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James Bond

GTA V photo
GTA V

This group recreated the Skyfall intro in GTA V


Very nice
Mar 03
// Chris Carter
In the movie Skyfall, James Bond has a rather intense encounter on the top of a train in one of the very first scenes. It's a memorable moment in the film, and some people sought to re-create it in Grand Theft Auto V. Pretty...
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Telltale

Telltale would love the chance to make a James Bond game


The Walking Dead developers are still hesitant to do a new IP
Jan 08
// Alasdair Duncan
Telltale Games is on something of a roll right now; along with Fables: The Wolf Among Us and the second season of The Walking Dead, it has upcoming series based on Borderlands and Game of Thrones. But if money and t...
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Trio of James Bond games disappear from Steam


Activision has reportedly lost the game license
Jan 04
// Jordan Devore
The folks at NeoGamr recently picked up on the fact that PC copies of three Activision-published Bond games have been pulled from digital distributors like Steam. The outlet says it has since confirmed with sources that this ...

Review: 007 Legends

Oct 29 // Matthew Razak
007 Legends (Playstation 3 [reviewed], Xbox 360)Developer: EurocomPublisher: ActivisionRelease: October 16, 2012MSRP: $59.99 I can't stay mad at developer Eurocome for too long, because given time they can clearly make a fun Bond game. 007 Legends was obviously rushed to meet three deadlines: (1) the release of Skyfall; (2) a release date before CoD landed; (3) the 50th Anniversary of James Bond in film. The first and second reasons actually mean you're not even getting the full game right off the bat. One of the levels is based on Skyfall and will be released as free DLC once the movie hits theaters in the U.S. so as not to spoil the plot. Why not just release the entire game after the film then? Because Activision wouldn't want this going up against their newest edition of Call of Duty -- not that it poses much of a threat. Considering the game feels short even if you take into account you'll be getting another level it's hard to say your even get a delayed bang for your buck here.  Since it is Bond's 50th anniversary in film the game is not a straight Skyfall game. Legends takes you through five classic Bond films, which are Goldfinger, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, License to Kill, Die Another Day and Moonraker. All the stories have been updated to current day and star Daniel Craig's Bond -- if we can even call the creepy, monotone, non-Craig-voiced, mannequin that stars in the game Bond. The updates mean that any charm  of going through the older films is sucked right out and the look of these classic films is obliterated too. The stories are also rushed through carelessly, and for the most part don't even hit the best one-liners. The advertising claimed that they had seamlessly integrated the stories into the Skyfall plot, but what that really amounts to is Bond having a bunch of disconnected dream sequences. Not to mention the fact that if these are supposed to be adventures Craig's Bond has been on in the past it completely obliterates the new canon established by the current films. For a game supposedly celebrating Bond's 50th anniversary they sure didn't care much about his history. I felt more care for the franchise playing through the bait-and-switch that was GoldenEye: Rogue Agent or even, dare I say it, From Russia with Love.  But maybe you aren't a big Bond fan and the careless use of your favorite film character doesn't make you want to punch small puppies in the face. I understand that not everyone is quite as obsessed with Bond. Even if you aren't, 007 Legends still shows all the telltale faults of a game not given enough development time. You've got shoddy AI, repetitive level design, horrific load times, very little ingenuity, a busted cover system, almost completely non-destructible environments, poor controls, second thought multiplayer, and the annoying use of horrible and repetitive NPC voices. It's a bunch of stuff that simply screams that there wasn't time to pay attention to details. You can play through the game with either regenerative health or classic life mode, but neither makes it anymore fun. The films are broken up into two types of gameplay. The first is longer first-person shooter sections, which almost always involve charging through the level to the bad guy's office and then charging back out through the exact same rooms you just shot your way through. The other is an action sequence where you're either driving or an playing an FPS variant. For instance the gimmick level in OHMSS is some down hill skiing FPS action with terrible controls while Die Another Day gets some driving action with horrible controls. The game also features hand-to-hand combat, which is how you take care of a lot of bosses. This is basically a bunch of quick time events where you have to flick the joystick in the right direction to punch your enemy in an unguarded spot and hit the triggers to dodge his punches. Let me tell you how incredibly fulfilling fighting Oddjob in a crappy QTE event is. Not at all, and even less so because it's the same way you fight every boss and even a few random henchman. On top of this the game had to be in first-person (thank you for sucking and not selling well Blood Stone) so the action sequences you really want to play through from the films are done in first-person cinematic. You basically have to watch the best parts of each movie. I know that we're never going to get the likes of Uncharted quality here, but it can obviously be done and Bond would be so amazing in a game even remotely close to that ilk.  