6 Games to Awake Your Inner James Bond

The latest big screen adaption of Ian Fleming’s MI6 agent, James Bond, was released this month and  it’s named Skyfall. Along with the usual action-packed story of car chases and many people being shot, there was the beautiful title song from Adele, some good acting from Daniel Craig and guests, and other things you’d expect from a 007 film. It was good, and I am glad I went to see it.

What about living the James Bond life though? Obviously you can’t do so daily, but there are always video games. Consider transporting yourself to the world of espionage and secret codes. Books can only take you so far, as can motion pictures. It’d be more fun to actually feel like you are the character. Sadly, there are no official Bond games available. There are alternatives, however, and I’d like to take a look at some of them after the break.

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Metal Gear Solid Touch

Japanese franchise Metal Gear Solid is, there’s no denying, very strange. It’s been around since 1998 and was first released for the original PlayStation. Since then, there have only been a few new versions of the game, one of them for the iPad. With a simple “Touch” added to the original name, the developers optimized the entire title for Apple’s tablet with graphics improvements and everything. In this edition, there are 20 levels spanning over five areas, from South America to Outer Haven.

This game isn’t really the original Metal Gear Solid, though. It’s based off of the fourth game in the franchise, Guns of the Patriots, and aims at users who want to “touch” on the classic series. Even though it hasn’t been updated in just over a year and lacks support for the Retina iPad (as if you haven’t heard that enough), the game is universal so you can take it with you in your pocket if you’ve got your trusty iPhone at hand. Also, at only 99 cents, there’s no reason to not give this classic a try.

Price: $.99
Requires: iOS 3.0 or later
Developer: Konami Digital Entertainment Inc.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard HD

Tom Clancy has been known for having his espionage books turned into action-packed games. First there was the original Rainbow Six from 1998, then the further editions that made their way to popular consoles like the Xbox 360. In 2011, Clancy partnered with Gameloft to release an iPad game titled Rainbow Six: Shadow Vanguard HD. It was the first touchscreen shooter, and definitely one of the most fun on the iPad at the time.

Now, more than a year later, the game is still great. It offers 11 missions, co-op and multiplayer modes, and lots of fancy gadgets for sneaking up on the enemy. As you use advanced tactics to defeat your opposition, you might notice that the game isn’t Retina optimized. While that’s disappointing, it’s not really that noticeable when you get to playing. After about ten minutes, it all feels the same. And for $6.99, you can’t beat this stealthy game.

Price: $6.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Gameloft S.A.

Splinter Cell Conviction HD

Splinter Cell Conviction can be called the closest thing to James Bond on the iPad. The franchise, yet another by the author Tom Clancy, has been around since 2002. It came to the iPad in August of 2010 though, triumphing over Rainbow Six. There are a total of 11 levels in this game, somewhere in eight locations. On top of that, there’s nothing that says stealth like this game. Every pistol has a silencer, every little movement counts, and there’s even a Mark & Execute feature for a quick take-out burst.

Yet again, this app does not have the best graphics if you’re using a new iPad. The experience and story are still great, and this game is definitely worth a try if you really enjoy spying and sneaking up on people. The tactics used are some of the most realistic as well.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 3.2 or later
Developer: Gameloft S.A.

Contract Killer 2

From Glu Games Inc. comes a rogue shooter. It involves stealth, deftness and sometimes, pure luck. The purpose of every mission is to sneak into the enemy’s base or hideout and assassinate your target. It’s a bit like Assassin’s Creed, only more modern and long-range. You get to use sniper rifles with silencers in the first-person contracts and machine guns with melee attacks in the more hand-to-hand combat areas.

Sadly, this game just came out and has a few bugs, along with no support for the original iPad. It should still be great on an iPad mini or Retina display iPad, though. Even though the game is free, cash and credits cost a pretty penny, so you might want to disable in-app purchases on your device before playing.

Price: Free
Requires: iOS 4.3 or later and iPad 2 or later
Developer: Glu Games Inc.

Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation

This one isn’t so much about secret agents and spies as the others, but it’s still an action-packed game. The campaign of this game features 13 missions with locations ranging from Los Angeles to Pakistan. It’s graphics are the most realistic you’ll find in any first-person shooter on the iPad. They’re even optimized for the Retina display, meaning that everything will look as crisp as possible on your 3rd or 4th generation device. When you’ve wrapped up the campaign, head to multiplayer mode where you can have seven different types of battles of up to 12 people in six maps.

It’s hard to call this game an original masterpiece, but it sure is one of the best-looking in its genre. Many other entries here don’t have optimization for the Retina display, and also haven’t been updated in a while. Modern Combat 3 even sports 720p AirPlay support if you want to play on the big screen with your Apple TV. All this for $4.99, bundled in a universal app, makes it hard to pass up.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 4.3 or later
Developer: Gameloft S.A.

Grand Theft Auto 3

Last up is a game you wouldn’t even expect to see in here. This one’s beyond rogue and near scoundrel territory. Regardless, it sure is a classic. If you remember, the original 2D version of Grand Theft Auto was released in 1997 on Windows/DOS and PlayStation. Compared to the iPad version even, it was boring and ugly, but it was the beginning. In the iPad game, everything is 3D, driving cars is exciting, and the graphics are nothing like they were in the original.

Welcome to Liberty City where you can steal a fancy car here and there. Do so with your iPhone or iPad — they don’t care. All the controls are optimized for mobile devices and graphics do their best to stay off the grounds of choppy. If you ever played this game back in the day, you’re going to really like its price on iOS: $4.99. Spend this weekend stealing a few cars.

Price: $4.99
Requires: iOS 4.3 or later
Developer: Rockstar Games, Inc.

Anything Else?

You’ve now read a good deal about the shoot-’em-up games available on the App Store. If you feel educated, maybe you’ll go buy one. If not, tell us what you think some great games for James Bond fans would be. Go outside the box, think retro, even consider a vigilante approach — it all counts.