Comic-Con 2010: James Bond: Blood Stone PreviewBy Stephen Johnson - Posted Jul 22, 2010
At Comic-Con this year, there won't be hype for a new James Bond movie -- the next film in the venerable spy's library has been put on hold for a bit -- but there is a new James Bond game. James Bond 007: Blood Stone takes Daniel Craig's glowery Bond and puts him in the middle of a third-person action game that's heavy on gunplay and vehicles. Sadly, Activision didn't open the game up to hands-on play at the Con. Instead, I watched an Activision rep go through the game's introductory level.
It begins with the great Judi Dench as M trying to save Capitalism by preventing a terrorist's attack on the G20 summit in Greece. She's a bit long in the tooth to go after the bad guys herself, so she sends for James Bond, who parachutes down to the bad guy's yacht and into the game's first action/shooting sequence.
One of the great things about the James Bond movies is the variety of different reads actors have taken on the iconic character, from Craig's brooding, emotionally conflicted Bond to Roger Moore's so-cool-he's-cold Bond. Blood Stone lets you play the Bond of your choosing -- sure, he always looks like Daniel Craig, but if you'd rather play a stealthy Bond, you have that option, or you can go in guns blazing like John Rambo (James Rambond?) instead. It's up to you. The game features a full cover-system, as well as stealthy take-downs that fill up your Focus Aim meter and allow you to do some bullet time style slow-motion shooting.
While Blood Stone's shooting sequences seem solid enough, 007 really shines during the vehicle levels. The game was made by Bizarre Creations, the developers of Project Gotham Racing and Blur, and the company's many years of car-combat experience show in every second of the game's in-vehicle sections. In the intro level of the game, Bond escapes the aforementioned yacht and takes off after an international criminal in a speedboat. The water effects are amazing, and just watching the game gives the visceral feeling of speed and aquatic racing, complete with sprays and droplets hitting the "camera" and smudging up your screen.
The car level shown at Comic-Con was equally impressive, and involved Bond's famous Aston-Martin slamming full-speed down a crowded Greek highway in hot pursuit of terrorists. At certain points, time slows slightly allowing you to focus on important and/or awesome parts of the ride, like a tanker truck jack-knifing in front of you, which gives the game a cinematic atmosphere as well as being just damn cool.
After spending 20 or so minutes watching this game being played, I really wanted to get my hands on it, to see how it feels, and determine if Blood Stone's controls are as tight as its pacing and visuals. If they are: this one will almost certainly prove to be a winner. Plus, it stars Joss Stone as the newest Bond Girl. How can you go wrong with that?