However, what we do have is an FPS and it could have been fun. A lot of the flaws really don't make sense considering Eurocom had a fully functioning game engine when they made GoldenEye: Reloaded and Legends is based on that engine. What it comes down to is that you've got the same crappy graphics, but now things that worked  before are completely busted. The cover system for instance is ruined because Bond seems to have lost the ability to detect when he's crouched behind something. Instead of easily being able to pop up from behind many items to take out bad guys you now have about a 50/50 chance to be put into cover mode when crouching behind something. Lazy design also means that walls are often too high for you to pop over anyway, and when you are able to hop easily into cover it's pretty much  not worth it thanks to the game's shoddy AI. The AI had enemies running headlong at me sometimes despite me shooting them in the face. On other occasions they'd simply walk straight into something and get stuck there often repeating over and over that they were "Going to check something out." I almost felt kind shooting them in the head and putting them out of the eternal loop of misery they had somehow locked themselves into. Even worse was when an enemy would charge randomly in one direction and then his AI would kick in and he'd realize he needed cover so he'd stop dead then jerk in another direction and charge that way (that is of course if I hadn't easily shot him to death by then). These things do happen in games every so often, but all of these issues arose on multiple occasions. What's really fun is when you combine shoddy AI with poorly designed levels and then ask the player to perform stealth missions. A good stealth mission works like a puzzle where you can figure out the pieces and make your moves accordingly. A bad stealth mission is based mostly on luck and puts you in a randomly designed room with enemies that seem to be able to see out of the back of their heads. I'm all for challenging stealth, but when you've got AI that isn't working it just becomes unfair stealth. Bond does get a crafty tool on his watch, which functions as a radar and in a better designed game it would have been a really cool mechanic. Here it's pretty useless.  As are Bond's other gadgets including a cell phone and a dart pen. The cell phone has three settings. The camera setting isn't used except when they make you take pictures of things like that's still an interesting gameplay mechanic. The EMF setting lets you see electrical wiring and to hack into computers. It actually could be a nifty piece of gameplay, but is never really used to its full potential except for once near the end of the game. And the final scanning mode, which I called purple mode, basically lets you see fingerprints and was really just around so they could make it seem like they had more gameplay options. The pen is pretty dumb as well. It probably came about because of the heavier focus on stealth in this game, but the sleeping dart and the electrocution dart are exactly the same and the distraction dart, meant to pull an enemy away from another so you can take them out more easily, rarely works or distracts both enemies so that the point is moot.  There's a new XP system in place now that lets you upgrade your weapons with new attachments and buy upgrades to Bond as well. It would be an interesting addition if it wasn't actually not interesting at all. While many of the upgrades do make life easier they are by no means something you need to think about or even use to beat the game. You also get XP points for doing almost anything (seriously, shooting a guy with any gun will get you points). If you're into easy gratification this is your game, but taking all the challenge out of earning points takes all the fun out of it too. You can earn even more points by completing secondary objectives, but considering that the primary objectives are lackluster at best you can guess how much fun the secondary ones are. This all sounds pretty horrendous, but what is really aggravating is the fact that the entire game doesn't suck. The first four films are completely worthless in almost every way, but then you get to Moonraker (the level the conveniently demoed for press) and suddenly you're playing a game that's at least fun. There's an entire stealth section that works, a well designed escape sequence, a less annoying female sidekick and a pretty damn clever zero gravity gun battle. It's like they designed this level then looked up at the calendar, realized they had to release in a week and decided that they'd just take a dump on the rest of the disk. I'm not sure if I should be happy that the game has a saving grace or pissed off because now I know it could have been that much better had someone tried.  I should mention the challenge modes, where you are tasked with completing a certain challenge in order to be the bestest ever, that are included with the game, but they aren't really that much fun thanks to the new found flaws riddled throughout. The multiplayer on the other hand actually functions. While the level designs aren't anything too special the insane amount of gameplay customization returns and is once again welcome in a world where mutliplayer gameplay is often taken way too seriously. Plus any game that gives me four-player split-screen gets at least a silent nod of approval. My biggest issue was not really being able to find a lot of people to play with online, which I would assume will become even more of an issue as the holiday gaming season rolls in. 007 Legends is a game made to trick people into playing it by leveraging the incredibly strong brand that is James Bond. It's a disjointed and senseless game that has about as much to do with James Bond as an ill fitting suit. To add insult to injury it shows no care towards the classic stories it is ripping off and even less care towards the character of Bond. It then takes this lack of care and combines it with lazy game making and rushed development. The end result is something that will simply have you asking why the game can't just be a good boy and die. 
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Far from legendary, Mr. Bond
After it turned out that the new GoldenEye game didn't suck and Activision simultaneously published a new third-person Bond adventure in the form of Blood Stone (seriously flawed, but showed promise) I actually had ...

