Bloodstone Review

If there’s one thing I do love it’s a good Bond game, and with the release of Blood Stone I imagine my gaming nights filled with me walking briefly in the footsteps of Mr James Bond, the greatest ever spy.

Due to Blood Stone’s mixed reception, I had decided to play this as one of those games you have to just play with no real expectations and let the game unfold as you play through it.

The story in Blood Stone 007 has been written exclusively for the game by well-known Bond writer Bruce Feirstein who has penned other memorable Bond films such as GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies and The World Is Not Enough.

Bond’s last outing (in the gaming sense) was Quantum of Solace. This was developed by Treyarch, the same people that brought you Call of Duty Black Ops which would explain why the online multiplayer mode was a far superior game to the single player mode.

This time round the game has been developed by Bizarre Creation (other titles include racing games Blur and Project Gotham) and what a first impression they made.  

Once again we see Dame Judi Dench and Daniel Craig reprise their roles of M and Bond, while pop singer Joss Stone steps in as the latest digital Bond girl Nicole Hunter.

As the story begins, Bond is en route to Athens to prevent a terrorist named Greco from assassinating several government officials who are meeting at the G-20 summit at the Parthenon.

As you might expect, Bond is quickly thrown head first into the action and has no choice but to competently deal out pain, suffering and death as he fights his way through dozens of well-armed baddies.

This is followed by an all action Hollywood supercharged chase by boat to stop the assassin Greco once and for all.

If that’s not enough for an opening, you then have to pursue and destroy a car filled with explosives before it reaches the G20 meeting.

Make no mistake, this is typical Bond at his destructive best, and this opening level feels right at home in the Bond universe (cracking stuff).

Then you are treated to the opening credits and a great Bond song by Joss Stone, which I think is pretty good. You actually feel as though you’re watching an intro from a Bond film (much like the song by Mya on the ‘Every Thing or Nothing’ Bond game on the old consoles PS2 and Xbox).

The game once again begins in earnest as Bond heads to Turkey to search for a missing scientist named Tedworth. One clue leads to another, and Bond is soon put on the path of a man named Pomerov, which takes Bond to Monaco and to a jewellery designer named Nicole Hunter, who is being forced to work with MI6 due to criminal charges stemming from tax evasion.

While infiltrating the casino office of a suspect, Bond discovers that chemical weapons are being developed in Russia, and an attack is imminent. With the help of Hunter, the mandatory Bond-girl for this digital setting, Bond travels to Russia to stop the manufacturing of the weapons.

The plot moves forward at lightening pace as intelligence is gathered throughout the game’s 17 chapters which has you in frantic gun fights, very aggressive car chases through crumbling structures that fall apart in a big budget blockbuster style,  brutal hand to hand combat, take downs and infiltrations. All this destruction and mayhem is spread in equal portions across various locations around the world from Monaco to Bangkok.

Both graphically and in sound, the game excelled my expectations. The game is filled with great dialogue and detailed life-like cinematic cut scenes. The attention to detail that went into the character’s faces is truly amazing and along with the in game lighting physics this all pays off.

In keeping with the Bond formula you get several twists and turns, including betrayals and surprises help keep the story interesting. Hardcore fans (like me) will get a kick out of Blood Stone 007, which is helped quite a bit by the inclusion of Daniel Craig’s voice and likeness.

The story is not exactly deep, and there are a few moments that really push the logic of the plot. You can finish Blood Stone 007 in about 5 to 6 hours and judging by the abrupt ending I’m sure we’ll be seeing a follow up.

After you finished saving the world there is an online multiplayer option for up to 16 players for you to get your head round. This multiplayer option includes team death match, objectives, and last man standing.  As you play you earn points to progress and unlock items.  It is nothing you haven’t seen before and doesn’t play as good as the multiplayer on its predecessor Quantum of Solace game.

The controls are easy to get to grips with and with the on-screen prompt for the Bond takedowns you will find this almost too easy.

In conclusion, this is a great pick up and play affair and whilst the story is true to the Bond universe, don’t expect anything more or you will be left feeling short changed and dejected. Blood Stone 007 does exactly what it says on the tin.

Donnie Tulloch

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