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Interviews

James Bond: Blood Stone Pt. 1

We talk to Bizarre about the Bond game with everything

With a universe as exciting as the one James Bond inhabits you'd think a 007 video game would make itself. As with all Hollywood related gaming titles though, Bond has been hit and miss on console.

We talked to Blood Stone producer Nick Davies about Bizarre Creations' attempt on Bond and the ingredients needed to recreate the 00 lifestyle.

You had The Club not so long ago and then Blur and arguably there's a relationship there. Where do we put Blood Stone in terms of what Bizarre do?
I think you put it completely outside of what Bizarre do. We've got a history of making quite unique, quite gameplay orientated games. PGR had a lot of gameplay elements, The Club was a very arcady shooter but we want to show we can turn our hand to anything. You know when something as British as James Bond comes up and we're asked to do it, we just turn our hand and turn our attention to making a really big cinematic experience.

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We didn't want to make it a Bizarre arcady game, it deserves the cinematic exposure that we're going to give it. It's just a different way of using our heads and a different way of designing games but hopefully we've risen to the challenge.

There have been many Bond games in the past; did you study them to work out their pros and cons?
Yeah the first thing we did was go and buy every Bond game we could on eBay. Surprisingly you can buy Bond games for about £2 on eBay now so with about £20 and two weeks we had every Bond game ever made. I was quite surprised how many cracking Bond titles there were from the past.

Everything Or Nothing is an amazing third person action game and we took a lot of inspiration from that. Everything Or Nothing did everything, it had the driving it had the espionage it had the hand to hand combat and then the shooting, so we had a look at that.

Obviously that was back on last gen, recreating something as big and as bold as that was obviously going to be difficult but I think looking at all the games and the criticism that some have received recently and in the past, we knew we couldn't just make a shooter, we knew we couldn't just make a one dimensional game so we really went out there and said, "Ok let's do it properly, we'll do the racing, we'll do the hand to hand combat, we'll do the shooting, we'll do the cinematics and we'll give it the big production values the game deserves."

Blur did very well critically and there are obviously driving elements in this. Have you taken anything from Blur for that?
Actually we started on Bond with the Project Gotham Racing dynamics but the guys on Blur have made huge headway particularly in terms of the cameras, they've got a very cinematic camera on Blur - it really puts you in the race - so we've taken a lot of the cameras across.

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There are not many guys from Blur who've worked on Bond. The guys that have done our racing sections have always been on Bond but obviously we're talking to the Blur guys every day.

Also the audio team are very fully aware they do all the same audio techniques on that so there's a lot of collaboration but as you say the two are very different, Blur's a racing game and Bond's very much an action game so our racing sections are very much the set-pieces of the game with huge big explosive events and lots of car crashes and Bond driving down all sorts of crazy tracks.

So that sides a bit different to Blur, they've got a bit more in the realism we're probably a bit closer to Split/Second in terms of the amount of carnage you see on the track.

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