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License to Kill/Die Another Day appearing in 007 Legends


Aug 15
// Matthew Razak
We have two more classic Bond films appearing in 007 Legends now with the announcement that License to Kill and Die Another Day coming out of gamescom. With this announcement it's pretty clear that the game will feature a mo...
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Pre-order bonuses for 007 Legends revealed


Aug 11
// Matthew Razak
As is wont with such things 007 Legends has picked up some exclusive pre-order bonuses from different retailers. Folks who buy the game from Amazon will receive the Nemesis Pack, which contains both Jaws and Baron Samedi as p...
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007 Legends brings back classic Bond actors


Jul 27
// Matthew Razak
Activision has announced that it's not just loading up on past Bond films for the upcoming 007 Legends, but past Bond actors as well. Not only have they confirmed that Daniel Craig will be performing as Bond throughout the ga...
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OHMSS gets its 007 Legends trailer on


Jul 12
// Matthew Razak
I'm pretty sure they could play the Bond theme over a video of a peanut butter and banana sandwich and I'd get excited so playing it over a new trailer for 007 Legends is basically giving me conniptions. This trailer, w...
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Activision's Comic-Con lineup includes Hit Monkey game!


Jul 11
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Hit Monkey! You know, the one-off assassin that appeared during a story arch in the Deadpool comics? Yes, it's horribly dumb and I love it. High Moon Studios, developer of the Transformer games, is behind the project and it w...
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OHMSS the next Bond film to appear in 007 Legends


Jun 29
// Matthew Razak
Today Activision announced the next film in 007 Legends that players will take on Bond's role in is On Her Majesty's Secret Service. They've sent along some screens and concept art to show off their take on the Bond film, whi...
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007 Legends gets a trailer and release date


May 22
// Matthew Razak
Today (or yesterday depending on the location that you are reading this) was a good day for Bond fans. First we got the absolutely incredible trailer for the new Bond film, Skyfall, and now the first trailer for the upcoming...
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Get yourself into the latest James Bond game


May 02
// Matthew Razak
A few weeks ago Activision announced that they were releasing a new Bond game, 007 Legends, this fall to coincide with the release of the new Bond film, Skyfall and Bond's 50th anniversary. I totally missed the announcem...
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Wouldn't real-life GoldenEye just be the original movie?


Feb 21
// Tony Ponce
Usually, weekends at Dtoid are extremely slow, but we were so chock-full of stories over the past couple of days that I held off on posting this video. I only just now remembered it was in my inbox. I don't see how I could f...

