The lights are on
James Bond has been one of the most popular action film series for decades. From Connery, Moore, Lazenby, Dalton, Brosnan, and Craig, 22 films have been made, and like any series it's had its highs and lows, but the franchise has always managed to keep fans entertained. Unfortunately, the same can not be said for the video game Bond. Although there were a number of text and side scrolling games released between 1983-1993, James Bond didn't truly come into his own till 1997, when the critically and fan praised Goldeneye came out for the N64. Next followed the absolutely dreadful Tomorrow Never Dies for PS1, followed by the solid but nothing new The World is Not Enough. When the PS2/Gamecube/Xbox generation kicked off, there were a pair of nothing really special but solid FPS Bonds in Agent Under Fire and Nightfire. Then, in what to me is the second best Bond game, Everything or Nothing came out as a third person action/ driving adventure. That was followed by a mediocre From Russia with Love revival that even with the voice work of Sean Connery, fell flat. Finally, as the current gen kicked off, you had the absolutely generic as can be Quantum of Solace. Now, in the same day in November, we have 2 Bond games on the same day; where the one for the Wii waxes nostalgic, Blood Stone just seems to leave the player flat and listless.
Blood Stone tells the typical Bond story of globetrotting espionage and daring do. The starting tutorial session is set in Greece, where Bond has to stop an international arms dealers from blowing up the G20 Summit. As most tutorials go, it gives you the layout of how the game is played. And if you've played any action games since the release of Gears of War, everything will be all too familiar. The gun-play is your typical pop and shoot formula, finding cover and taking aim at some pretty horrible AI enemies in between their bursts of fire. There's a one button melee take down move that gives you focus aims, that when activated give you one shot kills. The vehicular game play is pretty straightforward, with vehicle sections consisting of getting from point A to point B as fast as possible while trying to keep up with whoever the bad guy of the moment happens to be. All in all, you've seen (and done) all of this a hundred times before.
One thing that always adds a little something to a Bond game is the gadgets, which unfortunately consists of a single one for Blood Stone. An all purpose cell phone tells you where the enemies in the general vicinity are, what points of interests are around, and where you need to go to move on. None of this is particularly useful, since the levels are so linear getting lost would be next to impossible, and the enemies are so routine in their patterns that nothing will throw you for a loop.
The graphics for Blood Stone can be decent at times, but in all the game looks very lackluster, ESPECIALLY in model work for Daniel Craig as Bond. The man looks worse than Heidi Montag after fourteen facial lifts. Otherwise, environments consists of a bunch of pillars, low stone areas for cover, and could almost be seen as the same thing with different coats of paint at times.
All in all, I'm real disappointed in how this game turned out. Seeing as Bizzare Creations is a very competent and talented development house, I was surprised to find that even the driving sections felt very underwhelming to me. Although this is still an improvement over the dreadful Quantum of Solace, that isn't saying much. This was a real kick in the pants for any Bond fan, especially since a new movie is no where in sight due to the MGM fiasco. For diehard Bond fans only, and even then, at your own risk.