NYCC 2010 Hands On 007: Blood Stone

NYCC 2010 Hands On 007: Blood Stone

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Daniel Craig is back as Bond in this cinematic adventure that makes up for Quantum of Solace.

If you're still hurting from MGM turning its back on James Bond, you'll probably want to check out 007: Blood Stone, which does a fair job of recreating the Bond cinematic experience in game form. Bizarre Creations had a lot of high-caliber help making this new adventure feel like genuine Bond; Daniel Craig and Judi Dench lend their voices and likenesses, the story comes from Goldeneye's writer, and Bond's stunt double did the motion capture. Even the films' costume designer pitched in to make Blood Stone feel like a true part of the Bond legacy.

A British bioweapons specialist has gone missing, and M asks Bond to look into the disappearance. Unsure of whether he's dealing with a kidnapping, a defection, or worse, Bond heads to the scientist's last known location, Istanbul (not Constantinople). From there, the story unfolds in classic Bond fashion, with car chases, shootouts, intelligence gathering, and globe-hopping to exotic locations like Monaco and Bangkok. Every Bond adventure needs its femme fatale, of course, and Joss Stone not only serves as Blood Stone's Bond girl, but also provides the theme song.

The level I played took place in Athens and mimicked the kind of nonstop action that typically prefaces the opening credits of a Bond movie. First, I prowled the decks of a yacht, taking out henchmen in a series of firefights. The shooting was third person, and solid, though I only got to try two guns, a pistol and automatic rifle. Though Craig's Bond isn't afraid of getting his knuckles bloody with a bit of hand to hand, the melee combat in Blood Stone is limited to Takedowns. The thinking, as the developers explained it to me, was that traditional hand to hand game design, with punching and kicking combos, just doesn't really make sense for Bond. He's a super-spy - mere henchmen shouldn't be punching him in the face. The trick with Takedowns is simply getting in close enough to an enemy to be able to pull one off. The more-than-65 different Takedowns are context sensitive based on a bunch of variables including where you are, if you're in cover, which direction the enemy is, and how he's armed. You might pull someone over a table, put him in a sleeper hold, or just plain snap his neck, depending on your particular circumstances.

If you succeed with a Takedown, you'll earn a Focus Aim token, which can be used to automatically lock on to enemies and shoot them in a cinematic style. Think of it like the opening of a Bond film, when he suddenly turns and shoots at the screen, says Bizarre. You can earn up to three Focus Aim tokens and chain them together to take out a bunch of enemies at once, which can be helpful if you're confronted with a particularly tricky section.

The gameplay of Blood Stone didn't feel particularly different than any other spy-themed game of recent memory, but it definitely gets the Bond aesthetic right. It's clear that the developers took the license very seriously and went to a great deal of effort to make this game feel like a genuine Bond adventure. The film franchise's recent woes actually worked in their favor, as it left the developers free to create whatever story they liked, just as long as it didn't contradict the canon. The result is both great-looking and sounding, with the same over-the-top kind of enemies and huge stakes that's essential to the Bond experience.

007 Blood Stone is due out for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on November 2.

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Last good Bond game was Everything or Nothing, in my opinion. As this is practically the same formula, I am very interested.

Sounds good to me. More like a return to the Brosnan/Connery/Original Bond Movie wackiness which I preferred. This sounds like the perfect setup for a whole bunch og over the top villain bases and insane schemes, which is just what I want.

If I wanted gritty, serious Bond I'd read the books again, I come to the movies for the crazy, and this game sounds much more like the Bond films I remember than the other Craig flicks.

So, it's Splinter Cell: Conviction, but with James Bond? Hell, I'll give it a shot.

My hopes for this are slowly rising. The only issue is that they've hired a guy who wrote for Brosnan's Bond to write for Craig's (and I'll say it, Craig's is the most interesting and accuarate representation).

The villain dresses like Carlton from Fresh Prince too, which doesn't exactly bode well. Still, if it's got a decent single-player campaign (why bother with multiplayer if it'll only be played properly for a week or two at best?) then I might pick it up.

Woodsey, I'd say Dalton was the most "accurate" at least as far as faithfulness to the books goes (not that that makes any difference, some of the best Bond films had no relation to any of the books whatsoever). I did like Craig in the role, a pity about the films he was in though.

