Ever since Goldeneye hit the Nintendo 64, James Bond video games have always received a great deal of attention. In 2010 we have two James Bond releases, and today we are checking out James Bond 007: Blood Stone from developers Bizarre Creations who hopes to finally create a worthy Bond game. The big question that remains is how does Blood Stone stack up to the strong third person shooter competition? Read our full review to find out.
We have seen all sorts of different Bond experiences over the years, all of which have been trying to find that same “lightning in a bottle” sort of experience that Goldeneye did so many years ago. This year in Blood Stone you have a game that goes away from the recently used first person shooter and turns this into a third person action game with quite a few driving sequences thrown in for good measure. The fact that there is driving sequences in the game should come as no surprise since Bizarre Creations has been known for their driving games like Project Gotham Racing and most recently Blur.
So the bulk of the game is going to be found in the single player story mode which follows Bond saving the world and of course sipping on a few dry martinis. The single player mode as mentioned before is broken up into both cover based third person shooting as well as driving portions. For a third person shooter with an emphasis on taking cover the game functions relatively well. As many other cover based shooters before it is very much a rinse and repeat sort of feel. To help give Blood Stone a more Daniel Craig gritty feel, Bizarre did a nice job adding in the ability to do some hand to hand combat which is a nice touch. The hand to hand combat is sort of weird in that no matter what you can’t be beat.
The driving portions of Blood Stone are actually some of the more entertaining portions of the game, although a bit force fit. There are times where you kind of feel Bizarre just found convenient places to throw a driving sequence into the game because they could, not because it was the best design decision. What ends up happening because there are more then a few driving sequences they start to feel tired by the end. With that being said there are some pretty nifty scripted events that make the driving sequences a bit more interesting.
I have two big bones to pick with the single player experience. First is the cell phone. So throughout the game you are given reminders to use your cell phone to see where to go in the game. This takes you into this sort of fuzzy x-ray style view that is just plain hideous. Why the developers ever thought it was a good idea to have you spend nearly half the game in this view is beyond me. Secondly although the game is a very competent cover based shooter it is missing that polish that separates average from great. There is just nothing about Blood Stone that makes you want to keep coming back. The story is OK, the action is fine, and the fact that it’s a James Bond game is sort of irrelevant. It’s sort of a shame to because there was such great potential in what otherwise is a rather bland single player experience.
Multiplayer follows the same trend in Blood Stone which provides a rather cookie cutter sort of online multiplayer experience. Even more so then the single player, the multiplayer feels like the developers got into a conference room took some ideas from other games and through it together into a somewhat competent online multiplayer experience. In the day and age of amazing online shooters, there is no excuse for something like this.
Visually Blood Stone is a pretty solid looking game, in fact if it wasn’t for the cell phone x-ray style sequences I would say it is a great looking game. The frame rate holds up great both in the driving sequences as well as the third person shooting which is actually a pretty strong accomplishment. There is however a varying degree of detail found throughout the various locals some which are gorgeous others like the aquarium sequence could have used more time in development.
I haven’t mentioned this yet but I am a big fan of James Bond films in general and have really enjoyed the much more gritty Daniel Craig movies. So even more so then the Brosnan films, Craig’s movies to me feel much more fitting to translate into video games. You can see elements in this game which do remind me at times of The Bourne Conspiracy video game from a few years ago. There are times where I really enjoyed Blood Stone, but I often thought to myself if I wasn’t reviewing the game would I have kept playing and the answer was more times then not, no.
On a technical level James Bond 007: Blood Stone is a competent third person shooter, however it is a game that really lacks that extra polish that sets games apart. Even for the biggest Bond fans I can only recommend this as a rental, as a little Blood Stone seems to go a long way.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.