James Bond is out for revenge in Quantum of Solace, and his quest lends itself to a fast-paced first-person shooter in this game adaptation. The game covers the action sequences of Casino Royale as well. It's a solid shooter with a handful of online game types, but aside from the Bond license, there's not much to make it stand out. Bond can rush and take out enemies with a quick, nasty attack, there are occasional Simon-style hacking minigames and fistfights with foes, and some levels call for stealthy movement. Bond also can take cover behind and fire around solid objects, and when he does, the game switches to a third-person view not unlike Gears of War.
Also this week: : Spectromancer, PC (Spectromancer.com download); Not rated; $19.95. A free demo of the game is at Spectromancer.com. ** 1/2
Spectromancer has players duel with the computer or an online opponent as one of several mage types. Each mage can cast spells from Fire, Water, Air and Earth schools, and a fifth school unique to the player's class. Necromancers employ Death magic, for instance. Each mage tries to deplete the other's life points by summoning creatures and casting spells, and the tide can turn rapidly in these duels. The mechanics are simple and allow for quite a bit of strategy, as players can choose from several spots on the playing field to summon creatures onto, and only creatures in the opposite area can block them.