James Bond 007: Blood Stone
|James Bond 007: Blood Stone|
n-Space (Nintendo DS)
James Bond 007: Blood Stone is a third-person shooter video game, developed by Bizarre Creations and published by Activision for the Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms. It is the 24th game in the James Bond series although it is not a direct sequel to any game; it is the first game since James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing to have an original story. The game was confirmed by Activision on July 16, 2010. The game was released on November 2, 2010 in North America and released on November 5, 2010 in Europe. Activision's GoldenEye 007 (2010) was released on the same day respectively in each region. Blood Stone features the voices and likenesses of Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, and Joss Stone. 007: Blood Stone was the final game developed by Bizarre Creations before it closed its doors on February 18, 2011.
The game is a third-person shooter with elements of hand-to-hand combat. Some design features are retained from 007: Quantum of Solace. The Camera angle is similar to the PS2 version of Quantum of Solace. Driving sequences appear in this game. Blood Stone features a focus aim system which allows players to lock onto targets after melee takedowns, similar to the "Mark and Execute" feature from Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction. There is also a multiplayer mode consisting of up to 16 players that will pit spies versus mercenaries. Alongside team deathmatch and other standard game modes there are massive objective-based battles where players have to work as a team to attack or defend various spy-themed goals. The player also pilots several vehicle types throughout the course of the game.
The story is set a few years after the events of Quantum of Solace. It starts with Greco (Luis Soto), an international terrorist planning a suicide attack on the G-20 Summit at the Acropolis structure in Athens. M (Judi Dench) sends Bond (Daniel Craig) to investigate and prevent an attack from occurring. After a brief encounter with Greco on his yacht, Bond pursues him through Athens by boat and then on foot. After a second confrontation with Greco which ends with Greco left alive, Bond stops a bomb-laden car destined for the Acropolis structure by knocking it off the road with an Aston Martin DBS V12 he had commandeered, saving the G-20 summit from potential disaster.
The next morning, Bond is assigned to rescue a missing professor, Malcolm Tedworth (Timothy Watson). Tedworth was originally feared dead until an anonymous tip and tracing of his cell phone led MI6 to an Istanbul construction site. Bond investigates the area that Tedworth's phone signal was lost in. In the catacombs, Tedworth is interrogated by a man called Bernin who demands the password to a USB drive. Tedworth submits to the torture and is promptly executed. Bond interrupts, pursuing Bernin by Aston Martin DB5, and on foot, the chase ending at an old coliseum. Bernin however manages to get the data extracted, only to reveal Stefan Pomerov's name to Bond before being pushed off a ledge to his death by Bond after attempting to kill him.
After learning that Pomerov is going to be in Monaco, Bond travels to Nice, meeting with his contact, a wealthy jewellery designer (and MI6 agent) named Nicole Hunter (Joss Stone). Hunter takes Bond to one of Pomerov's casinos in Monaco. Nicole distracts Pomerov while Bond sneaks in and breaks into his safe. Bond recovers documents and a camera that contains a video of Tedworth's interrogation. On it, Tedworth reveals that he was the lead scientist who was trying to create an antidote to both smallpox and anthrax to cure soldiers in the event of a biological attack. Having been discovered, Bond shoots his way out of the casino and escapes with Nicole in her Koenigsegg CCXR. M informs Bond that the files he found were invoices for sophisticated chemical manufacturing equipment designated to a defunct Siberian chemical refinery owned by Pomerov.
In Siberia, Bond and Nicole enter the refinery with Bond posing as her bodyguard. Nicole enters the building to get into Pomerov's office while Bond is contacted by Tanner at Q Branch and says they found Tedworth's research but were locked out before they could read them. Bond locates and manages to gain access to the main computer. As he does so, Bond discovers that Pomerov built a bio-factory and is manufacturing toxins. Bond makes his way to a central control room where he triggers a meltdown. Nicole and Bond pursue Pomerov's train (by Aston Martin DBS V12), which is meant to smuggle the toxins out of the country. Bond follows the train to a port where the toxins are loaded onto an ekranoplan that takes off along the river with Pomerov inside. Using a boarded hovercraft, Bond damages the plane and boards it, killing Pomerov in the process by shooting the emergency exit, sucking him out of the plane. The bio-weapons are recovered, and Bond and Nicole part ways. He tells M that the tip about the bio-weapons was fabricated and it was set up by someone who wanted Pomerov dead. Using Bernin's cell phone, Bond finds a lead from Bangkok. Bond contacts Chinese intelligence officer Colonel Ping (David K.S. Tse) in Bangkok, Thailand.
