James Bond 007: Blood Stone

James Bond 007: Blood Stone Preview for PS3

On: PS3Xbox 360PCDS
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5Out of 10
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James Bond 007: Blood Stone screenshot
James Bond 007: Blood Stone screenshot

"We need to get off the ice," says Nicole to Bond. She's not talking about crystal meth, you understand - 007 is irresponsible at times, but not that irresponsible. No, the plummy-voiced lady is talking about the thin, frozen lake that Bond is currently driving over at ridiculous speed in a battered-up sports car. By extension, she's also talking about the ruddy great helicopter that's spitting out missiles and tracer-lit streams of hot, hot lead. Given the circumstances, "we need to get off the ice" is a strong candidate for Understatement of the Year.

Moments later, we do indeed get off the ice - but not in the way that Nicole planned. My typically fluffy driving skills finally get the better of me, and the car slips into the freezing waters. Instant death for Nicole, instant death for Bond, instant failure (and nagging embarrassment) for me. Luckily the game resets to the previous checkpoint in a matter of seconds. It's a good thing too - because this is about the twelfth time that I've cocked-up and crashed in the past 12 minutes.

This particular section of Bloodstone seems pretty hard, but then again, it's been culled from the middle of the game, at a point when you're probably supposed to be quite comfortable with the controls. I've got no idea what's going on in terms of the plot: Bond is in a car with a posh woman called Nicole (who has the voice of Joss Stone) and is chasing an angry Russian man named Pomerov, who's trying to escape 007 by train. The level finds Bond chasing the runaway choo-choo through a variety of terrain: you start out driving through an exploding oil refinery, replete with jack-knifing tankers, then break out into snowy terrain and end up skittering over the ice.

It's an out-and-out driving stage, so despite the presence of the chopper there's no combat, but to be honest this still leaves the player with plenty to manage: slide-y handling, instant-death hazards, and a fleeing target who'll disappear over the horizon at the slightest opportunity. On top of this there's a rather nice-looking (but intentionally rather distracting) snow effect, with thick flakes of white whirling into the camera. It's a busy sequence in other words, but the car controls with a weighty responsiveness that recalls Bizarre's past work in the racing genre. The whole thing comes across a bit like Bond mixed with a more streamlined version of Burnout, or perhaps even MotorStorm. It's tricky and easy to fail, but it somehow stops short of being frustrating - even to a hapless provisional license holder like me. The destruction effects are also rather pleasing, and there's certainly no shortage of things to go boom.

Even with my cack-handed driving, the chase sequence quickly draws to a close, ending the interactive part of my first meeting with Bloodstone's Bond. A Bizarre Creations developer is on hand to demonstrate one of the third-person shooter sections, which apparently account for roughly two-thirds of the game. If you're anything like me, you'll probably be quite curious about how the Liverpool studio is planning to handles these sections. After all, we all know that Bizarre is well-versed in the Art of Vroom Vroom; aside from 2008's The Club, the studio has little track record in the Art of Bang Bang.

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zgonea's Avatar

zgonea

vb ba in romana
Posted 17:42 on 19 September 2010
clangod's Avatar

clangod@ guyderman

I too found the Rainbow Six Vegas cover transition was better implemented. I think it had more to do with the pacing and tactical applications of the cover system. I guess it felt like you were never too far removed from the character and as a result the transition seemed a lot smoother.
Posted 17:45 on 16 September 2010
guyderman's Avatar

guyderman@ clangod

I understyand what Clangod is saying - I felt this way with it too.
Funnily enough I actually really liked it switching from first person to third person for Cover on the Rainbow Six Vegas games - so I don't know if maybe Ubi just handled the transition a bit better.
Posted 17:31 on 16 September 2010
clangod's Avatar

clangod@ Wido

You may have misunderstood me mate. I'm all for the 3rd person perspective. It's the FPS that I'd want rid of in QoS. I just feel like the game would be a lot more fluent played totally in the 3rd person. Not to mention that it would look so much better overall.

It just feels really unatural (maybe even jarring) when switching to and from cover. Consider if Killzone 2 for exaple did the same thing. It would have made it extremely frustrating.
Posted 16:21 on 16 September 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido@ clangod

The 3rd person cover didn't bother me. QoS didn't try to be a game it was not. It was just simply Bond. You took out the cover, then I personally think that it would seriously get panned by critics and receive worse reviews.

I would like to see another Everything or Nothing game again to be honest. Great 3rd person Bond game, and going up against Jaws? Simply awesome. Never did play Russia with Love though, and that apparently wasn't a bad Bond game either.
Posted 12:26 on 16 September 2010
reynoldio's Avatar

reynoldio

What El-Dev said.

Although with a little more "That sounds intriguing..."
Posted 22:03 on 15 September 2010
clangod's Avatar

clangod

The first hands on preview I've read today. What a doozie! That'll be hard to beat.

Only yesterday I started playing Quantum of Solace and I'm not really getting why it's a FPS with a 3rd person cover system. Surely the game would have shined as a 3rd person action game all together right? I don't care that it's easy. I just wanna shoot stuff. It certainly isn't a game to rave about, but it's somehow very satisfying all the same. I shall play it and trade it.

Blood Stone on the other hand sounds alright so far. It sounds as though the 2 thirds of the game dedicated to shooting are done so from the 3rd person perspective which is good news in light of Quantum's FPS blend. I'm not even really a huge Bond fan but the whole thing has a flavour all its own and a style that only 007 can suit.

Will be looking out for this one as well.
Posted 21:52 on 15 September 2010
SexyJams's Avatar

SexyJams@ El-Dev

Exactly what I was thinking.
Who would of thought, Bizarre Creations doing a James Bond game.
It's not amazing or shocking...
Just a bit gay.
Posted 16:29 on 15 September 2010
Wido's Avatar

Wido

Lol, good read as usual from Neon.

However, I am interested in Blood Stone, regardless whether it would live and let die when the game finally comes out. ;)

Something about Quantum Of Solace clicked, and this looks like its heading towards that direction and possibly be improved.
Posted 13:28 on 15 September 2010
El-Dev's Avatar

El-Dev

Don't really give a crap about this game, but that was a great read!
Posted 12:00 on 15 September 2010

Game Stats

Release Date: 05/11/2010
Developer: Bizarre Creations
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 10,006 82
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