"GoldenEye 007" for the Nintendo 64 set the bar high, for both movie tie-in games and James Bond games. Since then, "Everything or Nothing" and "From Russia With Love" have done an excellent job of allowing gamers to feel like they were James Bond. "Quantum of Solace" for the PS2 is the latest in a long line of James Bond games, and it's decent, but doesn't meet expectations.
First of all, there's a difference between the QoS game for the PS2 and the QoS game for next-gen consoles. While the next-gen version of the game is primarily a first-person shoot, the PS2 version of the game is exclusively third-person, offers a smaller arsenal of weapons, and has much weaker graphics. James Bond looks remarkably like Daniel Craig, but the other characters look more like something from the Nintendo 64 game. Particularly, Olga Kurylenko's character, one of the most beautiful Bond girls in decades, looks decidedly unattractive here. Also, the PS2 game is missing several of the levels from the next-gen version, including only one new level, the Haitian docks, as a consolation.
Level design in other Bond games wasn't exactly complex, but in QoS the missions are far too linear. Most of the game play in the PS2 version of the game consists of running into a fire fight, ducking behind cover, then either "blind firing" from safety or peeking out to try a more precise shot. In some instances it's possible to execute a stealth attack, but rarely worth it. Melee attacks, unlike EON or FRWL, consist solely of a pistol whip, which can be effective, but if you miss you will almost certainly die. There's no departing from the beaten path to execute "Bond moves", no playing with fancy gadgets (fair enough, since Q doesn't appear in either of the movies the game is based on, "Quantum of Solace" or "Casino Royale"). Bond isn't even able to carry grenades, though several enemies are able to lob them at him. There's also absolutely no vehicle levels, which is a shame since the source material provided plenty of great moments to drive an Aston Martin, motorcycle, boat, or a DC3 plane.
The game is at its best when its letting you reenact moments from the films. Locations like the Madagascar construction site from CR and the Sienna rooftops and Perla Las Dunas Hotel from QoS are recreated accurately in the game, so that it feels like you are actually playing through the events of the movies. These are the moments the game makes a worthy movie tie-in. On the other hand, the worst aspects of the game is when it differs from the movies. Across consoles, first of all, rather than traditional cut scenes, most of the story is told through graphics like those on M's computer module in the QoS film. Plot points are quickly communicated through conversations between M and other characters following Bond's progress. Granted, the game has to combine the stories of two major films, but in the end it's still far too brief, and there's no excuse for the "tell, don't show" approach that skips over huge chunks of the plot and doesn't allow the player to be present at events such as Bond's assault on an embassy or the climactic card game in CR.
Major characters are excluded from the plot altogether. While Daniel Craig, Olga Kurylenko, Eva Green, Mads Mikkelson, and Judi Dench all provide their voice and likeness to the game, memorable characters like Gemma Arterton's Agent Strawberry Fields, Caterina Murino's Solange, and Ivana Milicevic's Valenka fail to appear at all. The characters of Renee Mathis and Felix Leiter, major players in both movies, are left out entirely. Instead, forgettable characters like Elvis, Kratt, and Dimitrios become major boss fights. Apart from Craig and Dench, the other talents from the movie (at least in the PS2 version) are underutilized, only getting a few lines a piece. Also, scenes from the movie like the Bregenz Opera House and the Miama science museum have been changed for video game reasons. While both scenes in the movies were open to the public and crowded with civilians, the game has the locations closed, forcing Bond to sneak around them after hours. Once Bond is finally in the science museum, instead of the movie's captivating body works exhibit, the room contains a few model helicopters and some boring artifacts. The game's credits even spell Judi Dench's name wrong. (They credit "Judy Dench" as the voice of M.) The game is fun while it lasts, but it only takes a few hours to play through once. With no unlockable content and no multi-player for this console, the game has very little re-playability. While fun while it lasts, QoS, particularly on the PS2, doesn't quite capture what it means to be 007, and is worth only a rental, even for hardcore 007 fans.