James Bond: Blood Stone

Can Bizarre's Bond fill the Hollywood hole?

Bond has built a career on three things; killing people, driving fast and sexing women.

We've still got our fingers crossed for the third, but so far Bizarre is approaching James Bond: Blood Stone by trying to balance 007's day job of shooting and speeding.

We join Daniel Craig's Bond having been shot out of a helicopter and dropped into the jungle by all-round bad guy Rak. Our next objective? Suck it up and get back on the chase.

Bond moves away from the crash site via a Quick Time event, jumping away from the flames in mini-epic style. It's Exhibit A in what Bizarre points out will be the only cinematic Bond offering for the foreseeable future.


007 takes to cover Sam Fisher style when he spots a couple of Rak's henchmen scouting the area - and it only gets more Splinter Cell Conviction from here in on as far as the third-person action is concerned.

That's not necessarily a bad thing: the stealth attack that's triggered as one of the goons gets near enough is suitably final and pleasingly context-sensitive.

"The stealth take-downs are all brutal and all very physical, all like Daniel Craig," says level designer Pete Collier. Bond grabs gunman No.1, slams him against a rock face and hugs him round the neck until he passes out through lack of air or too much love (we jest, it did actually looks quite horrendous).

Taking down a bad guy hand-to-hand rewards you with a Focus Shot; a one-shot-kill that mirrors Splinter Cell Conviction's Mark and Execute system. It's a coincidence Bizarre makes no apologies for. Either way, it makes light work of the remaining henchman.

Bond continues to move through the environment and into a construction yard where more inconveniently-armed blokes await - and this time some of them have armour (Bond is sporting a polo-shirt and some fetching beige slacks, by the way).

"We've got a huge variety of enemies so you've got to really strategise the way you approach a fire-fight; whether you're going to use take-downs or use your focus aim," says Collier.

In this case the developer deals with a particularly padded enemy by peppering him with bullets as he moves closer before finishing him close up with a swift elbow to the eyes.

Rak, meanwhile, heads into a nearby dam, which becomes the new point of interest highlighted when Bond, hidden behind cover, gets out his smart phone.

Because it focuses on Craig's no-nonsense 00, Blood Stone is generally light on the gadgets - but the phone has been given the nod, and provides something along the lines of Batman's Detective Mode in Arkham Asylum.


Collier describes the phone as "an information gathering device", but we're not talking train times here - there's definitely not an app for this.

Equipping the phone highlights where Bond's enemies are, how aware they are of his presence, which of them are packing heat, where the end goal is and, perhaps most importantly, indicates objects that will explode if you shoot them. Good to know.

Taking a pop at an explosive canister gets the action rolling again - as Rak's men return fire and Bond moves from cover to cover to take them out. Again it's a combination of gunplay and hand-to-hand unpleasantness.

Taking fire from a helicopter (as if this day could get any worse) Bond chops his way through henchmen and across the construction site to a crane. Here 007 demonstrates a fair amount of agility, sprinting along platforms, jumping, vaulting and clutching on to girders a la Casino Royale to make his way higher and higher until he reaches one of the crane's cabins.

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