007: Blood Stone

7.0 Overall Score

Written by on December 10, 2010 in

For a lot of gamers, including myself, some of the fondest memories in gaming come from a little game called Goldeneye on the N64.  Ever since that Bond game, developers have been trying to re-capture the experience that Goldeneye had on gamers, but none have been as successful.  The newest James Bond game, 007 Blood Stone aims to be the next big Bond game, but unfortunately it falls short of the mark and instead the result is nothing more than mediocre.

When gamers think of a James Bond game, they usually envision a first person shooter, but 007 Blood Stone takes a different approach and instead adopts a third person perspective. This works really well with the story mode as it emulates the feel of a Bond movie.  Speaking of the Bond movies, actors Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench reprise their roles as James Bond and M perfectly in Blood Stone.  Also supplying a voice talent is singer/actress Joss Stone who performs the theme song for the game as well.  Just like every Bond game to come before it, there is multiplayer in Blood Stone which supports 16 players online, but in the end, it feels lacking.

The story mode in Blood Stone is the highlight of the game, but the plot is still kind-of weak.  Playing as Bond, you will be tracking a group of biochemical terrorists around the globe in such locations as Greece, Istanbul, and Bangkok.  Developer, Bizarre Creations, did a great job in making the plot feel very much like a current Bond movie such as Casino Royal and Quantum of Solace, but the game’s plot feels dumbed down compared to those movies.

The gameplay style of Blood Stone is broken up between stealth/shooting levels and driving levels.  As I mentioned before, Blood Stone features a third person perspective rather than the traditional first person view for shooters and for the most part, the result is quite good.  Rather than make the game a standard shooter though, Blood Stone also incorporates a stealth mechanic which works pretty well, but not as good as other games that it tries to emulate such as Splinter Cell.  There are not that many stealth portions the game and even if you get spotted, you can just gun down everyone which makes me wonder why these stealth segments are even in the game.  When you take out an enemy with a melee attack you will gain a focus kill ability which works similar the “mark and execute” feature from Ubisoft’s Splinter Cell: Conviction.  Once you have one of these focus kill powers, you can slow down time and 1-shot kill an enemy. This power can also be chained with up to 3 enemies which helps to clear out areas with multiple enemies.

Although the majority of Blood Stone’s levels are third person shooting segments, the driving portions of the game is where Blood Stone shines. During these driving sequences, you will be chasing a target while avoiding obstacles.  There is not much variety offered here, but the action and explosions are top notch.  Sadly, there are only 3 driving levels in the entire game, but they do help move the story along quite nicely as well as give that authentic Bond movie feel.

The graphics in Blood Stone are hit and miss, during the actual gameplay, the visuals and set pieces are quite stunning, but during cut scenes, the visuals are poor at best.  The main problem here is that the characters have almost no texture and end up looking more like wax mannequins than actual people, seriously!, Judi Dench’s “M” actually looks like the stuff of nightmares.  Character textures aside, the rest of Blood Stone’s visuals are really good and sometimes breath taking.  Just like Bizarre Creation’s Project Gotham racing series, the graphics during the driving sequences are superb and are chock full of high speed car chases and explosions, everything you would expect in a James Bond movie.  I don’t know what happened during the development of this game that they failed on character textures, but if a little more attention was given here, the end result would have left us with an amazing looking game.

Whenever someone says James Bond with relation to a video game, instantly we think of multiplayer, unfortunately, Blood Stone’s multiplayer is not worth your time.  All the magic that makes a Bond game’s multiplayer fun is gone; no cast of playable Bond characters, no famous gadgets, nothing!  Instead, this multiplayer feels simple and generic and could have been for any game, in fact, it sort-of feels like the multiplayer mode was tacked on at the last minute, almost as if the game couldn’t be released without a multiplayer game mode.  In my honest opinion, I would have enjoyed the game more if it was a single player only game because this multiplayer is an embarrassment.

The achievements are pretty straight forward, most are unlocked by just playing through the game a couple times while the rest are obtained in multiplayer.  For those going for the full 1000 gamerscore, beware! As of right now, there is at least one achievement that is glitched and is not obtainable and it’s related to the multiplayer mode.  Aside from the glitched achievement, you will have to go through the game twice, one time to unlock the hardest difficulty and then one playthrough on that difficulty.  There are some achievements related to the driving missions that can be tough, but with a little practice, they shouldn’t be that hard.  The rest of the achievements are all related to the multiplayer mode and they will take a very long time to acquire as you have to get 500 kills with each weapon.  This is a problem because at this time, the multiplayer community is almost dead with the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops.  If you are a die hard achievement hunter, most likely, you will have to get a boosting group together to get those achievements.  Overall, the achievements are not that hard, but if you want the maximum amount of gamerscore, you will have a lot of boosting to do.

Ever since Goldeneye on the N64, I have been a fan of the Bond video game series.  Over the years, there has been hits and misses, but none seem to have had that lasting effect that Goldeneye had and the same goes for Blood Stone.  In many ways, Blood Stone does a lot of things right, it has a good third-person perspective gameplay, amazing voice acting and suspenseful driving sequences all of which give the game that authentic James Bond movie feel.  Unfortunately the game falls flat on the multiplayer mode as it feels generic and rushed.  I would have rather the game been only a single player game, but I guess with Bond games, developers feel that they need multiplayer, a trend that I wish would stop.  My thoughts are that if you can’t do a good job, then leave out the game mode entirely, at least I could respect that decision.  I am sure that in a couple years, we will see another Bond game surface, I only hope that whoever develops it, learns from the mistakes of 007 Blood Stone.

A copy of James Bond 007: Blood Stone was provided to The Married Gamers for the purpose of review.


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Author: Miles Messenger View all posts by
I'm a 28 year old guy who enjoys all things gaming. I am married to a wonderful woman who is working on a career as a published author and I'm so proud of her for all that she's accomplished. For my day job, I am a supervisor at a Home Warranty company. It's not the greatest job, but it brings in the bacon.

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