When we first heard Adele’s ‘Skyfall’ theme, we thought it a tad dull – classy, certainly, but not as bombastic as what we were expecting. Thankfully, watching the recent trailer with the song played over the top of it makes everything fall into place – the song fits the Craig version of the character, inspired as he is by both the legacies of Ian Fleming’s Bond and each preceding actor who has taken on the role. We expect it’ll fit very nicely over the opening sequence.
When people talk about Bond themes, though, the ones put together exclusively for Bond’s videogame forays are rarely mentioned. Bond games have only been receiving their own full, proper themes since last generation (we’re sticking exclusively with the games that actually had full-on sequences to accompany their opening tracks), but there have actually been a few winners among them.
007 Nightfire (2002)
Nightfire was a great game, but the opening sequence is pretty much the definition of what reviewers meant when they described a game as ‘cinematic’ in 2002. It’s not quite there yet; it’s reminiscent of a Bond opening sequence, certainly, but it just doesn’t quite feel right. Still, there’s nothing overly offensive about the opening of Nightfire, and I dare say the song is a damn sight better than Madonna’s ‘Die Another Day’.
007: Everything or Nothing (2003)
This is an interesting one – forgettable, despite the weird ‘Love Shack’ riff that seems to be happening towards the end there, Everything or Nothing’s opening sequence is focused very heavily on revealing its cast. It’s a fun throwback to a time when having actual Hollywood actors was still a pretty big get for a game, even in a post-Vice City world. The game itself was, I have been told, very good (it’s the only one on this list I haven’t played), but was followed by a string of pretty terrible efforts.
Quantum of Solace (2008)
I liked Jack White and Alica Keys’ track for Quantum of Solace, as much as I didn’t care for the film itself. Lyrically, I liked the exploration of the paranoia Bond has to deal with constantly, which was such a big part of Fleming’s original novels. I’m also rather fond of this original piece, although drowning it out with the noises of a crappy CGI remake of the movie’s opening car chase was a silly decision…
Goldeneye 007 (Wii, 2010, Xbox 360/PS3, 2011)
It’s not controversial to say that this is better than the original version from the film, right? Nicole Scherzinger did a fine job with a pretty ropey song, and the visuals are well in-line with what we’ve come to expect from Craig’s Bond, as much as we miss Sean Bean as Alec. This version of Goldeneye won’t go down in history the way the N64 version did, but it certainly stayed true, in this opening sequence, to what had come before it.
007: Blood Stone (2011)
Blood Stone was hugely undervalued, as far as I’m concerned. It was a little too flashy and explosive to really feel like a perfect take on Bond, but Bizarre Creations were a damn talented team, and this was a game full of great moments – including this opening. I’m not a huge Joss Stone fan, but she absolutely nails it in this one, and the visuals are awesome, even if they do rip off Casino Royale a bit. Bond fans that overlooked Blood Stone because of middling reviews would be well advised to pick up a copy from their nearest bargain bin.
007 Legends (2012)
Yep, it’s basically a rearrangement of ‘Goldfinger’. Consequently the whole thing is a little boring, but it also does what you’d expect a game called ‘007 Legends’ to do – it makes you reminisce about one of Bond’s better film outings. It’s not as subtle or elegant as the nostalgia Adele is evoking with ‘Skyfall’, but it’s something.
By James O'Connor
What's your favourite Bond song from a game or movie?