Blood Stone: 007 Review

Blood Stone: 007 Review

For PC, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360

MSRP $29.99

1 Player

Blood Stone: 007 is a fast and frantic cinematic experience for the Xbox 360 and PS3. It came out around the same time as the GoldenEye remake for the Wii and met with underwhelming sales which led to the demise of the once promising Bizzare Creations studios. The game stars the now famous Daniel Craig as Bond, Dame Judi Dench as M, and songstress Joss Stone as Nicole Hunter.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that James Bond is probably the most uninteresting characters in movie history, yet actor Daniel Craig always brings a dark and gritty tone that humanizes the super spy. After seeing Casino Royale, I realized that the right actor and story can really bring a character down to earth.

Blood Stone: 007 casts players as the iconic spy as he solves yet another international conspiracy. The game’s plot is so convuluted that most players can just skip through the cutscenes and basically just kill everything that moves. there was nothing in the story that kept me invested with the characters or with Bond’s mission itself.

By the third act, everything pretty much felt like a chore. And because I didn’t care for the plot or the characters (except Bond), finishing the game was just a matter of accomplishing the game’s achievements. It felt like I had experienced everything the game had to offer by the mid-point of the second act. And while I appreciate the more quasi-realistic Bond experience here – meaning almost no gadgets except for the smartphone – the game would have been much better if players were given more of Bond’s tools to play with.

Players get the standard assortment of firearms here, from the Walther P99 to AK-47’s to high powered sniper rifles. Since Blood Stone is a third person shooter, Bizzare Creations added a cover system akin to that of Gears of War and Uncharted. Bond can aim using the left trigger (or L1 on PS3) or keep enemies suppressed by blind firing from cover. Shooting is standard fair here, with the occasional close combat mixed in. Bond is equipped with the “Focus Aim” attack that slows down time and basically allows him to score easy headshots. This isn’t unlimited though, and players must earn the focus aim attacks by performing close-combat attacks.

Speaking of close combat, Bond can also employ deadly close quarters hand to hand takedowns that are quite brutal. Thankfully, these takedowns are as deadly as they sound. Bond can quietly perform stealth takedowns or standard takedowns for a more deadly finish. One big issue I had with the game is with it’s handling of stealth. Bond can’t crouch or sneak and has to walk (as he would normally) behind a guy before performing a stealth takedown. This is a problem since Bond’s footsteps are so damn loud that everyone within a mile can hear it.

Finally, high-octane driving missions round out the package. These missions are Blood Stone’s highlight since all of the driving missions are intense, edge-of-your-seat, cinematic experiences that keep players pulse pounding until the very end. Bizzare Creations’ experience with racing games really made these levels fun and engaging; and definitely worth a replay or two.

Multiplayer is pretty much a straight copy of gears of war-type gameplay with a Bond feel mixed in. All the game modes were carbon-copy of modes found in other third person shooters. Don’t misunderstand though as the multiplayer is actually pretty fun to play and is engaging enough with its leveling up system that allows players to unlock new weapons and character skins. I just wish that they had added more Bond-themed multiplayer game modes that could differentiate the game from others in the genre.

Technical Presentation

Audio – Audio presentation is pretty much what you’d expect from a Bond game. Daniel Craig and Judi Dench’s Bond and M interact like mother/boss and son/agent. Their voice acting works and adds character to the game. Joss Stone however didn’t quite hit the same notes as Craig and Dench; most of her lines delivered as if reading from a script, quite unnatural.

The music is great with a new theme song, and the right amount of bond-theme mixes at key points in the game. Some of the bigger set pieces are accompanied by amazing music that feel just right and fits in with the overall atmosphere.

Graphics –  I was blown away by how photo-realistic this game can look. Some of the environments are downright gorgeous. Daniel Craig looks exactly like his real-life counterpart and animations are smooth and plentiful. The driving sections also feature some of the best explosions and destruction effects I’ve seen in a long time. The Bangkok driving mission was so intense, with explosions going off all around and buildings and structures being destroyed in real time. It really felt like the races found in MotorStorm: Apocalypse where everything makes you go “Oh S%@!”

Final Thoughts:

I’m a big fan of third person Bond games and I found some enjoyment with this title. Blood Stone: 007 succeeds in that it recreates an authentic Daniel Craig Bond experience that mimics it’s silverscreen counterpart. The set pieces, the music, and the overall presentation is undoubtedly the game’s best quality. However, the experience is hampered by a lack of gameplay variety as well as repetitive features. The short campaign length and a lackluster multiplayer suite also keep the game from being a must-buy to a rental.

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About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming. http://jtmgames.com/

Posted on September 9, 2011, in Game Reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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