Being that the 23rd Bond movie was postponed this year with no clear-cut date of arrival, Bond fan’s may have been feeling a little down in the mouth at the prospect of another year with no sign of their suave hero. Hat’s off then to Activision for rescuing the dreams of devotee’s with the most captivating title to date for the licensed to kill spy.
Right from the off let’s make one thing perfectly clear shall we? We are Bond fan’s here at GamesMediaPro. Alway’s have been, alway’s will be. Of everything that the franchise does, whether it be novel’s, movies or videogames, we love it all. It harken’s back to a childhood when looking for a role model and a modern-day hero was hard work, as truth be told they were pretty thin on the ground. Yes you could alway’s put your faith in The Famous Five but how much inspiration could the four spotty teenagers and their canine companion hold up against the gadgetry and sheer charisma of Bond?
The fact of the matter was that when we were growing up every boy looked up to Bond. Every man wanted to be him, and every woman wanted to be with him. So to be able to keep that allure and mass appeal for the length of time that we have been blessed with Sir Ian Fleming’s debonaire spy is something of achievement in its own right.
But when it comes to the ace secret agent’s career in videogames we have always felt that there was something missing. That little something extra that defined Bond as the ‘Man’s Man’ and every woman’s dreamboat. Yes, the Nightfire offering from EA was a decent enough game, but since then what has the great man had to offer in the way of thrilling episodes of his exhilarating lifestyle? Quantum of Solace was a solid title also, but alas even this first outing for Bond with Activision still did not have that, dare we say it, X-Factor? But all of the previous titles pale into insignificance with the award-winning developers latest offering for the macho Mr Bond. Activision have managed to do something with Bloodstone that has eluded developers ever since the very first movie tie-in title was announced. They have made the game as if it actually were a movie. It’s not that Bloodstone is like being in a Bond movie, the simple fact of the matter is that it is a Bond movie. We, the players, are just lucky enough to get to interact with one of the most engaging character’s ever to grace the silver screen. Bond is back, and looking better than ever!
The storyline stays true to the Bond formula of bad guy’s with megalomania issues as they seek to control the world. But Bizarre Creation’s have been given a free hand by Activision to make this game the best Bond title yet, and they have revelled in the challenge and really come up with the goods. What is, in essence, a third person shooter at heart, goes someway to being a competent and very amiable action title, racer, thriller, simulator and combat game as the developers take the best of Sir Ian Fleming’s masterpiece and bring it to life in a videogame.
The story is brought to life by the superior voice acting of the actual big-screen movie cast, with everyone playing their parts with precision and perfection from Dame Judy Dench as ‘M’ to Daniel Craig as the man himself of the title role. A real eye-opener of the acting talent on display is in the statutory ‘Bond Girl’ role that is played in this outing by non other than chart topping singer/song writer Joss Stone. It is also a credit to the graphic’s on display in Bloodstone that every character is brought to life in exacting detail, as the designers have done a spectacular job recreating the stars in their digital guise for the game.
The plot of the game begins in earnest following the meeting of Bond, (Daniel Craig), and the beautiful; wealthy socialite Nicole Hunter, (Joss Stone). The pair are tasked with chasing a terrorist named Pomerov over six different location’s ranging from Athens to Istanbul to Siberia in the pursuit of the madman before he can unleash a catastrophe of global proportions by utilising a terrifying biological weapon against the world. In the course of this Bond will have to use all of his considerable skills and abilities if he is to stop the world from being destroyed by the deluded despot.
Everything that you could have possibly wished for in a Bond movie is right here in the game with spectacular car chases, incredible locations and imagery, the latest high-tech weaponry and defence systems to the very cutting edge of the ‘boys toys’ and gadget’s that are trademark Bond. Of particular assistance during the gameplay is the excellent inclusion of Bond’s ‘smartphone.’ This wonderfully adaptable piece of kit allows James to access a sort of satellite based tracking system meaning that he can ‘see’ what is ahead of him in the shape of enemies, so much so that it will even detect which particular weapon the opposition soldier or terrorist is carrying. Classic Bond, indeed, and brilliant.
The action is non-stop and even in quieter moments you are really only walking from one situation to the next as the bullets and bad guys come at you in a never-ending procession of blood and guts machismo as they attempt to thwart your efforts at all costs.
The graphic’s have come a long way since the Call of Duty-esque Quantum of Solace and, as stated earlier, are lovingly rendered as each scene and battleground is painstakingly created for optimum effect and realism. Without wanting to litter the review with spoiler after spoiler, ( something which we just do not do here at GamesMediaPro ), gamers are going to love Bloodstone and Bond fan’s are going to praise Activision to the high Heaven’s that finally there is a developer who has manged to capture the essence of Bond and transfer it to the gaming format.
There is an excellent multiplayer to compliment the absolutely sizzling single player campaign, and although it has been released at the same time as the ‘Mother of al Online Shooters’, that of course being that other of Activision titles Call of Duty Black Op’s. We have spent time on the online modes over the course of a few days and are pleased to report that should gamers give Bloodstone’s online capabilities a whirl then they will not be disappointed in the least. Alas, we feel that many may overlook the cracking online play that is on offer to players in Bloodstone’s multiplayer modes due to nothing else other than timing. It will be hard for any other title to compete against Black Op’s for online game time, but if you are fortunate enough to have picked up a copy of this quality title then we can whole-heartedly recommend that you take advantage of anexcelle#nt third person online shooter with top-notch modes, excellent upgrades and enjoyable gameplay.
To finish this review we would just like to say that of all the games that are going to be available for players in this busy final quarter, if you have to invest your hard-earned cash into just one more game after your obligatory purchase of Black Op’s then you could go a long way worse than Bloodstone. A real top quality title with a fantastic script and the best action and voice acting of any third person shooter that we have had the pleasure of reviewing this year. We absolutely loved this game, you will too.
Graphics: Bizarre Creations have most definitely pulled out all the stops with this title and make no mistake, The settings and locations all look achingly beautiful and authentic with their stunning attention to detail. A real joy to look at as you get to grips with the first-rate gameplay. 9
Gameplay: Its Bond, what more do you need to know? It’s almost as if you are interacting first hand with the latest Bond movie and you are the director controlling the actors on set. Just amazing action with some awesome finishers in the hand to hand combat that will leave some wincing in pain ast the very thought of the move that you have just executed. Everything from the gadgets to the car chases, speed boats, helicopters, technology, missiles and weaponry screams ‘epic’ at you and when you hear that familiar score rewarding some of your more heroic efforts I challenge any man not to smile as your chest swells with pride. 9
RePlay Value: The multiplayer is strong enough to keep gamers coming back for more without a shadow of a doubt. But it is all about stepping into the shoes of your childhood hero in the single player campaign for us here. It is good to know then that the campaign is good enough and compelling enough to keep gamers coming back for more as they pray to their God for more story based DLC. 7
Presentation: Activision and Bizarre Creation’s should be sat at home giving themselves a huge pat on the back right about now for taking one of the entertainment world’s most endearing characters and turning him into a gaming icon once again. A truly epic piece of videogaming action that will have fan’s and newcomers in awe of the storyline and top-notch gameplay that is contained within. The best Bond by a country mile. 9