From Russia with Love is one of the best James Bond movies. It's got the knife fight with bottle-blonde Robert Shaw aboard the Orient Express; Kurt Weill's widow, Lotte Lenya, as Rosa Klebb; and the first appearance of Q. When Electronic Arts' plans for a new Bond video game starring Pierce Brosnan were sabotaged by Brosnan's removal from the franchise, EA instead decided to adapt From Russia with Love—and they hired Sean Connery to serve as Bond's voice.

Admittedly, this isn't as ludicrous as Marlon Brando recording voices for EA's Godfather video game (due next year). But it raises an interesting prospect: If Connery was the best Bond, why not have him keep playing Bond in video game form? It's no stretch at all to imagine EA creating an original storyline for Connery in a future release. And with that floodgate opened, there's clearly no end to the awful possibilities. Maltese Falcon: The Revenge of Joel Cairo, anyone? I'm ready for my Xbox, Mr. DeMille.

The sad truth, however, is that Connery doesn't sound like James Bond anymore. His accent has become heavily magnified while all the bass has dropped out, so Bond sounds like an 80-year-old Scotsman with emphysema. Connery doesn't talk like Bond, either—the sardonic edge to his wit has faded, and the result is one flat line reading after another. Even the computer-generated Bond avatar is just showing up for its paycheck; in many scenes its lips don't move when it talks.

Then there's the matter of the game itself. It's just as dull as EA's recent Batman Begins and GoldenEye games. These are games that play the same way every time, no matter who is playing or what they're doing. Games such as Metal Gear Solid and Splinter Cell reward you for experimenting and outsmarting the enemy, and when you screw up they take advantage of it by piling on the opposition. They're dynamic, a word EA can't pronounce, and by comparison From Russia with Love is a repetitious shooting gallery. Its elaborate level designs are pointless: The fact that you can enter the same room from three different directions means nothing when the room plays out exactly the same way every time. A firefight in one area has no impact on nearby areas. Enemies never get smarter—they just get more numerous. It's exciting to match wits with a game and outsmart it. It's dull to plod through the same experience every time, and that's exactly what EA cranks out.

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Filmmaker Peter Jackson is an avid video-gamer and you can tell: He chose Ubisoft to make the King Kong video game, publicly bashing EA for their pretty but vapid Lord of the Rings titles. From Russia with Love is Potemkin game design at its finest, a pretty façade concealing a void of inspiration.

editor@thestranger.com