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007 Blood Stone

Score: 69%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Bizarre Creations
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Action/ Shooter/ Mission-Based Driving

Graphics & Sound:

007 Blood Stone seems to have all the pieces to make a great, original James Bond story. You have boat and car chases, a couple of clever gadgets and, of course, Bond himself. Unfortunately, even with all the pieces of the puzzle seeming to be right, the overall picture just doesn't come through as well as it should.

The Bond Girl for this story is a jewelry designer by the name of Nicole Hunter, played by singer/songwriter Joss Stone. I must admit though, I don't really know much about Stone outside of her role as Anne of Cleves in The Tudors, but it seems like the art guys for Blood Stone did a good job of bringing her into the game. That, combined with good voice acting and a adequate Bond-esque story, go a long way in making her a believable Bond Girl.

Of course, the real star of the game is Bond himself. Daniel Craig reprises his role as 007, and much like Stone's character, he seems to be well represented in the game, both in looks and sound, though I still feel like he isn't quite Bond in my mind. Roger Moore still holds that spot for me.

Another Bond actress to reprise her role is Dame Judi Dench as M, and again, she looks right and, of course, sounds right. I have to say though, while all of the character models look the part, they don't quite feel right, especially when talking. For the most part, all that seems to move is their eyes and their lips; while there is some jaw movement, their faces feel very wooden and static. The animation just doesn't quite match the quality of the models and the voices, and it is often distracting during cut scenes.

As for the game's music, Stone performs the opening theme to Blood Stone and the rest of the music is of the classic Bond fare, so again, the music fits with the overall formula to make what should be a great James Bond experience; the optimal word there, of course, being should.


When it comes down to it, 007 Blood Stone feels like it tries to do too many things, and in the end does none of them well.

The game's missions come in two flavors, driving and action with a dash of stealth, if you can manage it. While there are bits and pieces of each of these that feel good, there are also issues with each style that make it hard to feel like any one aspect is perfect.

The shooter levels try to encourage you to take stealthier routes by providing ample cover and plenty of ways to silently take down enemies, but it seems that no matter how hard I tried, I would always end out in an all-out shooting match and have to switch between my nice quiet pistol to the loud machine gun I happened to have on-hand at the time.

These levels offer a few interesting features like an Arkham Asylum-esque Detective Mode that lets you scan the area with Bond's smartphone for clues and the position of every enemy in the area, as well as the ability to slow down time and use Focus Aim to get more accurate shots in.

The other half of the gameplay consists of the chase sequences. Here, you pursue your target in boats and cars through high traffic areas in an attempt to get close enough to take them out. These missions are pretty straightforward and merely require you to speed as fast as you can through the obstacle course your target is driving in and don't fall so far behind that you either lose them or they get to their destination.

While cool vehicles and chases are a necessary part of a good Bond flick, something just feels off in Blood Stone that makes it feel less than ideal.


007 Blood Stone has several difficulty settings that range from Recruit and increase to Field Operative, Agent and 007. Each one changes the amount of damage dealt in that you will not be able to take as much damage and your enemies will be able to take more. I found that even on the Agent setting though, a good stealth play through on the shooter levels will leave you progressing pretty steadily without much problem.

However, driving levels felt noticably harder, but then again, I actually had trouble with those levels on the easier setting. Driving games and keyboards just never quite worked out well for me.

Game Mechanics:

007 Blood Stone's biggest issues seem to come in the form of loose controls. Whether we are talking about the shooter levels or the driving-based ones, I just never felt like I had the right level of control over Bond. While driving and dodging oncoming traffic, steering wasn't quite as responsive as I had expected and while on foot, the camera controls felt too sensitive (despite turning that Controls Option down).

Well, there is one other aspect of Blood Stone that hurts the game, and that's that I rarely felt like I was having fun while playing it. This goes back to those statements earlier about the pieces all being right, or pretty much right anyway, but the package as a whole just not coming together.

There are some truly fun parts to the game, but a lot of it, typically during the shooter levels, just didn't feel quite as action-packed as they should have in order to keep me on the edge of my seat and really enjoying the experience. It's sad to say, but that's the feeling I got, and it's because of this that I really can't recommend the Windows version of 007 Blood Stone. If it was a console version, then I would maybe recommend a rental before purchase to see if you get a better experience than I did, but since you can't really rent a PC version of a game, or buy it and trade it in somewhere, then it's probably best for PC gamers to skip this particular title altogether.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.0 GHz / AMD Athlon 64 X2 4000+ CPU, 1 GB RAM for XP , 2 GB RAM for Vista, 7, 12 GB free disk space, 256 MB Graphics Memory, DirectX 9 Compatible, DirectX 9.0c

Test System:

Windows 7 Ultimate, Intel i7 X980 3.33GHz, 12 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox 360 The UnderGarden Sony PlayStation 3 Call of Duty: Black Ops

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