Before I dive into this review, allow me to explain that I feel that Daniel Craig makes a great Bond. He’s able to pull off the suave that Brosnan and Moore did while still having moments of being a total heartless dick like Connery was able to. He’s almost like the greatest hits of Bond. With MGM facing bankruptcy, the third Craig Bond was put on hold and we didn’t get the semi-traditional Bond movie every two years. So thanks to Bizarre Creations, we have the next best thing with Blood Stone.
More along the lines of Everything or Nothing or the game of From Russia with Love, Blood Stone is a third person action shooter with driving segments as opposed to a first-person shooter like Goldeneye or The World is Not Enough. That’s fine as for a more cinematic adventure such as this, the third-person gameplay fits it better.
As you’d expect from a Bond adventure, the story takes him around the world. Daniel Craig and Judi Dench reprise their roles from the movies, with Joss Stone as the Bond girl and lead vocals on the game’s theme song. As the game is set in the Craig universe of Bond, don’t expect over the top lasers attached to sharks or anything crazy like that. What you do get is a solid action shooter that almost fills that gap felt by the lack of a new Bond movie this year.
The game play is pretty straight-forward cover-based third person shooting, with some twists tossed in. Occasionally Bond will need to use a gadget like his smartphone to scan evidence or find a secret in the environment, and while there’s no complex hand-to-hand combat system; using close quarters or stealth take-downs earns Bond focus shots that are basically one-hit kills. You can only store up three of these, so you need to use them wisely.
Occasionally Bond will jump in his Aston Martin for a driving sequence, and with Bizarre Creations behind the game this part is thankfully much better than any previous Bond driving games. The driving levels are pretty straight-forward affairs, but the car handles as you’d expect from a developer with a racing pedigree and they don’t ever frustrate.
But is the game fun? Yes, if you don’t expect anything very meaty. You won’t find stealth as in-depth as a Splinter Cell, and the shooting is pretty run of the mill, but it’s all wrapped up in that Bond presentation that saves what would’ve otherwise been a generic game. Sure, you’re just cover-shooting endless enemies, but you’re doing it as James Bond with his signature style. That experience of playing as James Bond makes the whole adventure entertaining.
And it doesn’t look or sound too bad either. As you’d expect from the cast; the voice acting is top notch. Legendary game composer Richard Jacques handles the music and crafts a perfect Bond soundtrack. It’s almost as if he was born to create music for a Bond game.
Blood Stone is a solid third-person Bond adventure with great presentation, the best driving the franchise has ever seen, and a classic “Bond” soundtrack. If you’re waiting for the third original Daniel Craig Bond movie, Blood Stone should help to hold you over until it arrives.
Final Score: 3 1/2 out of 5