GoldenEye 007 for the Wii wasn’t the only Bond game to come out this holiday season. No, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 also got their dose of Bond in the form of an original Bond adventure called Blood Stone. Since the day these two games were announced it was easy to find people excited for both. We know that GoldenEye turned out great, but not everyone has a Wii, and Blood Stone is a different take on the franchise anyway.
So if you’re one of the five people in America in that boat, please read on to see if Blood Stone is for you.
Blood Stone (Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PlayStation 3)
Blood Stone is not a bad game. It just isn’t a very original one. Everything it tries to do is done better somewhere else. Because of its liberal borrowing from other games, and a penchant to go too far over the top (we're talking some Roger Moore era ridiculousness that doesn’t jive at all with Daniel Craig’s Bond), the game commits an even worse affront than not being original and that is not feeling very Bond-ian. The fun of playing as James Bond comes from playing as James Bond. When a Bond game makes you feel like you’re nothing more than a Bond knock-off, then it absolutely fails as a Bond game. In my mind, this is an unforgivable flaw, and I'm sorry to report that Blood Stone feels far more like a knock-off than the genuine article.
Surprisingly, the multi-player (which I assumed would just be tacked on because Bond games need multi-player) is pretty fun. This is mostly because it strips off all of the things that aren’t fun in the single-player campaign and delivers a solid cover shooter with some decently designed levels. There’s nothing too fancy about it, and it has all the standard accoutrement, like weapon load outs and a point system that lets you buy better things. Thanks to the lack of bad AI and the removal of the phone, it’s fun to play with some friends. There a few cool modes, like a “last man standing” one that gives the game a bit more spice. My only complaint is that, once again, there isn’t much Bond in it. There is some fun to be had, but unlike GoldenEye’s multiplayer it’s fun you can have with plenty of other games out there. Sadly, there is no split-screen, which is more of a norm nowadays. I had hoped, though, that because it was Bond they’d include it.
You may be thinking that I’m coming down hard on the game simply for not being Bond enough, and that’s entirely possible. However, I’d like to stress that even without my problems with the Bond-ness of it all, this is a relentlessly mediocre outing that simply aims to copy instead of improve at every turn.
It is strange that Eurocom could nail it so well with GoldenEye, and yet at the exact same time, Bizarre Creations misses the mark in so many ways. If you’re a Bond fan, you’ll be routinely disappointed by Blood Stone, but you’ll probably play it anyway. If you’re not one, then I can’t really stress enough that there are better games out there that don’t crush my hopes and dreams.
THE VERDICT - Blood Stone
Reviewed by Matthew Razak
|2:00 PM on 05.23.2013|
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