Review: GoldenEye 007: Reloaded

Nov 15 // Matthew Razak
GoldenEye 007: Reloaded (PlayStation 3 [reviewed], Xbox 360)Developer: EurocomPublisher: ActivisionReleased: November 1, 2011MSRP: $59.99 This review is going to feel a little bit like a DLC review; in all honesty, the single-player aspect of this game is exactly the same except for the graphical improvements and new hidden medallions to collect. The new stuff, the MI6 challenge mode and multiplayer content, could easily be considered robust DLC if they were delivered digitally post release. That explained, if you really want to read a full review on the single-player, just head on over to my original Wii review because most of what is in there still stands. This is the exact same game reworked for more powerful systems. There are, obviously, some changes in the single-player experience. This isn't just a straight port with "upgraded" graphics that don't actually look any better, but the same game based on a much more powerful game engine. While I thought the game looked perfectly fine on the Wii, and I'm no graphics whore, I must say that playing through the exact same only much prettier levels is not something I'm going to complain about. The new engine and more powerful platforms not only make the graphics more "hi-defier," but also make the levels feel more alive. Details like rain, water effects, and improved lighting just make levels pop in ways they couldn't on the Wii. In fact, the night club section I raved about in the Wii's review looks absolutely fantastic thanks to the fact that the engine can handle more things on screen at once. So when the entire scene slows down and the debris starts flying like in a John Woo action scene, it looks really, really good. Compared to the Wii, that is. Graphically, the game is no slump, but it isn't stand-out either. As I said, this isn't a Wii game polished up, but that doesn't mean it's one of the best looking games out now. The graphics are definitely middle of the road overall, and while they look fine, you won't be blown away by anything. This is especially apparent in the textures, which don't seem to have gotten as much love as the lighting and other aspects. Now, on to the new part. The major addition to the game is the MI6 Ops mode, which is basically a bunch of challenges for the player to try to complete in the fastest time they can. There are three types of challenges (and an extra one that unlocks): stealth, defense, and elimination. All of them take place in slightly varied sections of single-player levels or in multiplayer levels. The modes are all pretty much exactly what they sound like. "Stealth" involves getting through levels without alerting any guards. "Defense" tasks the player with downloading information from three computer terminals while waves of enemies attack; each terminal takes three minutes to download from while enemies flood in at set time intervals during. Finally, "elimination" has the player attempting to kill every bad guy in the level as quickly as possible. By completing challenges fast enough or on high enough difficulties, you're awarded with a higher score which gets you more stars which in turn unlock more challenge levels. It's pretty standard stuff as far as challenge modes go, but what sets it apart from most others is in how adjustable the challenges are. Instead of simply having easy, medium, and hard settings, difficulty is set by a plethora of variables the player can adjust before jumping into the challenge. You can pretty much adjust everything from enemy damage to rag doll physics. Bump up the enemies strength and you'll get more points as you start the level off. Remove your radar capabilities and your score will go up. Increase your own life and your starting score will go down. Implement paintball mode and... well, nothing happens, but it's way more fun. Thus, to get the best score, you have to balance out challenge and time. Make it too hard and you won't be able to complete it in any decent amount of time, too easy and you won't start off with a high enough score. In theory, it's a great idea, but from my play, it seemed like completion time outweighed challenge points by too much. Thus, beating the game on a really difficult collection of settings wasn't as good as speeding through it on an easier setting. There's no way of really knowing this ahead of time since it's unclear how the time scores work; believe me, it's incredibly annoying to redo a level over and over on a difficult settings just to have it not pay off in as many stars as you thought it would. I suppose the online leaderboards help to assuage this annoyance since you're competing against others, but I'd rather have a better idea of what I'm going to score ahead of time. MI6 Ops isn't the only new stuff in the game. Multiplayer has not only gotten a graphical overhaul, but also four new maps and a plethora of new game modes have been added. Some we've seen before, like Elimination where players progress through a pre-set series of guns each time they take someone out, but with a Bond twist since slappers melee is the final weapon. Others are a bit fresher, like Data Miner, where one player has to download data while he fights off all the others, and every kill he makes increases his download speed. I have to say the online multiplayer is quite fun, and thanks to the fact that more of the random multiplayer options are present in this version, it feels a whole lot more old-school GoldenEye when you're online. Of course, all of the random fun settings (paintball, golden gun, etc.) are back in multiplayer in this version, but Eurocom has also included some other random stuff, like a mode where Jaws' metal teeth can deflect bullets or Dr. No's metal arms prevent him from taking damage from shots to the arm. The game also features more Bond villains to choose from, including Tee Hee, Max Zorin, Auric Goldfinger, Dr. Kananga, and Hugo Drax (exclusive to the PS3). All these definitely make the game a bit more fun, but again, they can't be considered much more than DLC to an already complete game. I should note that the PS3 version has full Move support (in fact, there's a special edition that comes with that big gun thing and all the Move accouterments) and, well, it works. I played most of the game with a standard controller since I don't own a Move and had to borrow one. Just like the Wii, though, the Move controls function and are fun to play with. So yeah, Move works. The question then becomes (if you haven't already played the game on the Wii) why would you pick this up over the plethora of other FPS out there that are admittedly better in almost every aspect. Do me a favor and walk over to your game collection to check the back of all your FPSes for how many players can play at once on one console. I'll put good money that the majority of your FPSes don't allow you and three other friends to sit around in the same room and shoot each other. Four-player split screen just doesn't show up on the PS3 and 360 anymore, but it's here in GoldenEye 007: Reloaded; just like the Wii version, it's plain fun to play with your friends in the room. Yes, the same flaws exist in the rest of the game, but with the ability to split your screen into four equal parts and shoot your friends in the same room being such a rarity on both systems these days, I would argue that Reloaded sets itself apart from the pack in a major way by actually having what should be a standard feature. With Reloaded, you're basically getting GoldenEye 007 plus a bit more. This leaves me in a bit of a quandary when scoring the game. Technically, it should get a higher score than its Wii counterpart since its graphics are better, it has more content, and its online is more robust. However, I can't say that any of this actually makes the game any better, it just makes for more of it. More of an 8.5 is still an 8.5. What it comes down to is that, if you own this on the Wii, I can't really see that big a reason to pick up this version. If you don't own it, however, this will be a great acquisition to actually get some split screen action on your hi-def console while also getting a really solid game at the same time. I understand it's the holiday season and there are a plethora of other games to pick up, but if you come across GoldenEye 007: Reloaded a little down the road when the influx of games has passed, and if the price has dropped a bit, you (and your friends who can finally play videogames with you when they come over) won't regret it one bit.
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Last year, James Bond returned to videogames in both GoldenEye 007 for the Wii and Blood Stone for the PS3 and 360. In a change from the standard outcome when a franchise hits multiple platforms, the Wii game was the one that...

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GoldenEye 007: Reloaded - Explosions and guns!


Oct 19
// Fraser Brown
Between being a suave, functioning alcoholic and philanderer, James Bond kills people and blows things up. In the latest GoldenEye 007: Reloaded video walkthrough, Bond has to fight his way through the Severnaya level withou...
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Hands-on with GoldenEye 007: Reloaded's multiplayer


Oct 12
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Like most, I am a huge fan of GoldenEye 64. It was my gateway drug into the wonderful world of first-person shooters. Hundreds of hours were wasted in "slappers only" multiplayer matches, causing the frame rate to come to a ...
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Can Activision deliver with GoldenEye 007: Reloaded?


