Bloodstone 007


Written by Chris Price
29 Monday 29th November 2010
There’s something very reassuring about the warm master/commander bickering of Daniel Craig and Dame Judy Dench in Bloodstone. It makes for a classy change from the macho American white label voice acting. With MGM $4 million in the hole, Bloodstone is only fresh 007 IP on the slate, and Daniel and Dame Jude are surely on board for their annual Bond-bucks. It’s just a shame those textured British tones aren’t equally represented by their in-game doppelgangers.
This high/low quality patchiness plagues Bloodstone. Throughout. The giddy visual highs of epic frozen-lake car chases to monotonous bland bunkers and cut-scenes populated by a cast of haunted mannequins.
But Bloodstone tries it hardest to usher you along at such a pace that you won’t notice its failings. The third person dashing about and diving into cover, shooting henchmen is immediately familiar. You’re immediately introduced to Bloodstone’s excellent disarm attack, letting you swiftly dispatch an enemy with a back catalogue of Bond knockouts – bouncing an assailants face off a nearby wall ala Craig to the classic Connery karate strike (each with a quirky title). Each disarm enables ‘focus’ – an auto-aim, slo-motion kill, giving you the ability to career into a room of bad bastards and auto-slot three assailants, giving you time to assessing the next threat.
It’s great fun – a simple risk and reward mechanic and genuine option against the standard cover-based shooting. But step online, and the hog of a multiplayer mode really shows up the faults lurking underneath. Focus and disarm are replaced with a sluggish melee and the inconsistent kill registration removes any lingering notion of skill. Compounded with some serious lag issues, multiplayer is stuttering, jagged experience that only the true 007 fan would be able to embrace.
It’s a shame. Bloodstone’s a seductive little brute. Its forward-paced momentum of placed stealth targets, and set-pieces integrating simple stealth third person shooting makes for an immediate and fun throwaway play. But the wild inconsistencies – pointless retrieval missions, sluggish controls ruining the impressive driving sections conspire to rob the game of its charm.
Ultimately, a franchise tie-in should be judged by the conveyance of its the core elements. Bloodstone hits the Bond basics. The iconic silenced pistol is as nuanced as deadly as you could wish for. The satisfyingly heavy-handed takedowns and the focus system allows the kind of aggressive impervious behaviour befitting of Daniel Craig, and the solid voice cast and original story is pleasantly cinematic and authentic.
There is an honest sense of ingenuity on show, and some fun, well-implement ideas, but it’s certainly not the progressive Bond title. But for it’s aficionado/casual/youth audience, it hits the relevant authentic touch points, as well as achieving a teen-friendly PEGI-12 age certificate. But with such an obscene level of action craftsmanship in the stores at this time of year, you’ll be the best person to justify the purchase.
Bloodstone 007 is out now, for XBOX 360 and PS3.

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