12 Reviews

James Bond: Blood Stone

Pour me, pour me...

Page 2 of 4

No, no - please don't walk away. I'll be nice. Just listen. Someone, please, just pay me some attention.

"But you're closer than ever to what Ian had in mind," they tell me. Yeah, and I'm closer than ever to Matt "Mattdayyymon" Damon, too. Did you see Team America? Was hilarious. That bit.. "Maaaat Daaaayyymon". Listen, listen: "Maaaat Daaaymon." No? doesn't matter.

I watched it with Q, God rest him. One of the few times I've really laughed. Let's raise a glass to the old man.

So, they come to me and tell me - very slowly - I'm going to be in a new video game. Like I'm a relic, a fossil. I'm fully acquainted with the Xbox, thanks very much. What else do you think a trained killer does to keep himself sane when no-one's paying his wages?

They used to expect me to be on the bleeding edge of technology. Now they're surprised when I criticise them for not doing it right.

Wait, is this stirred or shaken? Stirred? Stirred!? No... I... I like it. A change is as good as a rest.

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But that's exactly what I'm talking about! A change! Something new, original! Why can't they give me that!

So they put me in this game, Blood Stone, written from scratch by Bruce Feirstein - a good guy. A new adventure, they promise. Just like the movies, they promise. Take your mind off the Box Office business, they promise.

Only it's so predictable, it makes Casino Royale look like a sci-fi departure. Don't they think I know who Sam Fisher is? I study Splinter Cell in my spare time.

And yet, all-of-a-sudden, I'm sneaking about, robbing his act. Even the indicators on screen showing which enemies have spotted me are hoicked straight from Conviction. It makes me look a right berk.

If they wanted me to be down with the kids that hysterically, if I've truly become that irrelevant, you may as well stick a pirate hat on me and called me Captain Jack. It's humiliating.

But, as with my most recent movies - for the last time, are you sure you don't recognise me? - at least they're stealing from the best. Blood Stone's cover system is solid and the shootouts can get pretty wild - although it's the same old 'bobbing heads' routine you've seen a million times before.

The melee takedowns look nice, too - enjoyable slow-mo and grisly death noises - but it's a bit cloying that they only take a single button to execute. Even Jaws' massive mits would be able to mash their way to achieve that.

What's more, after grappling someone to death, I'm given a one-time use of a special 'auto focus' power. You play video games? No? Well trust me, it's another thing ripped straight out of Conviction - Ubisoft's Mark and Execute reward system. Brazen.

There's one big difference between me and Sam Fisher, though. I plod. Enter room. Kill kill kill. Thing explodes. Move through only exit available. Enter room. Kill kill kill. Ad nauseum.

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You'd think they'd give me some freedom, you know - some change of pace? No such luck. Every one of my 17 levels is restrictive; every pattern of progress depressingly similar. I'm supposed to sneak around, taking bad guys out silently, but what's the point when an all-out firefight is the path of least resistance?

Subtlety simply isn't necessary for most stand-offs - and is often inadvisable, as there's no crouch button to hide you anyway. I mean, for all the adroitness their presence demands, I could charge in pissed and gun down most gangs of henchmen. Good health.

Oop. Empty glass ahoy. Think I'll have another. Join me? Here's my card. That used to be Platinum, before the MGM kerfuffle. I'm the not-so-proud owner of a First Direct Super Saver now. Doesn't exactly scream 'international ladykiller', granted. But who cares? I've got £16.70 to get twatted; to make me forget that my place in the world of action entertainment is slipping away - and that Blood Stone isn't helping. Bottoms up.

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