The thing that really brings Quantum of Solace down, though, is the lack of a coherent story. This is largely because in addition to the titular movie it features content from 2006's Casino Royale. The action from the earlier film is presented as an extended flashback sequence that kicks in after an hour or so of gameplay, and it feels out of place in the context of the main story. It goes on for so long that by the time you are thrust back into the story proper, you will almost certainly have forgotten why you're standing on a rocky outcrop in the middle of a jungle next to a downed helicopter. The story takes only four to five hours to play through, and ends very abruptly. There's some replay value, though only if you're into unlocking achievements, finding hidden items, or checking out different difficulty settings.
Thankfully, the multiplayer suffers from none of the issues that put a damper on the single-player experience, and the wealth of modes makes for manic fun across all of the game's varied environments. The linear chase through the Siena rooftops provides the basis for a great multiplayer environment spread over a seemingly wider area, for example, while the courtyards of Venice provide some intense close-quarters action. Most of the multiplayer modes pit nameless MI6 operatives against mercenaries from a shadowy group known simply as The Organisation. The Man With the Golden Gun mode is worth singling out from the standard selection of deathmatch and territory control modes, however, as it lends itself well to manic encounters. All players are fighting for control of a gold Magnum that fires explosive one-hit-kill rounds, and kills with it count for much more than those using other weapons. The nature of the challenge means that nervous and fragile alliances will be formed on the fly among players going for the gun, with all parties waiting for just the right moment to annihilate those around them.
Other interesting multiplayer modes include those in which you get to play as Bond. Bond Evasion is a team-based escort-style game in which MI6 players are charged with making sure that the Bond player makes it to an exit point alive. Bond Versus, on the other hand, pits The Bond player against everyone else in the game in a fight to the death. Bond has access to more impressive gadgets than his Organisation enemies, he can see them on his minimap, and he has two lives. Bond can only live twice, Organisation players can only live once. Both of these modes are fun for a while, and they provide an interesting counterpoint to the more traditional offerings.
To give the multiplayer even more longevity, credits are awarded from each successful round based on your contribution. These can then be spent on new weapons, new gadgets--such as scopes, extra ammo capacity, or armour--and even rather excessive golden weapons. These are a nice touch for those who want to make it very clear how little taste they have or to flaunt their experience over less-seasoned competitors. The standard loadout is good enough, however, to not put new players at any great disadvantage, and it's also possible to earn credits in the modes that don't let you customise your starting weapon or equipment set.
It's unfortunate that Quantum of Solace's single-player mode is so short-lived, but there's enough good multiplayer content here to keep you playing long after you've saved the world.