Title: Blood Stone 007
Console: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, DS
Developer: Bizarre Creations
James Bond 007: The Not So Special Agent would have been a more apt title for Activision’s Blood Stone 007 release. The game attempts to lead the player along through a typical Bond-style mission, but ends up demonstrating what little effort is needed to be James Bond.
The game provides decent voice acting and plot line, but offers little in the way of rewards throughout the game leaving players with little sense of accomplishment as they run and gun through the next level. The game tries to spice things up by incorporating car and boat chase sequences into the game, but these end up failing due to the Mario Kart-inspired racing physics, which seemed to be implemented by the team.
The fighting mechanic encourages players to use a blend of close-quarter takedowns and gunplay. The takedowns charge up 007’s slow motion, automatic headshot ability; which comes in handy if you find yourself surrounded by a large group of enemies. For the first few levels, the thrill of sneaking up on an enem, taking him down, and following it with a quick headshot to his partner across the room, feels pretty good. But after an hour or so of the rinse and repeat game play, with little sense of any real danger of death, the game begins to become very stale, very quickly.
Along your journey, Bond is assisted by his smart phone, which allows him to do everything from see through walls and read maps to launch nuclear weapons and order a pizza. Most of this phone interaction occurs as the AI is attempting to murder you. The phone serves to fill any role needed for Bond to complete his mission (similar to Batman’s Detective Vision, including a colored overlay).
The mindless AI-controlled enemies offer little in the way of a challenge against Bond’s location-sensing smart phone and auto-aim pistol. Playing through the game feels as though the player is being dragged through a straight-to-DVD Bond movie. The game offers a few cinematic high points sprinkled throughout the game, but those are quickly forgotten as you fall back into the monotonous routine of strangle, strangle, shoot, shoot.
It is worth noting that this 3rd person shooter uses a similar cover based shooting mechanic as the Gears of War series, so typical gamers should have no problem jumping in and getting to work. The shooting also feels very good and responsive.
The game has a multiplayer component which consists of three modes. Team Deathmatch is your typical team vs. team battle to see which team can rack up the most kills in the allotted time. Objective mode encourages players to work as a team to take down three objectives within a set time. This mode tends to fall apart under normal play due to most players running around with a lone wolf attitude. I typically wouldn’t hold this against the game, but the game doesn’t offer any type of incentive for players to work together. The final mode is Last Man Standing. In this final mode there are no respawns and teams must work to ensure they are the last player standing on the map.
All in all, it’s not that the game itself is bad, but the multiplayer is sub-par when compared to other first-person shooters released in 2010. On top of the lacking multiplayer, the single player campaign is forgettable at best. Unless you’re a fan of the James Bond series or have already played through all of the year’s blockbuster shooters and just need something to sooth your itchy trigger finger, I would hold off on this game.
This review is based on a copy of the game provided by the publisher. Images courtesy of Activision.