Footsteps crunch in the snow. A bullet is chambered the barrel of a mysterious rifle. And then, the old familiar music starts up again. John Barry’s James Bond theme kicks up as the famous backdrop that’s kicked off many a 007 film comes into view, ending with a gunshot and a title. With the announcement of Project 007 coming from the offices of game developer IO Interactive this week, the eight-year drought of James Bond video games is presumed to be coming to a close in the near future. See for yourself by watching the announcement video below.
It's short, it's simple and it's a hell of a tease for a property that hasn't seen video game action in some time. But it also allowed an old friend to lead us down an interesting path of questioning. That friend is uncertainty, because while the teaser for Project 007 is intriguing, there’s little to no details about the game that are out there. So let’s get in on the ground floor and gather the details we know so far, along with the questions that they inspire.
Will This 007 Origin Story Play Into The Official Film Canon?
An interesting detail has come up among the few facts we have about Project 007. According to IO Interactive’s official press release for the game, the story that we’ll be playing through is going to be a totally original origin story for James Bond. More specifically, we’re going to see and experience how he got his 00 credentials at MI6. Considering we’ve already seen the second kill Bond had to make to become a 00 in Casino Royale's pre-credits sequence, we have to wonder if this totally independent story is going to somehow play into the film canon or reside outside of it. This is even more of an interesting query when you take into account another pretty important fact known to the world about Project 007.
Could Project 007 Set The Expectations Of The Next Era Of James Bond?
Further along in that same press release, Hakan Abrak, the CEO of IO Interactive, mentions that the game studio is “working closely” with “creative partners” from both MGM and EON Productions. So rather than just being an officially licensed tie-in game, like some of the titles produced by previous partners EA Games and Activision, some of the folks ensconced in the James Bond machine are going to be helping guide Project 007 into being. With those official connections, it has to be speculated as to whether or not this origin story will serve as a stepping stone for the next era of Bond adventures. It could either hammer home the origins we were briefly acquainted with in the Daniel Craig era, or start as a fresh new slate for whomever picks up the mantle next. Either way, this might be the beginning of the next chapter in 007 history.
Is Project 007 A Contemporary Game Or A Period Adventure?
There is, of course, another way that Project 007 could choose to go. Rather than just giving us a brand new James Bond adventure in the contemporary era, there is a possibility that if this game isn’t so neatly tied into the cinematic side of the house, it could be a period piece. Sending 007 back to any period between the ‘60s to the recent past could be a refreshing look, particularly when you remember how the lackluster 007 Legends tried to do something similar and failed to catch fire. Of course, with the advent of DLC, there’s always a possibility that certain mission packs could be crafted after Project 007’s base game is released, allowing players to live out their favorite Bond films with a controller and a smile.
How Long Are We Going To Have To Wait For Project 007 To Arrive?
At this moment, Project 007 is in “active development,” which, much like the world of the movies, means that the groundwork is being done in terms of everything that needs to be assembled. The game’s look, feel and storyline all need to be ironed out before we can even hope to see a glimpse of what awaits. But just how long is the entire process going to take before we have an idea on when to expect Project 007 on shelves? Admittedly, it’s best not to push these sorts of matters too hard, as even with a target date announced, the project could pull a Cyberpunk 2077, or worse, a Duke Nukem Forever, and see the game pushed back from an initial target. That being said, an entire console generation has passed without a major James Bond title released, and the sooner we know more about what to cautiously expect, the better.
Will Project 007 Bring Back Goldeneye 64 Tier Multiplayer?
Good or bad, the line of James Bond games before Project 007 have had some unique campaigns and game modes fans could look forward to. But if you want to know the one game pretty much all 007 fans hold in high regard, you need not look further than Rare’s Goldeneye 64. One particular aspect that seems to be hard to replicate is the insanely fun multiplayer mode that the Nintendo 64 game made famous, and time and again, fans have met would-be successors with everything from faint praise to absolute rejection. IO Interactive’s pedigree with the Hitman series clearly shows that it has the skill to do a Campaign mode worthy of Project 007’s potential greatness. If it can nail the multiplayer part of the equation as well, this game could be worth the hypothetical wait time.
Could We Get A James Bond Themed Battle Royale Game While We Wait?
At the very least, while the world waits for Project 007 to get into production and on the road to completion, there is another option that the folks at IO Interactive might want to consider. While everyone and their mother seems to want to get in on the battle royale market that games like Fortnite and Call of Duty have made so insanely popular, it wouldn’t hurt to develop a James Bond-themed version of that same concept that can be reskinned/progress on a parallel path. As it’s the simplest idea on how to get 007 back into the gaming world much quicker, it wouldn’t be a horrible idea to have the Bond aesthetic applied to a free for all where SPECTRE agents can square off against the good guys in combat. Think of it as an appetizer before the main course; only every so often, you can change what’s on the menu.
We’ve only scratched the surface of what Project 007 means for the James Bond franchise’s return to gaming. But for now, the prospects are delighting, as it feels like the same attention that’s been paid to the theatrical franchise is now being extended to this future endeavor in the video game space. We’ll have to wait and see what happens with Project 007, which makes our wait for No Time To Die’s April 2, 2021 release date all the more bearable. While we’re in the land of waiting, be sure to check out the 2021 release calendar, as there are plenty of other movies planning to transport the world to exciting and far off places in the near future. And, as always, James Bond will return.