Bizarre Creations has brought up another adventure in the 007 series. Published by Activision, Blood Stone puts players in control of super spy, James Bond (voiced by Daniel Craig), and he’s off to save the world once again. ‘For England, James?’
James Bond 007: Blood Stone
Developer: Bizarre Creations’ (Xbox 360, PS3), n-Space (Nintendo DS), High Moon Studios (PC)
Platform(s): Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo DS, PC
Genre: Cover-based 3rd Person Shooter
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Price: $59.99 (Xbox 360, PS3), $49.99 (PC)
Licence to Kill
007 is back for an all-new adventure, and it’s not based upon a movie this time. However, that didn’t stop Bizarre Creations from creating a completely new over-the-top action title starring everyone’s favorite spy. Following suit of the new Bond persona, Daniel Craig portrays his ruthless Bond image, once again without heavy focus on cool gadgets, but rather more focused on weapon and hand-to-hand combat techniques.
A View to a Kill
The developer team at Bizarre Creations knew what they were getting into, and I’m sure being based in England, they have some hardcore appreciation for the Bond licence. I personally think it showed well in Blood Stone. The game has an intensive mix of gameplay including a phenomenal boat chase, various driving sequences, and combination of fast-paced gunplay and stealth gameplay. Quietly approaching enemies from behind while crouched would allow you to perform a ‘takedown’ which offered various animations depending on a variety of factors including enemy position. The game is a cover-based shooter so you want to utilize this fact, and take cover on walls and various other structures whenever you can.
The Man with the Golden Gun
Okay, so maybe you don’t get a Golden Gun, but you get a handful of weapons that are familiar to you in Bond titles, including the MP5 and he classic Walther P99. These are great and all, but I honestly miss the gadgets including the watch laser, remote mines, and proximity mines. Times have changed though, and it’s a different type of gameplay that doesn’t really require those items. Blood Stone plays in a sense similar to Quantum of Solace, but it flows better thanks to the changes in gameplay style, and the locations in which Bond visits this time around. You’ll travel to Istanbul, Siberia, and a few other locations as you weave throughout seventeen levels of gameplay.
The Spy Who Loved Me
What would a Bond experience be without a beautiful woman? Say hello to Joss Stone who plays the role of the new Bond girl. In addition to lending her voice, Joss also wrote the new theme for Blood Stone, titled “I’ll Take It All”. The plot is Blood Stone is familiar to any Bond fans – so don’t expect to be blown away by twists and turns, but enjoy the cliché bad guy representing himself as a humanitarian, drive the fast and fancy cars, score with a beautiful woman, and then learn why you should never trust anyone but yourself.
For Your Eyes Only
Blood Stone is a visually appealing game and this was noticeable from the introductory boat chase. Tearing through a busy harbor with the glistening water all around me really put me into the action. The explosions were relatively impressive, as are most of the backdrops in the game. Some of the wall textures were lacking, and enclosed environments often seemed plain, but the outdoor levels were the truly appreciated ones. We’re not on the same level as titles such as the recently released Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, but in its own style, Blood Stone is a very nice looking game.
‘You Expect Me To Talk?’
Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, and Joss Stone are but three of the voices you’ll be hearing in your time with Blood Stone. As expected the voice acting is on par with the movies in terms of quality, but the dialogue itself feels lacking. Quite often, Bond spends his time listening to a random MI6 agent on his smartphone, but rarely responds with any acknowledgement. It would help to give him more dialogue to humanize him rather than displaying him as a drone in the game.
The World is Not Enough…
…and neither is a single player experience to many people. No worries, Blood Stone has an online multiplayer component. It’s not the most versatile, but it’s enough to give you a little something extra. Three modes – TDM, Objective, and Last Man Standing mixed with eight levels depending on the mode, are available to play. Multiplayer levels are small to large in size, and provide some good times with friends. You begin in front of weapon lockers to choose a weapon, but don’t take too long as the opposing team can sometimes reach you in mere seconds. If played properly, and you use cover often, you might eveJudyn make it to the 00 ranks in MI6.
Diamonds Are Forever
Yes, diamonds are forever, and so is the Bond licence. Blood Stone is a solid game that should last gamers approximately eight hours on the ‘Agent’ difficulty, and it features all the classic Bond moments you could wish for. If you’ve enjoyed the past couple Bond titles such as Nightfire and Quantum of Solace, try Blood Stone as it built upon features from those previous titles and it seems to bode well.
Cover-based tactics work well, stealth or all-out action techniques work in most areas, and entertaining CQC. Faster-paced action would be welcome to heat things up.
Impressive backdrops in outdoor levels, but sometimes a little too plain looking indoors.
A very solid voice cast including Daniel Craig, Joss Stone, and Judi Dench, and some fitting pieces during the action, but nothing truly memorable in the OST.
This review is based off the Xbox 360 version which was provided by Activision.0