Thursday, January 6, 2011

007 Blood Stone Review

007: Blood Stone is a thrilling, well produced title that only the dense will turn their noses to. Should this be you, then you’ve missed one of the best bond games ever made.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way: I can’t even describe the plot to you as it left no impression on me whatsoever. The intent was to capture the erratic pacing of the Daniel Craig films, and to the credit of screenwriter Bruce Feirstein who’s worked on several other bond game scripts and the screenplay’s to three Brosnan Bond films, he does capture the sharp conversational dialogue of 007.

Visually the game banks on big set pieces and large detailed environments. Virtually every corner of the screen is alive in the moment-to-moment action and exquisite motion captured animation dominates. Racing fans get the best of it as Bizarre Creations notoriously excellent racing proficiency steals the spot light from time to time.

Now the actual on foot gameplay surprisingly-but appropriately-mirrors Uncharted more than Gears of War. After all, Bond is a far more visceral man than Marcus Phoenix. The melee is a context sensitive, but quick time free affair that compliments the gunplay better than a fully fleshed fisticuff engine.

The firefights are breezy and sweet. When pistols are drawn a skirmish usually doesn’t last more than a few seconds, and that’s if you win. I don’t want to sell Blood Stone short as a dumbed down experience as there’s still a challenge to be had. Personally as someone who only takes up the wheel in reality, I found the racing sections to be the greatest test.

With no incentive to replay the game beside achievements/trophies, the multiplayer comes off noticeably slower than the campaign. That said, once you adjust, the thrill of the gunplay is just the same online as it is off. There’s a solid if unremarkable XP system constantly spewing rewards in the forms of character skins, new weapons, and silver and gold paint for the weapons you use the most. My suggestion is to start out with the SMG for a balanced gun.

While Blood Stone didn’t meet my expectations of memorability, it’s still a great game in its own right. Now that most of you have already bought games like Black Ops, New Vegas, and Reach for the holidays, consider Bond’s latest adventure. As a rental, it’s one of the best gaming values you’ll get this winter.

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