James Bond 007: Blood Stone Preview for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360PS3PCDS
James Bond 007: Blood Stone screenshot
James Bond 007: Blood Stone screenshot

On first impressions, it seems that Bloodstone is taking a fairly safe approach to its action. There's a cover system and a range of subtle and not-so-subtle combat options, from silent melee-based takedowns to an aim-assist mechanic, labelled Focus Aim, that helps Bond to pull off several perfect headshots in quick succession; if that sounds familiar then you've probably played Splinter Cell Conviction, which featured a near-identical Mark and Execute setup. Still, competence is often more important than originality, and from the looks of things Blood Stone will offer a solid set of violent tactics.

Where the game does score points is with its approach to the license. "Blood Stone" may sound like a bit of an odd title for a Bond outing, but the story here has been overseen by Bruce Feirstein, who wrote GoldenEye (yay!) Tomorrow Never Dies (urgh!) and The World Is Not Enough (Hmmm?). There's also the official voice and face of Daniel Craig, and both Activision and Bizarre are understandably quite happy about this. If you speak to people working on the game you'll hear a lot of chat about how they've captured "the physicality of Daniel Craig" - by which they mean his tendency to beat people to death, rather than dazzling them with some kind of gimmicky magnetic wristwatch. Obviously, we're talking about Craig's version of Bond here, rather than Craig himself. I've no idea what the guy gets up to when he's not acting, but I'm sure it involves neither fist-based murder nor wristwatch-based tomfoolery.

The bottom line is that Blood Stone's Bond will be a no-nonsense, practical thinking type of hero. You do get a minor gadget, in the form of a smart phone that helps to reveal the location of your enemies and what they're carrying - think of this as a 007 variant to Batman: Arkham Asylum's Detective Mode - but for the most part you'll be saving your skin with hands-on brutality. When faced with a powerful helicopter and a distinct lack of rocket-launchers, for example, Bond chooses to commandeer a nearby crane - using the arm to smash the chopper out of the sky. Standard, bread-and-butter beatings are conducted with all the fearsome violence you'd expect in a post Casino Royale Bond, and the painful-looking animations come courtesy of Ben Cooke - Craig's official stunt double.

You'll notice that I've intentionally shied away from revealing too much of the story. This is partly due to the fact that the on-foot section of Bizarre's presentation was culled from near the end of the game (which presents something of a spoiler issue for interested parties), but to be honest I'm still a bit hazy about what the basic plot involves - I've no idea what a Blood Stone is, for a start. No doubt things will get a bit clearer when we've seen more of the game in action, and with any luck we'll get to hear a bit more about the multiplayer mode, which caters to 8 vs 8, team-based battles. There's potential in the separate gameplay elements here, but until we've seen a bit (Roger) Moore, it's hard to Dr kNOw whether this will beat The Living Daylights out of the competition.

James Bond 007: Blood Stone will be released this winter on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

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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

Technical Specs
Release Date: 05/11/2010
Developer: Bizarre Creations
Publisher: Activision
Genre: Action
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 4,085 27
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