I'm not going to remind you of what it was like the first time I played GoldenEye, Everything or Nothing or Nightfire. I'm just going to state that there are good James Bond games out there as I'm getting up close and personal with the next adventure starring Daniel Craig. Blood Stone throws you head first into a story full of your typical Bond villains, biological weapons of mass destruction and beautiful cars.
A Russian named Pomerov pulls the strings in this one. He's the kind of megalomaniac we come to expect in a Bond adventure. He wants to kill all the world leaders, as quickly as possible. There is of course a girl as well, Nicole Hunter, who doesn't really do much to stick out expect for being voiced by Joss Stone. Since Daniel Craig took over as James Bond, his sidekicks have really stepped up and become more than passive onlookers, but Nicole Hunter seems allergic to danger and is the type of hero who shows up to celebrate after the fact, while she goes missing when the heat is on.
As a game reviewer you can cut the process short and divide the experience in three categories: shooting, driving, close combat. It doesn't really take a trained eye to realise that BloodStone is a rather anemic experience. As a third person shooter it offers a traditional cover system, a handful of weapons and several hours of shooting. Within the first minute I've hit ten head shots to kill 10 soldiers, soldiers bred to walk straight into a bullet without fear.
Some of them will rush straight for you, others will do their best to ignore any available cover and stand in their position until you down them. The artificial intelligence feels ten years old, a time when we still enjoyed wave after wave of respawning enemies that mysteriously appeared around the corner. Simply put Blood Stone is a montage of simple and outdated game mechanics, which makes it even more frustrating to have to admit that it is mildly entertaining.
I've been a Bond fanatic for a long time. There are those who scuff at the over the top scenarios of any Bond movie, as not being anchored in reality. But I'm fully immersed in the Bond fantasy and love it. It's those moments that makes Bond special. Thanks to a bunch a really intense and frenetic action scenes in Blood Stone, carried out in true James Bond fashion and with the wonderful score highlighting the biggest moments, I'm easily seduced and this is where the game really shines.
Whether it's a car chase on a Russian lake that sports larger and larger cracks, or hunting down an unknown assassin over wet roof tops of Shanghai - this are moments that entertain. The autoaim ensures that you can hit headshots with one hand tied behind your back, something that takes a toll on the lastability. It gives you 5-6 "solid" hours of mediocre action, not counting the multiplayer.
But I have to say, that the virtual Daniel Craig, knows his stuff when he gets up close and personal with his victims, when his car takes off from a ramp and collides when whoever he is pursuing, when you avoid a mining drill by the skin of your teeth... then you are truly great. That said Blood Stone is a decent game with its popcorn moments, built with simple game mechanics that makes me think they used a time machine when they wrote the design for this one. If you feel the slightest bit of interest for this you should try and pick it up cheap. Very cheap.
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