James Bond 007: Blood Stone (360)

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Friday, November 5, 2010

Graphics: 10.00
Sound: 10.00
Gameplay: 9.00
Replays: 8.00
Gamelength: 8.00

James Bond 007: Blood Stone is your typical Bond video game. There’s stealth, explosions, beautiful women and locale, fancy cars and every other thing you can imagine that’s in a Bond film…plus a few new modifications blended in.

When the Quantum of Solace game was released (to coincide with the movie) it felt Bond-ish, but lacked the “big” feeling that comes with each movie, Blood Stone has no such problem. From the start of the game, you feel like you’re playing through an actual Bond movie.

Blood Stone’s plot plays out like any Bond movie. England’s #1 spy, James Bond (voiced by Bond-actor Daniel Craig) must stop a weaponised bio-agent from going off and in the process has dealings with a beautiful woman, in this case, Nicole Hunter (voiced by Joss Stone – who also wrote the music for the title sequence). Blood Stone is set in five different locations: Athens, Istanbul, Monaco, Siberia and Bangkok. Bond must fight a group of terrorists led by a man named Pomerov.

As the game starts out, M (voiced by Judi Dench) is in attendance of the G-20 summit in Athens, Greece where she believes a bomb is set to go off and killing members from all the nations in attendance. Thankfully, and predictably, Bond shows up and as you play through the mini-tutorial to give you an idea of how to use the new control scheme, you start pursuing the terrorist responsible for the bomb – a man named Greco. Within the next five minutes you’re in a high-speed pursuit of Greco in a decked out muscle boat, only to catch up to him and realize he’d passed the bomb on to another member of the group who is now speeding away. Conveniently, you happened to realize this while you were standing next to a sports car and are easily able to catch up and thwart the plan.

It’s moments like these that make Blood Stone a thrill to play. Overall, Blood Stone is a great combination of stealth, intense firefights and car chases. There are a few fun features added into Blood Stone including takedowns (both outright + stealth) and to coincide with each takedown you’re given a “focus aim”. These work in a similar manner as Splinter Cell: Conviction. Unlike Conviction, where you mark a target and then can string together quick shots automatically, these require slightly more participation from the player. If you press down LB with the guns reticule near an enemy, it will automatically aim at the person’s head, giving you an instant kill shot. You can string together up to three of these “focus aims” at any given time. These make for a godsend in some of the more major firefights.

Blood Stone isn’t all about single player though; it’s also got a semi-unique multiplayer experience too. There are three modes in Blood Stones arsenal: Team Deathmatch, Objective and Last Man Standing. All of these are relatively self-explanatory, but for those unfamiliar with shooters, I’ll give a slight breakdown:

Team Deathmatch: Team based action featuring two teams. The game is won by the team who reaches 50 kills first or the team who has the most wins by the end of ten minutes.

Objective: You must complete three individual objectives to achieve your final mission goal.

Last Man Standing: Each team plays till all members of the other team are killed. Once you’re dead, you’re out till the next round starts.

After playing a few games of each mode, I have to say Objective was my favorite one. Even though you’re pretty much screwed from winning in Objective if you end up being on the mercenary’s side, it’s still a lot of fun and much more challenging than typical team deathmatch.

At times the games became very glitchy and started to lag like crazy, but when they weren’t, it was fun. You get connected to games very quickly, but are sometimes thrown into games right when they’re about to end or have horribly miss-matched teams. If future Bond games can fix those problems, it’s multiplayer might live up to GoldenEyes.

Technical issues aside, James Bond 007: Blood Stone was a blast to play during the campaign, even if the multiplayer left a little to be desires. Blood Stone improved the Bond game franchise (as of late) leagues after the subpar Quantum of Solace tie-in from a few years ago. If you’re going to buy this game, do so for the single player campaign, not the multiplayer.

Full Disclosure: Review copy purchased by author

Overall Rating: 9.00

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