Jul 21
// Nick Chester
Officially revealed this week, GoldenEye 007: Reloaded is Activision's latest attempt at capturing gamers' attention with the James Bond franchise. But can it deliver? Based on this reveal trailer and the first batch of scre...
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Activision has officially announced GoldenEye 007: Reloaded for PS3 and Xbox 360. It will take the Wii remake of the classic N64 Game, run it through a brand new engine to deliver HD visuals, and support the PlayStation Move ...

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Activision bringing new Bond game to San Diego Comic-Con


Jul 08
// Nick Chester
Since it's already been mentioned on an investors call, we know Activision has another James Bond game up its sleeve for release this year. Now it seems like we'll be getting our first look at the game at San Diego Comic-Con,...
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'GoldenEye Reloaded' domains spotted in the wild


Jun 27
// Jim Sterling
A bunch of domains have been found for GoldenEye Reloaded, with common opinion suggesting that a port of last year's Wii re-release could be on the way to systems such as Xbox 360 and PS3.  No real details outside of the...
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Greenlit Bond film raises questions about new game


Jan 12
// Nick Chester
Good news for bond fans: Deadline is reporting that Metro-Goldwyn Mayer has announced that the next James Bond film has been given the green light. Set for a release on November 9, 2012, the flick will once again feature Dani...

Review: Blood Stone

Dec 13 // Matthew Razak
Blood Stone (Xbox 360 [Reviewed], PlayStation 3)Developer: Bizarre CreationsPublisher: ActivisionReleased: November 2, 2010MSRP: $59.99 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. This issue is most apparent in the game's plot, which so obviously mimics what a Bond game (book, movie, etc.) should have in it that it ends up feeling more like a bunch of Bond movies stuck together than an original storyline. Bond (after an action packed opening level) is thrust into a suspected bio-weapons ring that he must shut down. With the help of undercover MI6 agent Nicole Hunter he infiltrates the bad guys' plot and then takes them down. There’s actually a bit of a twist at the end that desperately tries to make the story more than it actually is, but the whole thing is already so convoluted  that your ability to care is short lived. Sadly, it appears that the plot line was set up to flow over a series of games, so we may be seeing more of this ho-hum story. Caring about what is going on in a Bond vehicle isn’t always that important, though. The action, fights and set pieces are what really stand out. And Blood Stone does have a few very cool sections. The game is divided up into driving and shooting levels. The shooting levels use a cover system, which works well enough and can lead to some great take downs. Melees are actually very cool and trigger some of the cold-hearted kills that Craig's Bond has practically trademarked. Every time you pull off a physical take down you get a "focus shot" that allows you to kill an enemy in a single shot while time slows down. You can chain up to three of these together, which allows for some solid strategic gameplay even if it is fundamentally useless on the whole. I found myself using it once in a blue moon on a normal difficulty setting, and only slightly more often on difficult. In fact, "useless" sums up a lot of the fighting in Blood Stone. By the end of the third level, you’ve pretty much experienced every gun, and the challenges and layouts of levels start to repeat themselves. The enemies act almost the exact same way from level to level, and it’s nearly impossible to detect any real increase in difficulty as the game progresses. Bond runs from shootout to shootout without much drama or action in between. That’s not to say that the game is devoid of some fantastic Bond moments (running away from a giant drill in one early level is especially well done), but it lacks that certain something necessary to feel legitimately Bond. One of the best things EA did in their Bond games was insert tiny little Bond moments that gave the game a little character. Those moments are generally missing from Blood Stone. Instead, you get massive battles on giant gun ships that feel like they should be in Gears of War. Sadly, even if this wasn’t a Bond game and I wasn’t complaining about the lack of Bondness, Blood Stone still wouldn’t be that great of a cover shooter, especially because of the aforementioned repetitive levels and AI. I’ve saved the worst for last, however. In an attempt to mimic Arkham Asylum’s  “bat-sense” mechanic, the game uses Bond’s smart phone -- for everything. Whenever you want to get a look at where to go or how the bad guys are organized, you flip out your smart phone and the screen turns green and little icons pop up along with x-ray views of all the enemies. It’s supposed to help you plan your attacks, but thanks to the mediocre AI, it's just annoying. And, like I said, they use the phone for everything. Locked door? Bust out your phone. Need a picture? Take your phone out. Crack a code? You guessed it. In an attempt to make Bond less gadget-y, they simply made him rely on one stupid gadget. Worst of all, Bond actually flips it out whenever he’s using it. This means if you’re using it in the middle of a gun fight you look like an idiot running through a battlefield staring at your cell phone. That might be a petty complaint if the mechanic was interesting at all, but since this "phone gameplay" mechanic has come to symbolize what I dislike the most about Blood Stone, having it crammed down my throat in such an overt way feels even worse than it should. Bizarre Creations, the now defunct developer behind Blood Stone, is most known for their racing games and it clearly shows in Blood Stone. The racing levels stand out above the shooter sections of the game, not just because they’re designed better but because they actually feel like giant action set pieces that Bond might find himself in. Unfortunately, the quality of the driving levels range quite drastically from infinitely boring to incredibly clever. And while the “courses’” designs work sometimes, at other moments, they can be insanely frustrating. The better driving levels feel like something out of Split/Second, with explosions going off everywhere or, to be more specific, a giant dump truck bowling through Bangkok streets as Bond desperately chases it in a tow truck. However, it often seems that too much is going on, and the “courses” aren’t designed well enough to keep you from dying cheaply or falling into hard to see blind spots over and over. To add insult to injury, the final stage is a driving level so mundane that it feels like Bizarre Creations tacked it on simply because the game was too short (and it still is too short, even with this level). It’s also of note that Daniel Craig just looks plain terrible when rendered in this game. Any of the depth and hard edge to his face that I think make him a good Bond are gone. He actually looks a lot like a monkey. The other character renders aren’t too great either, with Dame Judi Dench looking especially frumpy in her digital self. Graphics are obviously not everything, but damn, they sure would have helped in this case. That's compounded by the fact that the game's voice acting is far below par. Craig clearly put a bit more effort into this than he did his GoldenEye performance (which was horrendous) but everything is still flat and careless. Combining a flat face with a flat performance leaves you out in the cold when it comes to story and caring about the game. 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.
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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...