Meeting at an aquarium, Ping tells Bond he had a team in Geneva following a lead on a man called Rak (James Goode) who operates out of Bangkok. Before Ping can reveal more, an assassin kills him. Bond pursues the assassin on the rooftops of Bangkok and then chases him in a tow truck while the assassin pilots a dump truck. Bond drives off an unfinished bridge and ends up getting the dump truck to crash and the assassin is killed by multiple injuries to the head. Bond tries to get background information on Rak from M while evading the Thai Police. Bond meets up with an old friend, known as Silk (Richard Dillane), who tells him where Rak's secret hideout is; when Bond leaves, Silk informs someone where Bond is going and also says to make sure Bond does not make it. Bond is caught by Rak's henchmen and is captured.
Bond is taken to Burma where he is tortured. Shortly after he escapes, Bond engages in multiple fights with Rak. The conflict reaches its climax when Bond fights Rak on a catwalk in a dam, eventually knocking him off. Rak pleads for mercy, but Bond has already deduced who Rak's employer is. Bond leaves Rak to fall to his death, only for Rak to land on top of his Osprey. Bond shoots Rak, causing him to fire his rocket-propelled grenade into the Osprey, destroying it with Rak still on it.
Back in Monaco, Nicole is revealed to be the one who kidnapped Tedworth and is planning another kidnapping. She drives off in her Koenigsegg CCXR and Bond follows her, in his Aston Martin DBS V12, ultimately cornering her on the Millau Viaduct. After being confronted, Nicole reveals that she did it to prove herself to a rich and powerful man. Bond tries to get his name but she refuses to give it claiming he's "bigger than everything" (including MI6), and that he was watching them. Suddenly, an unmanned drone flies toward them and shoots Nicole dead. M then contacts Bond and asks him if everything is all right. He claims that she will need a new contact in Monaco and prompts her to stay in contact. As Bond signs off, he is left alone on the bridge with Nicole dead at his feet, leaving the story at an unresolved cliffhanger. However, due to the development of Spectre it might be speculated that the man behind all the events of the game is actually Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
The game was first hinted at on April 21, 2010 when British store HMV listed Blood Stone as "coming soon". Then on April 23, Activision reserved a web domain name called bloodstonegame.com. The game was officially announced in an Activision press release on July 16. Famed James Bond film writer Bruce Feirstein was chosen to pen the story for the game. The game itself is built on developer Bizarre Creations' Bespoke engine, which was first created for the game The Club. Ben Cooke, who is Daniel Craig's stunt double in the films, has provided the motion capture choreography for Bond's digital animation. He is credited as the game's stunt coordinator.
The game's soundtrack is composed by British composer Richard Jacques. Joss Stone provides an original musical track to the game titled "I'll Take It All" written and performed by her and David A. Stewart. The song is featured exclusively in the game.
007: Blood Stone has received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Nintendo DS version 75% and 70/100, the PlayStation 3 version 66% and 65/100, the Xbox 360 version 64% and 62/100 and the PC version 63% and 63/100.
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Several leaked photos were found online depicting a possible new game in the Bond series currently being developed by Activision's studio, Raven Software. Like Blood Stone, this iteration appears to be played from the third-person perspective and could include tactical combat similar to recent releases in the Splinter Cell series. Not much else is currently known about the status of the game including if it is a straight sequel to Blood Stone due to the possible cliff hanger ending or an early version of a game based on Skyfall. However, it was suggested in December 2010 that fans should not expect to see the Raven game released until at least December 2011 or even possibly sometime in 2012, as the project was delayed by six months in 2010.
During July 2011, it was announced that the next 007 video game to be released would be GoldenEye 007: Reloaded for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. As with the original Wii game on which it is based, It was developed by Eurocom. As of 2014, Activision has lost the video game rights to the James Bond series, leaving the future for the franchise in terms of video games unknown.
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