Whilst the favourite agent James Bond won't be hitting the big screen anytime soon due to MGM's bankruptcy, the new video game from Bizarre Creations should give bond fans a quick fix.
Blood Stone is a 3rd person cover shooter with a mix of hand-to-hand combat and driving sections. It's an all new adventure staring Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench and Josh Stone which all lend their voice to the game. It also has an original story by "Bruce Feirstein" who was the screenwriter for movies like Goldeneye and The World Is Not Enough. Just Like all great Bond movies, Blood Stone has an action packed opening even before the theme tune starts and the credits roll. You will be silently killing enemies on a luxury yacht to jumping on a boat in an exiting chase sequence and going behind the wheel of the Aston Martin. I'ts a great prologue to the game and is very memorable.
After the prologue, the game starts off with M contacting Bond about a conspiracy of a bio-chemical project which has gone missing. It's up to Bond to find out who has taken the chemical weapon. He will travel to many locations, Istanbul, Athens, Monoco, Bangkok and Siberia. The story it decent enough with twists and turns keeping you interested throughout. Bizarre Creations have done an exellent job capturing Daniel Craig's likeness and style. The voice work is solid and the driving sections are exiting. The developer behind the Project Gotham Racing series and Blur have incorporated there arcady style formula here. There are many chase sequences in the game which all feel fast and aggresive. You wont have to much time behind the wheel though, the game is mainely filled with on-foot shooting and hand-to-hand takedowns.
There are a ton of Takedowns Bond can perform, each has been motion captured by Daniel's stunt double in the films. The Takedowns are easy to pull off but feel brutal and satisfying. Simply pressing the X button when close to your enemy will perform a Takedown or a Stealth approach if hidding behind cover. When performing a takedown you earn a Focus Aim. Holding LB button will slow down time and auto aim your target quickly, then by pressing RT for a one shot kill. You can store up to three Focus Aims at anytime, doing so lets you switch to each enemy killing them off one by one. It's quick, effective and really helps you out in tight situations. Also to help you out is Bond's Smart Phone. When turned on it will show enemy locations especially those hidding behind cover. Weapons, intel, explosive ojectes and way points also show up. Security cameras can also be hacked using the phone which turns into a mini hack game.
The campaign is only 4-5 hours long which is a great shame as the game really gets going half way through. Once completed you will unlock Agent difficutly which requires a more tactical apporach. Theres also intel to find which you may have missed but apart from that there's no reason to play it again. The only replay value the game has to offer is multiplayer. It holds up to 16 players and has three game modes. Team Deathmath, Objective and Last Man Standing. You can level up, unlock weapons and character outfits but its a standard multiplayer experience with a lack of maps. You will probably lose interest within a few hours.
Even though the campaign is short, it's well written and enjoyable throughout. It has solid voice work, a cracking theme tune and thrilling driving sections. It's got that Bond feel what you would expect, it's just a shame it doesn't last very long.
Review by Gareth Smith