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Rumor: Singularity dev working on 'stealth' Bond title


Dec 07
// Nick Chester
According to James Bond website MI6, Singularity developer Raven Software is currently working on a stealth-based title based in the Bond universe. The rumor goes that wrk on the Bond title was halted earlier this year, as th...

Review: GoldenEye 007 (Wii)

Nov 11 // Matthew Razak
GoldenEye 007 (Wii)Developer: Eurocom, n-SpacePublisher: ActivisionReleased: November 2, 2010MSRP: $49.99 (standard), $69.99 (Classic Edition) I’m not lying when I say that this game has almost nothing to do with the original. The plot, actors, levels, guns, gadgets, objectives, graphics, controls and multiplayer are all either different or seriously reworked. The game is simply influenced by its namesake and the similarities pretty much end there. It should be noted, however, that these influences are actually pretty cool. You’ll be playing through levels that feel familiar, but are entirely new. It’s a strange feeling to play through a room that you know, but have never played, and the team behind the game should be proud that they managed to squeeze some of the essence of the original game out without directly copying it in any way.  We’ll start with the basic fundamentals that have changed. If you’ve ever heard someone say that the new Bond is copying Bourne (an argument we can have at a later date) then you’ll understand when I say GoldenEye is copying Call of Duty. The updated gameplay plays almost exactly like every other modern first-person shooter is doing these days. Obviously the Wii’s pointer controls add a bit of a change for the player (unless you opt to use the Classic Controller or a GameCube controller), but for all intents and purposes this feels a lot like Call of Duty with emphasis being put on cover tactics and aiming down your sites to take more accurate shots instead of simply “shooting from the hip.” This is far from a complaint at all. If you’re going to ape something, ape the best, and the game actually apes quite well. Controls are tight and responsive and easily adjusted for however you want to play. I did buckle and pick up the golden Classic Controller, and I have to say it’s nice, but in the end I played through most of the game using the Wii Remote and Nunchuck combo. This was the first time I had actually switched between standard and motion controls in a single game, and it’s just hard to relinquish the ease of pointing and shooting (and the fun of motion controlled melees) for thumbsticks. It’s not all copying and pasting, though. GoldenEye stands on its own feet pretty well. There’s a pretty robust collection of case sensitive take downs you can preform when you’re close enough to an enemy and stealth plays a much larger role in the game than most FPS. Actually, I should say that if you want stealth to play a much larger role in the game then it can. If you want to go blazing through each level with a machine gun, that can work too. The game does a great job of setting up levels that can work either way. There were plenty of points where I was torn between sneaking up and taking out some guys with a few quick and well placed shots or blowing up the truck said guys were standing next to, and thus alerting every enemy in the area. There’s actually some great level design going on in parts of the game, especially when you’re indoors in closed quarters. There’s an amazing sequence in which you bust into a large open room and some slower background music starts playing loudly while everything slows down just a bit. Exploding pieces of furniture and decorations are placed liberally about the room too so that when you shoot their remains burst into the air and float down dramatically. It’s a really cool effect that makes you feel like you’re playing through one of those slow motion action sequences with meaningful music over it that are so trendy in films now. It’s little cinematic touches like that that make GoldenEye stand out form the crowd and give it a true Bond feeling for some of the game. Sadly, as it progresses things start to become a bit more generic in design. It’s still fun to play, but you feel like you’ve done a lot of the stuff before in plenty of other games. In some games this isn’t a problem at all, but when you’re playing as James Bond it better feel like you’re doing something special, not just running around as another FPS character with a gun. In this same vein it doesn’t help that it sounds like Daniel Craig mailed this one in from the Arctic. There’s about as much feeling in his voice acting as there is in early Resident Evil games. OK, maybe not that bad, but you get the point. It also doesn’t help that the story of GoldenEye has been roughly handled in order to update it to modern times. (Spoilers) Instead of Alec Trevelyan, agent 006, getting revenge on England as his excuse to steal lots of money he is getting revenge on the bankers for the financial crash. It makes little to no sense and plot wise the game pretty much falls apart before it begins. It doesn’t help that Sean Bean, who played Trevelyan in the film, is nowhere to be seen, and his replacement is lackluster at best. The crap story doesn’t take away from the game being entirely enjoyable as a game though, and there is plenty of replay value in the single player. The game comes with four different difficulties, all of which you can play from the get go. Much like the original GoldenEye every level has sub-objectives aside from the main goal and the higher difficulty you choose the more side objectives you have. It makes playing through on harder challenges quite fun because you’re not simply playing against harder enemies, but also achieving new things. The game also has a classic mode, which puts