Sinclair User31st May 1989
Published in Sinclair User #90
Licence To Kill
He's big. He's back. He's pretty bad too. Well, maybe I'm being a little harsh, but for me, the latest 007 outing just doesn't hold together.
It's a three stage package, with subsections in each, largely similar games we've all seen before.
Part one, stage 1 is a vertically scrolling shoot out, similar to Slap Fight and others. You've got to fly your helicopter over hostile enemy terrain, chasing arch baddie the smuggler Sanchez (and his beautiful girlfriend, as if it mattered) in his jeep. Watch out for the Machine-gun installations of Predictableness, firing out at all directions and blowing you to bits. Being blown to bits is an extremely bad thing, and is best avoided. In the style of the Man Himself, you dart about, zooping and swooping like nobody's business. Well, like James Bond's business in fact.
While many of the problems associated with those games have been avoided; you can pretty much see where the bullets are coming from etc., it simply isn't very exciting. You can blow up the baddie's car extremely easily, and you end up losing more lives by bashing yourself into unpredictably high buildings than falling foul of the bullets.
The 2nd stage of Part One involves a lot of running around and shooting, Bondy is on foot, and picking off the bad guys with his famous Beretta. Actually, this bit is pretty good. Although the graphics are completely liny, the sighting of the gun is excellent, a little circle indicating the approximate position of the fall of your bullets. You can take cover behind packing cases and debris and pick up spare ammunition.
Make sure that you don't leave yourself short on bullets at any stage; this is a sure-fire route to doom as Sanchez' henchmen will polish you off double-quick.
The next stage is thankfully closer to Bond's traditional exploits. You've got to prevent the evil Sanchez from fleering to Cuba by hooking a tow-rope onto the back of his plane. Not as easy as it sounds. Nigh on impossible in fact. If you're not absolutely spot-on target, you're done for.
Later stages in the game involve more high-risk antics like waterskiing behind seaplanes and chasing drug-laden lorries through treacherous terrain.
While there's a lot of variety in the package, and you are able to re-enact most of the memorable moment from the film, the problem with L.T.K. is that it just doesn't hold together. I found I was getting myself killed with questionable regularity, more often from an inanimate piece of scenery than an active bad guy.
If you're a fan of Mr Smooth, you'll probably find your needs suitably catered for. Otherwise, a re-run of five games from the back of your software cupboard provide as much excitement.
Better than previous efforts, but hardly a premium Bond. (Arf).