TheMadDoctorsCat:
Woodsey, I'd say Dalton was the most "accurate" at least as far as faithfulness to the books goes (not that that makes any difference, some of the best Bond films had no relation to any of the books whatsoever). I did like Craig in the role, a pity about the films he was in though.

We'll have to disagree on that one, although Dalton is often overlooked in that regard I'll admit.

And considering Casino Royale received rather huge acclaim and QoS too (although to a lesser extent), you probably shouldn't phrase your closing comment as if the general consensus was that they were rubbish.

And quote people if you want to respond to what they've said.

I don't mind it ripping off Conviction's main gameplay feature, but I did feel like Conviction was trying to be Bond. So maybe the mark an Focus Aim will work and give a proper experience. And driving sections should be superb given Bizzare Creations backgrounds.

Did I read that right? *checks again* Yup, PC. I'm amazed, a game actually coming to PC at the same time as consoles that ISN'T an RTS or Valve game? Hell must have frozen over...

Susan Arendt:
...Bond heads to the scientist's last known location, Istanbul (not Constantinople).

Even James Bond can't go back to Constantinople. Maybe he should be investigating why Constantiople got the works. What could the Turks be hiding?

And yes, it is a shock to see games scheduled for release for PC alongside consoles these days. If it's done right I might even check it out.

Well, this game is on my radar.

Dejanus:
Last good Bond game was Everything or Nothing, in my opinion. As this is practically the same formula, I am very interested.

I absolutely loved 'From Russia With Love' and that came out after 'Everything or Nothing'.

Never played it, so i won't judge.

Woodsey:

TheMadDoctorsCat:
Woodsey, I'd say Dalton was the most "accurate" at least as far as faithfulness to the books goes (not that that makes any difference, some of the best Bond films had no relation to any of the books whatsoever). I did like Craig in the role, a pity about the films he was in though.

We'll have to disagree on that one, although Dalton is often overlooked in that regard I'll admit.

And considering Casino Royale received rather huge acclaim and QoS too (although to a lesser extent), you probably shouldn't phrase your closing comment as if the general consensus was that they were rubbish.

And quote people if you want to respond to what they've said.

Woodsey, my contention is that Casino Royale is utter crap, apart from one scene involving Sebastien Foucan, who once again proves himself the best thing in a film that he's in. (Also see: "The Tournament".) But I'll give you reasons here, although technically I've been into the "Casino Royale" question before on this forum. I thought the acting was generally good. I thought the direction was good. I thought the characters were tedious and the villain one of the most uncharismatic since "Thunderball", but that's almost a side issue to the main problem I have with this film.

Here's my point: there's one scene in that film where Bond is driving along, looks down as a satnav with prominently-displayed Sony logo, looks back up, and smiles. There is NO REASON for this scene other than product placement. The entire film is like this. There's no reason for it to exist except product placement.

I mean, they even changed baccarat to poker. Although I gotta give them credit for not giving Bond a Royal Flush. I guess they thought that would be too ridiculous, so they changed it to a straight flush instead. Against a nut flush and two full houses. Yeah... that'll work. Did it occur to anybody that everybody who knows anything about poker would spot how dumb this whole thing is, and everybody who doesn't know anything about poker would miss the point anyway? Or were they too blinded by the dollars offered by Party Poker to care?

I mean, it's baccarat. You make the cards add up to nine. A child could understand the rules with fifteen seconds of explanation, leaving the film free to add all the drama, etc. But their sponsors don't "do" baccarat. So common sense and artistic integrity go out the window.

I could go on demolishing the film, but it's late and I'm tired. Let's just say it doesn't get any better than the examples I've quoted. Except for the Foucan chase at the start, that was great.

As for "general concensus", the only people I've ever heard who have a positive word to say about "Casino Royale" are on the Internet. Most people I know in real life who are film fans were just bored with it, although it's fair to say that my view is the most negative of them.

And by the way, I think most people would agree "Quantum" IS rubbish, but I'd actually disagree. The final scene in "Quantum" is probably the most effective out of the last four or five Bond films - certainly better than anything I've seen from the Brosnans. I give it at least credit for TRYING something new, even if the result is a badly-edited mess with incoherent action sequences. I don't think "Casino" tried anything at all.

