Even without a current movie to back it, the Bond franchise will continue to be milked for all it’s worth. And while everyone is talking about the Goldeneye remake on the Wii, the other two consoles are given James Bond 007: Blood Stone.
LICENSE TO THRILL
Straight Forward - The controls are simple, with an emphasis on moving from cover to cover. It’s not complicated and easy to pick up. Anyone who’s played Gears of War or any other 3rd person shooter will feel right at home.
Hot Pursuit - the game is broken into two distinct types of action: 3rd person shooting and driving. The driving levels, while a bit unforgiving, are definitely the highlight of the game. They offer plenty of challenge, and one level that I won’t spoil really cranks up the ridiculous factor most Bond movies are known for.
Parkour - Taking a page from the opening of Casino Royale, you’ll spend a lot of time chasing people. The Bangkok level in particular is a nice tribute to this. The context sensitive jumping works well here, and the simple mechanics flow well in this section.
Focus Aim - It’s a carbon copy of Splinter Cell: Conviction’s Mark mechanic, but at least it found a good home in Bloodstone. Focus Aim auto targets foes and gives you instant headshots. You earn one shot for every takedown, and you can store up to three at a time.
LIVE AND JUST DIE ALREADY
Shaken, Not Stirred - I’ve rarely used such a word to describe the graphics in a game before, but inconsistent is the only way to make sense of it. While the driving levels look pretty amazing, the shooting levels look very generic and last generation. It’s such a stark contrast that will really leave you scratching your head in confusion.
Somebody Call the Writers - The name doesn’t really seem to have any bearing on the storyline, and while the ending seems to allude to something bigger, the journey there doesn’t have much to offer. I found a few moments interesting, but even at only 5 or 6 hours, the story wears thin pretty fast. It’s your usual Bond mix of girls, bio-weapons, and megalomaniacs, but without the charm or style of Bond.
Once More, With Feeling - Daniel Craig as James Bond is sort of a mixed bag. While Craig brings back the brutal roughness Sean Connery brought to the role, he lacks the elegance of Brosnan or Moore. Craig and Judi Dench, the two big actors in the title, end up doing the least admirable job in the acting department. Phoned in never sounded more appropriate.
Rest in Peace Q - Bond’s smart phone lets you see where your next objective is, where enemies are located (even behind walls) and lets you scan certain items for more information (like Metroid Prime, only not as interesting). That said, you won’t see any nifty gadgets from the Q branch. Granted, the movies have been trying to get away from the gadgets, but it would have brought some much needed variety to the gameplay if the developer tried to include some.
Been There, Done That - There isn’t an ounce of originality in the game. Everything has been lifted from other games. While none of it is broken, none of it is really going to make you feel like you haven’t played a game like it.
Multiplayer - With only three game types (all shooting) to choose from, the multiplayer isn’t going to make an already short game last much longer. It's works, but it feels tacked on.
James Bond 007: Blood Stone isn’t a bad game. It plays well, and offers a similar experience to the Bond movies of recent. You won’t be finding the classic Bond theme anywhere in the game though, and even that alone would have helped to separate this game from the rest of the pack. Recommended only for the diehard Bond fan, and even that’s a stretch since the game is very thin of fan service. For everyone else, it’s a very generic but solid game with the Bond license slapped on.