Double Dose of Bond
We check out some new levels in 007 Blood Stone as well as the GoldenEye remake for the Wii.
At a recent Activision event, we had the opportunity to check out a couple of new levels from both James Bond 007: Blood Stone for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and the GoldenEye remake for the Wii. To get caught up on both games, be sure to check out our previous coverage, but here's a quick overview. James Bond 007: Blood Stone is an original Bond story written by Bruce Feirstein (who has worked on the franchise previously). Nearly the entire voice cast from the two most recent Bond films, including Judi Dench and Daniel Craig, are lending their voices to the game as is newcomer (and singer) Joss Stone, who also provided the title track for the game. Additionally, James Bond's motion capture was provided by Daniel Craig's stunt double, so the moves are just about as authentic as can be.
And speaking of moves, with Blood Stone, developer Bizarre Creations wants to emphasize the physicality of Daniel Craig's version of Bond. In other words, if given the chance, this Bond will quickly and quietly smash some guy's head into a wall to take him out before using some sort of fancy-pants gadget. Therefore, Bond can move stealthily through the world, using his one gadget--a smart phone--to track locations and whether or not enemies in alert mode. In addition to not alerting other foes, taking out opponents silently has the added benefit of granting you a focus aim. Similar to a feature found in Splinter Cell: Conviction, focus aim lets you mark a target and fire a single shot that automatically takes an enemy down. Of course, you can also run into situations with guns blazing, but that appears to make any particular scenario in the game more difficult than it has to be.
In the new Blood Stone level on display at the event, we saw Bond flying over the jungles of Burma when his helicopter crashed near a massive dam. Using stealth and taking out enemies quietly, Bond made his way up to the main part of the dam where he was confronted by the very same helicopter responsible for making him crash. Since you're clearly outgunned in this scenario, you have to figure out how to take the enemy helicopter down (shooting at the gunner in back will buy some extra time but won't do much in the way of damage). Thankfully, there happens to be a crane nearby, but we won't spoil what it is you're supposed to do. It's worth noting that over the course of this part of the mission, we saw Bond pick up some additional weapons, including a sniper rifle that proved to be incredibly helpful with enemies hanging back behind cover at a distance. We also got to see a triple focus aim in action (you can bank up to three of them) as Bond effortlessly took out three goons.
As for new GoldenEye content, we got a look at one new single-player level and got to try out a few new multiplayer options. The single-player level in question was the reimagining of the tank level from the original GoldenEye. As you drive the tank through the streets, you'll be attacked by various types of ground vehicles as well as enemy aircraft. Fortunately, you have machine guns to deal with the less worrisome trucks as well as heat-seeking missiles for your aerial foes. The real trick to this level is making sure that you deal with the immediate threat (namely enemy aircraft) while constantly moving forward through the environment and toward your objective. Of course, there are more than just enemies distracting you from that ultimate goal. In fact, at certain points in this level, massive buildings in the background come tumbling down as a result of all the chaos and destruction. Needless to say, it adds quite a bit of drama to an already intense situation.
And finally, our brief time with GoldenEye's multiplayer mode was spent checking out some of the modifiers. In one match, we played with paintballs and sticky grenades. In another match, played in the Facility map, we used the bouncy grenade modifier, which led to some hilarious moments with players skipping grenades across the room and into their enemies. At the end of every multiplayer match, you'll get a special designation that correlates to how you performed, such as if you made numerous headshots or died the fewest number of times. In other words, just about everything that made the original GoldenEye's multiplayer mode popular can be found in the remake. We'll have more on GoldenEye as well as Blood Stone as we approach their November 2 release date.