It's been awhile since 'Bizarre Creations' stepped out of their racing comfort zone, so a questionable eye peers over to their latest effort, a James Bond action game. Titled, 'Blood Stone,' 'Bizarre' whips up an original tale based on 'Ian Flemmings' nationally branded super-spy. How does fare? Better then you'd think.

Before I jump into the review for 'Bloodstone' I should make it clear that this is NOT the new 'Goldeneye 007' game. 'Goldeneye 007' is a Wii exclusive that was conveniently released on the same day. So if you love your James Bond, Activision has your bases covered. Our 'Goldeneye 007' review is on the way, but for now, sit tight with 'Bloodstone.' The next adventure in the 'Daniel Craig' era of Bond.

For the obvious, you will assume the role of the ultimate lead protagonist 'James Bond' who is likeness and voice are contributed by our current leading Bond, 'Daniel Craig.' Bond teams up with the socialite 'Nicole Hunter' (voiced by Joss Stone) to put the breaks on an evil plot to create weaponized biological agents. Yes, terrorists, who else? Fighting against a man named 'Stephan Pmerov,' Bond will travel through six exotic locations playing catch up with his throwaway nemesis.

You sure this wasn't a film?
If you have ever seen a 'Bond' film then you will feel right at home as you settle into the driving narrative in 'Bloodstone.' The overall tone and big location settings mirror the films' production in every way. This gives 'Bizarre Creations' project a cinematic feel with dialog to match. The graphics have their moments when 'Bloodstone' is running on full tilt, but in close inspection is nothing more than passable. 'Bizarre' seems to have vehicles and environments down pat, however, facial animations are not the same as rotating a tire. The clear highlight in 'Bloodstone' is how smoothly the game runs with some excellent set pieces.

The Bond Conspiracy
The gameplay in 'Bloodstone' is a picture perfect, duck-and-cover 3rd person shooter with vehicle segments added in every second or third mission. The cuts, like the newer films are fast-paced and filled with the exotic. For a quick comparison 'The Bourne Conspiracy' comes to mind, another super-spy duck-and-cover game that gets the job done, but doesn't surpass expectations. Although unlike 'Bourne,' 'Bond' doesn't have an interesting hand-to-hand mechanic, just a "takedown" button that works towards your 'Queensberry Rules' achievement/trophy. What 'Bloodstone' uses to fill this void are some excellent vehicle sequences along with a few other sneaky ambush episodes. It migt be formulaic, but it has all the 'Bond' fireworks.

Fisher, is that you?
When 'Bloodstone' slows down for a few espionage evidence gathering sections, the narrative feels weakened. This picks up when 'Bloodstone' switches into the infiltrate, knock out guard style gameplay. However, there could have been more focus given to the gadgets because the camera disabling "Bondberry" phone gets a little old after awhile. Even if you get some enjoyment out of the stealth sections, they can't stand up to the excitement of 'Bloodstone' running on all cylinders. This were the gameplay shines, even if 'Bond' stole the "mark & execute" feature from 'Splinter Cell: Conviction.'

Bond Online
'Bloodstone' also includes an online component that 'Bizarre' tries to get you motivated about with some achievement driven goals. Although like you might expect, it's not going to be as busy as the big dogs of the holiday season. If you can find a game, you can shoot em' up in three different modes; 'Team Deathmatch,' an objective based game and a 'Last Man Standing' round. It's the MI6 vs. The Mercs, but it's all really the same thing once everyone starts shooting. The Maps and gunplay are pretty bland and if you own any of the other AAA shooters out this holiday season, the multiplayer isn't worth more than a glance.

'Bond' fans, 'Bloodstone' won't disappoint on the fast-paced action that you have come to expect out of the "new" take on Bond. The gameplay might be the standard duck-and-cover action with a few short vehicles sequences, but it still has a certain charm with 'Bond' license attached. 'Bloodstone' isn't going to rival any of 'Bizarre Creations' driving games, but it's a lot better than their last shooting effort, 'The Club.' So if you want a fun "Bond" game were you can eat popcorn and snag a few achievements, this is it. One vodka martini please.

  • Quick pacing, smooth unflinching graphics
  • Feels like you're in a Bond film, flawless aesthetics
  • Gameplay isn't overly imaginative, but it works
  • Vehicle sections are awesome
  • Notable special effects and musical score
  • Paint by the numbers, nothing new here
  • No hand-to-hand mechanics, a lil' fisticuffs would have been nice
  • Throwaway online multiplayer
  • Could have used more gadgets
Quote: "'Bloodstone' isn't going to rival any of 'Bizarre Creations' driving games, but it's a lot better than their last shooting effort, 'The Club.' So if you want a fun "Bond" game were you can eat popcorn and snag a few achievements, this is it."
Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy | 11.10.10

Similar Reviews: Splinter Cell: Conviction (7.8) | The Bourne Conspiracy (8.3)


James Bond 007 Bloodstone


Bizarre Creations


US Release
October '10


PS3, X360

Players 1
Online 2-16
5.1 surround