James Bond 007: Blood Stone First Impressions

Bizarre Creations' action driving game, based on "an original and topical" Bond story, acquits itself well in a fast-paced first look.

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The unveiling of James Bond 007: Blood Stone confirmed speculation, triggered by retailer listings and domain name registrations, of a new Bond title from Activision. The game, it turns out, is an action driving hybrid from Blur developer Bizarre Creations. Blood Stone isn't tied to a James Bond movie but follows an "original and topical storyline," according to David G. Wilson, Bond Marketing's vice president of business strategy. This plot, penned by experienced Bond screenwriter Bruce Feirstein, is a "completely new narrative...with plot and characters in keeping with Bond heritage" and includes international terrorists, a terrorist suicide mission, and, judging from the title and diamond-encrusted opening credits (in familiar silhouetted Bond intro style), a quantity of jewels.

The soundtrack from the opening sequence begins with the game's own Bond theme song, "I'll Take It All," a typically grand Bond theme cowritten and sung by Joss Stone, who Activision has also revealed as the game's Bond girl. Her voice and body-scanned likeness appear in the game as Nicole Hunter, a socialite who works with diamonds. On stage at the preview event, Stone described the character as "a posh version of Paris Hilton."

The game will combine both driving and on-foot action, with the intention that you will be able to move fluidly between unarmed combat and gunplay. In making the game, Bizarre Creations also brought in talent and crew to an "unprecedented" degree. Besides Daniel Craig and Judi Dench, who have both provided the voices for Bond and M, Bond stuntman Ben Cooke has choreographed hand-to-hand fight sequences for the game's combat system.

In Blood Stone, Wilson promises "total immersion in the world that is Bond" in a game that takes in diverse locations, including Istanbul, the south of France, and Athens. In a section from the first level of the game, we saw Bond on a plane above a scenic harbour, being warned by M of an imminent terrorist attack--the man behind the attack being a man named Greco, who was on a heavily defended ship below. Bond jumped from the plane and parachuted onto the deck, kicking a guard into the water below as he landed.

Segueing into real gameplay, Bond performed a hand-to-hand stealth takedown of a second guard and then took cover behind a wall. The third-person shooting, initially with a silenced P99, includes a cover system and a "focus aim" mechanic: a kind of earned bullet-time, instant takedown system. After shooting his way through the ship, Bond confronted Greco in a cinematic. Greco called in more guards, giving the opportunity for Bond to perform some nifty stuntman-choreographed hand-to-hand moves. Greco, having escaped onto another boat during the chaos, launched a rocket at Bond (in another cinematic), who jumped ship at the last moment onto a nearby speedboat.

The transition to driving from an on-foot action sequence was as slick as promised; Bond gave chase to Greco through the harbour past liners and ferries, being shot at from the boat ahead and then a missile-carrying helicopter, which brought a tower overlooking the harbour crashing down into the water just ahead. A slowdown effect triggered as Bond, still at the helm of the speedboat, shot some gas tanks at the water's edge to explosively take out the chopper.

Daniel Craig stars as Blood Stone's Bond.

A cinematic then had Bond launch his speedboat up a pier and onto dry land, transforming the driving into a run-and-gun segment through parked cars at the harbour's edge. We saw Bond put his focus aim ability to work, killing three enemies in a brief slow-mo sequence. After catching Greco and tossing him through a plate glass window, Bond realised his target--a bomb of some kind--was aboard an SUV as it sped past. Cue a second vehicle chase segment; this time in an Aston Martin. The chase took Bond first through a tunnel and then along a cliffside road in an action racing sequence reminiscent of the 2008 Bond movie Quantum of Solace.

Most notable in the hands-off demo was the intensity and variety of the action, moving swiftly among shooting, driving and hand-to-hand combat at a pace that matched the action scenes of the recent Bond movies. If the final game, out in November 2010, can match the pace and pitch of the demo, there'll be a great new Bond game vying with the GoldenEye remake for the attention of Bond fans.

Discussion

178 comments
ohjtbehaaave
ohjtbehaaave

I'm going to bet this game is pretty good since they had the freedom to make the game they wanted because it wasn't tied into any Bond movie. It's all original. Also many get nervous when a game tries to do EVERYTHING like shooting, fighting and Driving... but these devs did 'Blur' which is a great arcade racing game... so I have a feeling this game is going to be a pleasant surprise all the way around. I'd be very disappointed if it isn't good.

pod81
pod81

I saw vids of the game on youtube. It looks like a mix of Splinter Cell: Conviction (Fast Paced shooting) and the Bourne game (Hand to Hand Combat) plus it also looks a little like Everything or Nothing. So yeah I'm going to get this.

xxxxTRISTAMxxxx
xxxxTRISTAMxxxx

The game looks like it has potential, but we will have to wait and see. I hope this game is good because we lack many GOOD bond games to play!

leadlefthand
leadlefthand

Looks promising. As a Bond fan, I really hope this game turns out to be great, especially now that Bond 23 is on hold due to MGM's financial troubles.

jlp0214
jlp0214

This game looks sick. Period!