the player into the 007 difficulty (hard), but instead of giving you the now FPS-standard magical, regenerating health it gives you the classic GoldenEye life bars and hides armor in the levels. It’s old school, challenging and a very welcome addition to those getting tired of simply hiding behind things until you heal up. Unfortunately the developers made an odd decision when it came to game progression. If you beat a level on a certain difficulty, but do not complete all the secondary objectives than you cannot go on to the next level on that difficulty and must play the next level on the next difficulty down. I understand the logic behind this, but it forces a player who may want the bigger challenge from the AI to go back and replay a level simply because they may have missed out completing one of the optional objectives. Not that the levels are a pain to play back through, but if you’re trying to beat a game (or review it in a timely manner) it can get aggravating when you’ve technically already beaten a level, but can’t progress on the difficulty you want to. You won’t be blown away graphically by this game, but it certainly doesn’t look bad. There’s never a moment where I threw my hands up in disgust in how lazy the developers must have been like I have with other games. It’s very clear that time and attention went into much of this game, and it shows because it actually looks and feels good. Amazing that when a developer puts effort into a Wii game it can come out looking, playing and sounding really great. Who would have thought? But I’ve rambled on too much about the single player when the real thing everyone remembers about GoldenEye 007 on the N64 is having fun with your friends in the multiplayer. It’s obvious why the advertising campaign behind this new GoldenEye heavily pushed the fact that there was splitscreen multipalyer as that’s what everyone loves. It’s also devilishly smart because this is a Wii exclusive and there is no way in hell its online gameplay is going to match up with anything on the Xbox 360 or the PlayStation 3. Thus the smart thing to do is focus on the splitscreen multiplayer and deliver the online as a secondary bonus in the game, which is exactly what they did here. It worked too, the splitscreen multiplayer is plenty of fun to play with some well designed levels that realize that only four people are playing on them so the don’t get too sprawling or convoluted (a trap many games fall into when you play them in splitscreen). I’m sorry to say that while returning to some splitscreen gaming was a blast because I got to hang out with my friends GoldenEye 007 doesn’t really capture the magic that the original had. Of course, as I stated before, nothing ever will. The new game does its best in an attempt to do so, however. There are modes on top of modes that hearken back to a day when characters having big heads was something to gush over. Thankfully it’s been so long since those days, and such modes are now routinely ignored, that it is once again time to gush over such things. You won’t be playing through any of the classic GoldenEye maps that you still have memorized like the back of your hand (as far as I saw), but you’ll definitely be playing through some solid maps in classic GoldenEye style. The best part is that you’ll get to once again see your friends’ faces. You’ll be surprised what puberty has done to some of them. As far as that bonus online multiplayer feature goes, it’s one of the best I’ve seen on the Wii (waits for not-saying-much snickers to die down). Once again the game takes a cue from Call of Duty and other modern FPSs and offers a slew of features like optimizable loadouts, a point system for upgrading your character, and a plethora of weaponry and gadget combinations. An added bonus is a Bond villains mode, in which all the players are all randomly selected classic Bond villains (oddjobs hat throw is pimp). The mode is relatively pointless, but just dumb fun to play in. The graphics, and more notably the sound, do take a hit when you jump into the online arena, but that’s pretty par for the course with many games. You give a little, you get up to 8 people playing online. Playing online also means you give up a lot of the fun modifiers that you can get with splitscreen. It seems a bit odd until you realize the simple fact that splitscreen play was actually the focus over online play, and yet the game still has some of the best online play on the Wii and could stand proud with online on other systems. Sadly, game specific friend codes do exist, and there is no Wii Speak support. Both of these facts make gaming with friends online a bit annoying, but far from impossible, and I can’t stress to you how cathartic it was not to have some moron shouting how gay I was every time he shot me. I may have harped on a few flaws with the game, but overall GoldenEye is a very solid game and well worth the money if you enjoy videogames. If you’re a Bond freak then the golden Classic Controller makes for a nice collector’s item, but it’s hard to justify the purchase beyond that since the Wii Remote and Nunchuck were my preferred area of control. Either way you play, you’re probably going to have a good time, and even if it isn’t the most Bondian of Bond’s videogame adventures it is indeed a good game and one that you won’t regret playing. The new GoldenEye 007 could never be as truly great as its predecessor for a variety of reasons, but it does a superb job of following in its footsteps.
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Let’s get this out of the way first: no game will ever be GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64. The unique combination of advancements in technology, controls, gaming and culture are not going to collide like that ever aga...

