James Bond has charmed and drank his way through more than twenty films and (nearly) the same amount of video games. Despite the amount of films and games that have come out, the levels of quality still tend to vary from title to title. James Bond 007: Blood Stone was a game released in 2010, featuring an original story and the new Blonde Bond. Being the first original Bond game since 2004, are they able to bring Craig into the land of video games, without a movie to fall back on? Make a Vesper, load up your PPK, and let’s hop into Blood Stone.
The plot opens up with Bond having to save the G-20 Summit from being the victim of a suicide bombing. Attempting to find out who was behind the attempted attack, Bond travels to Istanbul. To tell you the truth, most of the game is a chase story. You end up squaring off with Russian terrorists, Chinese terrorists, and even an English one! This game may have been written by the same man who wrote Goldeneye and many James Bond games, but Blood Stone doesn’t feel like it fits in with any of the Bond franchises. It isn’t campy or ridiculous, like the older games and movies. But, it isn’t dark or gritty enough to fit in with the current Bond films. Blood Stone is left in this awkward middle ground, too ridiculous, but too upbeat.
Daniel Craig and Judi Dench do return to voice and model their respective characters, which is a welcome addition. Unfortunately, the graphics of Blood Stone are a bit dated. The models are stiff and clunky, the environments are bland, and there are only about 6 models for the enemies (which are recycled endlessly through the game). The real voice of Bond and M is nice, but can be a little pointless when the models are frumpy, skewed versions of the real-life actors.
Blood Stone is a 3rd-Person Shooter, using a standard cover system. Many games in the Bond franchise have been 1st-Person Shooters and they worked pretty well. But, Blood Stone adapts to the standard of action gaming and lacks any distinguishing features. If you’ve played Gears of War, you know how to play Blood Stone. I was pretty disappointed while I was playing this game, because I’ve always enjoyed the Bond games. I think the difference is that being Bond was fun because of the gadgets and super-villains. When you take that away, you’re just left with an action game. Blood Stone was easily one of the more boring Bond games.
I would love to write a paragraph on the multiplayer, but there’s not a soul online. Unfortunately, this is a running theme for Gaming Under $20. Old, mediocre games tend to not hold a strong online community. There’s a standard selection of multiplayer game types, with a Splinter Cell-like Spies v.s. Mercenaries. I’d love to try it out, but that’s not gonna happen.
The achievements are a frustrating blend of easy achievements, grinding achievements, and multiplayer. Granted there are achievements for beating the game and beating it again on Hard, but you can kiss the 155 gamerscore worth of multiplayer achievements goodbye. All of the single player achievements are entirely possible, but take too much time. I’m sorry, but playing Blood Stone for 10 hours isn’t worth 35 gamerscore. I wouldn’t rush to buy this game if you’re looking for some easy achievements.
I’ve always enjoyed the Bond games, but when you take out the Bond, you’re left with a generic action game. Not to say that Blood Stone was a bad game, but it wasn’t anything more than mediocre. Gamers looking for a Bond game will be disappointed and Gamers looking for a good 3rd-Person Shooter will be disappointed. Try picking up Everything or Nothing and Nightfire for some cheesy Bond games. But, I recommend leaving Blood Stone on the shelf.
James Bond 007: Blood Stone is simply Not Worth It
By Blake Edwards