So, they've copied the 'mark and execute' feature straight from Splinter Cell? I'll give this a shot, although I'm not a fan of the Craig era generally.

Have they even watched ANY James Bond movies? He constantly gets punched and he constantly gets captured, even connery bond who was the biggest of them all got the shit beaten out of him. I really think they've lost what bond was about he isn't meant to be a super-spy that no one can beat he's meant to be a cynical smart arse who knows how to get in and out of sticky situations and thats usually not through punching everything. also Dalton bond was the closest because daniel craig is way too moody and also too action oriented and pretty much trying to be Jason Bourne.

Wait, What?

There's a new bond game coming out?

TheMadDoctorsCat:

Woodsey:

TheMadDoctorsCat:
Woodsey, I'd say Dalton was the most "accurate" at least as far as faithfulness to the books goes (not that that makes any difference, some of the best Bond films had no relation to any of the books whatsoever). I did like Craig in the role, a pity about the films he was in though.

We'll have to disagree on that one, although Dalton is often overlooked in that regard I'll admit.

And considering Casino Royale received rather huge acclaim and QoS too (although to a lesser extent), you probably shouldn't phrase your closing comment as if the general consensus was that they were rubbish.

And quote people if you want to respond to what they've said.

Woodsey, my contention is that Casino Royale is utter crap, apart from one scene involving Sebastien Foucan, who once again proves himself the best thing in a film that he's in. (Also see: "The Tournament".) But I'll give you reasons here, although technically I've been into the "Casino Royale" question before on this forum. I thought the acting was generally good. I thought the direction was good. I thought the characters were tedious and the villain one of the most uncharismatic since "Thunderball", but that's almost a side issue to the main problem I have with this film.

Here's my point: there's one scene in that film where Bond is driving along, looks down as a satnav with prominently-displayed Sony logo, looks back up, and smiles. There is NO REASON for this scene other than product placement. The entire film is like this. There's no reason for it to exist except product placement.

I mean, they even changed baccarat to poker. Although I gotta give them credit for not giving Bond a Royal Flush. I guess they thought that would be too ridiculous, so they changed it to a straight flush instead. Against a nut flush and two full houses. Yeah... that'll work. Did it occur to anybody that everybody who knows anything about poker would spot how dumb this whole thing is, and everybody who doesn't know anything about poker would miss the point anyway? Or were they too blinded by the dollars offered by Party Poker to care?

I mean, it's baccarat. You make the cards add up to nine. A child could understand the rules with fifteen seconds of explanation, leaving the film free to add all the drama, etc. But their sponsors don't "do" baccarat. So common sense and artistic integrity go out the window.

I could go on demolishing the film, but it's late and I'm tired. Let's just say it doesn't get any better than the examples I've quoted. Except for the Foucan chase at the start, that was great.

As for "general concensus", the only people I've ever heard who have a positive word to say about "Casino Royale" are on the Internet. Most people I know in real life who are film fans were just bored with it, although it's fair to say that my view is the most negative of them.

And by the way, I think most people would agree "Quantum" IS rubbish, but I'd actually disagree. The final scene in "Quantum" is probably the most effective out of the last four or five Bond films - certainly better than anything I've seen from the Brosnans. I give it at least credit for TRYING something new, even if the result is a badly-edited mess with incoherent action sequences. I don't think "Casino" tried anything at all.

So your problems with the film are that there's a "scene" (if it's even worthy of that much of a title) where he smiles at a sat-nav, and because they changed the game played to something that was far more relevant to today?

Oh, what fiends.

Woodsey:
[quote="TheMadDoctorsCat" post="7.237789.8519168"]So your problems with the film are that there's a "scene" (if it's even worthy of that much of a title) where he smiles at a sat-nav, and because they changed the game played to something that was far more relevant to today?

Oh, what fiends.

Uh, I gave you a pretty detailed response to your post (which was probably more critical than my original post deserved) and you take the two examples of a wider problem - do you know what the word "example" means, by the way? - and mis-quote them out of context. Smooth. Disrespectful, but smooth. Are you by any chance a professional politician, or an aspiring one?

 

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