog stick or face buttons) and invert
the Y-axis in the control options menu.
How has the game engine been tweaked to suit the PSP? If
so what differences will we notice compared to the console platforms?
We’ve added ragdoll physics, which makes Bond Focus very
cool on the PSP. We’ve overhauled the UI to cater the in-game
inventory system to the pick-up-and play aspect of the PSP. Players
will be able to upgrade their inventory items on-the-fly instead
of having to navigate complicated menus.
There are new Bond Moments in the PSP version of the game. Finding
Bond moments unlock new classic Bond villain multiplayer characters.
And of course, there is online multiplayer with bots, which makes
the multiplayer experience entirely different than on the consoles.
The PSP features wireless, allowing for multiplayer action,
will we be seeing any new environments?
Yes, there are 3 new multiplayer maps available on the PSP: Factory,
Sniper Alley and Train.
Will the five new multiplayer characters be original EA creations,
or from the Bond universe? Will we see Bots in the multiplayer
The new unlockable multiplayer characters are 100% classic Bond
villains. Bots play a big part in the multiplayer experience.
Above: An example of the new rag doll
physics in the PSP version.
Can you tell us a little more about the 16 mini games? What
will they be made up of 3rd person and jetpack?
There are 2 Bond Challenges for each of the 8 missions in the
game. The first challenge is unlocked when you disable the target
number of enemies in a mission. The second challenge is unlocked
when you complete a mission within the target time. There is a
good deal of variety to be had in the Bond Challenges. There are
races, shooting galleries, objective based challenges and survival
challenges in which your goal is to stay alive as long as possible.
The game will feature a new gadget called the ‘Q Dart’
- can you tell us a little about it and how it works?
The Q-Dart is a new gadget that the player gains a few missions
into the game. It’s a small disc that Bond throws (using
manual aim) that hovers and targets and dispatches enemies. The
Q-Dart is most useful when it is deployed strategically (thrown
around corners, in doorways, etc.). It has limited ammo, so it
is not something to be used wantonly.
Above: Red Grant in action.
How long has the title been in development? Did you spend
much time trying to match the established console version?
We started developing the PSP version towards late in the development
cycle of the console versions and are we are just putting the
finishing touches on it now.
We wanted to keep the story elements and the basic gameplay mechanics
from the console versions intact. But, the PSP is an entirely
different animal than the consoles. We wanted this version of
the game to hold its own as a PSP title, so that was how we approached
Finally, what are you most proud of with the game? What do
you think Bond fans will enjoy the most?
I really dig the Bond Challenge mini games. They’re perfect
for the pickup-and-play style gameplay that PSP owners want. Multiplayer
is also a lot of fun, especially now that we have bots. I think
that Bond fans who have PSPs will really eat this game up. Multiplayer
is awesome, the Bond Challenges are super cool and of course,
we have none other than the original James Bond (as portrayed
by the legendary Sir Sean Connery) as the centrepiece of the entire
Many thanks to EA Games.