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NYCC: GoldenEye 007 and Blood Stone playable


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// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Activision will have GoldenEye 007 and James Bond 007: Blood Stone playable at New York Comic-Con this weekend. Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions will also be at Activision's booth. On top of the games, there will also be giv...
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GoldenEye 007 devs talk villains, weapons and choices


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Here's a developer diary on the new GoldenEye 007 for Wii. Executive Producers David Wilson and Julian Widdows talk about the weapons you'll have to choose from in multiplayer as well as the choices players will be...
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James Bond will be getting physical in Blood Stone


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Activision sent over another trailer for 007: Blood Stone focused on the combat elements featured in the upcoming game. I don't think the intent here was to highlight the differences between stealthy and aggressive play...
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Bond's classic villains strut their stuff


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One of the things serverly lacking from almost every Bond game after GoldenEye 007 was the ability to play as some of Bond's classic nemesis. Did it make much of a difference unless you were being a douche and playing as Odd...

Hands-on: GoldenEye 007 for the Wii and DS

Sep 13 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
GoldenEye 007 (Wii, DS)Developers: Eurocom (Wii), n-Space (DS) Publisher: Activision To be released: November 2, 2010 (US), November 5, 2010 (EU) Remember the tank level in the 64 version of 007? It was a pretty badly designed and boring level. The new tank section in Eurocom's version of the game is a gigantic blast though, mainly due to the fact that there's a ton of action taking place on the screen. Enemies are coming at you from the ground and the air giving you something to shoot at throughout the entire level. Along with the massive amount of enemies, buildings are getting bombed all around you in an attempt to stop Bond from giving chase to his target. It's pretty impressive to see buildings crumble (for a Wii game, anyway). This section of the demo was short but it did the job, showing how much Eurocom has changed from the original. The new game's story follows GoldenEye's plot for the most part, but there are some additional missions never seen in the original game or movie for that matter. Of course, the real meat to GoldenEye is the multiplayer. They've updated the scheme so that it takes a more modern day approach, meaning that you have loadouts to pick from whenever you spawn instead of finding weapons scattered throughout the map. You can only carry two guns and a few grenades at a time, too. As a fan of the original, I wasn't all that thrilled with the loadout feature. I get that enough in Call of Duty and the Halos. What I really like that is new, though, is all of the modifers you have at your disposal. Only a few were shown, but expect to see things like paintball mode, Golden Gun matches and a modifer that makes people explode when they touch each other. If there is anything that will really hurt GoldenEye, it's the graphics. Multiplayer is a ton of fun, but when you're on a map with wide open spaces, it's nearly impossible to spot the (up to eight) other players from afar. Along with the Wii version, I checked out the DS game being developed by n-Space and it was alright. It's just a matter of FPS games being your thing on the DS. n-Space has developed all of the Call of Duty games for the DS and they know how to make a solid handheld shooter by now. You'll like it if you've enjoyed their other offerings. I'm actually split on GoldenEye. It's a case of overwhelming nostalgia dulling my feelings and being a big James Bond fan. I'll play it just to see how much has changed, but take away my love for the original game and I don't think GoldenEye 007 would be on my radar at all. Oh, also, ODDJOB THROWS HIS FUCKING HAT AT PEOPLE. FUCK YEAH! For more on GoldenEye, check out Matthew Razak's interview with Eurocom and another preview of the game from gamescom.
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The Nintendo64 had some great games, but they were always few and far between, especially in the early days. That was a big problem for Nintendo's last cartridge-based console, until Rare came out with GoldenEye 007, that is...

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New Blood Stone diary highlight's Daniel Craig's profile


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Daniel Craig has a fantastic profile. Don't believe me? Check out the first few seconds of this James Bond 007: Blood Stone developer diary. Watch it yet? Killer profile, right? In his latest video, developers from Bizarre C...






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