GunGriffin
GunGriffin

As long as it's got a new plot, and new story line as well as some fun online play, and ditches that crappy sniper mechanic from Golden Eye. (It's vary outdated here guys) I would be all for it IMHO. As long as those things are fixed the graphics look vary good for alpha work, and bare in mind this game could have a crap load more done before it ships.

isshiah
isshiah

his hand looks weird.

DMan_Fresh85
DMan_Fresh85

kinda reminds me of Bourne Conspiracy, but it looks good

trodeback
trodeback

Nice to see another bond game

hmdlfhd
hmdlfhd

lets hope it so brutel combat

Duke_51
Duke_51

@RunningMansKid ...Was it Goldeneye?

seb_bodet
seb_bodet

just it looks good but IS IT REALLY GOOD???

flashyspeed
flashyspeed

Let's just hope that they don't mess this up. It's looking good right now

DamnedApples
DamnedApples

The trailer definitely had the Bond feel to it. Part of playing Bond is the arrogant feeling that you're stronger, more cunning, and better trained than everybody around you. Nightfire was the last game that gave me said feeling. Hope this one is nice.

LynQ
LynQ

looks good just hope the controls are great

Sniper
Sniper

International terrorists? That's not just original -- it's "completely" new. There's never been a movie, book, TV show or game featuring terrorists. How intriguing.

BIGKAYPIMP
BIGKAYPIMP

its about time they made another 3rd person bond game

The_Hitokiri
The_Hitokiri

Wow, uhm, mdg4, you're pretty illiterate, aren't you? Aside from this numbskull, this game interests me. I love the Daniel Craig films(And the Pierce films, and Connery, and Dalton's).

mdg4
mdg4

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RunningMansKid
RunningMansKid

@brok ok if you say so. im not sayin I'll buy it it just looks cool. as a matter of fact I cant buy it yet. first impression got me hyped and not you thats all. i only owned one bond game and we all know what that is.

mdg4
mdg4

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mdg4
mdg4

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mdg4
mdg4

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mdg4
mdg4

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

netter99
netter99

game sounds pretty cool but thtere are to many other new games like COD and MoH that i would buy over this and then have no $ left.

erix43
erix43

I WANT GOLDEN EYE!! IF NOT, MAKE THIS GAME'S MULTIPLAYER -GOLDEN EYE-ESQUE!!!

Ryozo
Ryozo

silverdoe: yeah, when I read about the 'focus aim' ability, my first throught was that SC: Conviction might want its Mark & Execute mechanic back. On the other hand, it might work more like focus mode from Dead to Rights: Retribution (which wouldn't be a bad thing). As for debate about whether Daniel Craig makes a good Bond: the devs can preempt this by making some deal to have the other Bonds available as unlockable models... This said: sounds interesting so far; will be keeping an eye out.

dwd_27
dwd_27

graphics pretty good on daniel craig

willz_666
willz_666

this game is gunna kick ass looks sick

BasicLogic
BasicLogic

Looks pretty good, but I don't see why we can't have the classic Sean Connery as Bond.

tan_thebatista
tan_thebatista

trailer look great, new gameplay i hope my computer could play it

Izzo_va
Izzo_va

i wish i have anything to be cool as james bond...

RocSeanD
RocSeanD

I am happy that another Bond is coming out. On a lighter note, I just hope that XBLA will get to release Golden Eye.

1234dragonsky
1234dragonsky

so can you tell me is this good game because i am fan of james bond they tricked us when they say that there wont be new james bond soon and is this game good at least if there isnt new movie to play this game is it good?

Scarshi
Scarshi

Since the franchise is now bust thanks to MGM folding, at least fans can wet their whistle on pretending to be Bond for a while. This game looks pretty slick.

TriShot87
TriShot87

I hope they won't make it: stupid, sexy, and M

Cillerboy
Cillerboy

looks pretty good but i'll wait for reviews :P

carlandcarl
carlandcarl

Looking good! Always enjoyed the james bond games so definiatly gonna give this one a try

burgeg
burgeg

For the people complaining about the graphics, are you being serious? I know the standards of visuals in gaming today are pretty damn high but jesus christ you people are graphics whores! This is a good looking game. No way in hell are the visuals in this game bad. I think you need to get off your high horse if you consider graphics like these bad. Besides the gameplay is what matters anyway, and if you've seen the seven minute gameplay video of the game of youtube, you'd know the gameplay is pretty awesome. Actually based on that gameplay footage this looks like being the sleeper hit of the year.

nimaf
nimaf

not a bad game

IKillowatt
IKillowatt

I think this game will be all about the controls. It looks as if it's already been done before so they'll have to make something unique about. It's hard making a unique game now a day's but it seems that some creators have a nack for brilliency. I'm sure gamesters will on agree on that

gabvendramini
gabvendramini

Gotta love these BOND MOMENTS! Btw, I enjoyed so much Quantum of Solace for PC and was hoping for a new adventure of the 007. Hope this is great as QOS.