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Blood Stone 007
Score: 89%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Bizarre Creations
Media: Blu-ray/1
Players: 1; 1 - 16 (Online)
Genre: Shooter/ Mission-Based Driving/ Action

Graphics & Sound:
James Bond has been around for years now and has spawned quite a few videogames in that time. The new Blood Stone 007 is very similar to some of the first Bond games in that it is an action shooter but they've added some new features, such as driving, just to increase the excitement.

Blood Stone 007 opens up with the MGM lion roaring, as if you're starting a movie. At first I wondered why, but after playing I realized that this game is so well done graphically that you feel like you are watching a movie. You'll play a segment and then you get a cut-scene to further the story. These scenes are just beautiful! The gameplay itself is quite smooth as well. I tried and tried to make the system hiccup, to cause it to catch on anything, but no matter what I did, it kept up. The only way I could cause trouble was by standing next to a wall and trying to look through it. That would trip up the camera but given that you can't see through a wall in real life, I'm fine with the camera not letting me see through a wall.

With movie quality graphics, you can't skimp on the sound. Blood Stone 007 delivers on that front as well. The voice acting is superbly done! With Daniel Craig returning to the role of James Bond and Judi Dench reprising her role as M, you really feel that you're watching a Bond movie.

As you would expect from a Bond game, in Blood Stone 007, your basic goal is to achieve the objectives that you are given by your employers. At the very beginning of a new game, you get to choose how hard you want the game to be. After that, it's time to jump right in and go for it.

To start off your game, you'll find yourself in Athens. Basically, it is a very easy time that you'll use to get used to the controls. There is no intelligence gathering required there, but you do get to drive a boat and a car. After Athens, you wind up in Istanbul where you will have to learn to gather intelligence and wander around on your own a bit more than you had to before. Luckily though, you have a really smart phone that can do just about anything. It can scan a computer hard drive in a matter of seconds. It can also tell you where enemies are located so that you know which direction to go to catch them or avoid them, depending on what your objective is. Sometimes you need to kill the enemies and you can do it with as much fire power as you have available, but sometimes you need to use stealth.

If for any reason, like you missed a possible trophy or you just want to, you can choose to replay any previous level at any time. Mostly though, you'll want to just choose to continue your game until you've played all the way through it. Blood Stone 007 isn't an extremely long game, about average for a shooter I think. It shouldn't take you anymore than about 10 hours of gameplay to beat the game. But given the multiplayer options, there is a whole lot more to keep you entertained than just the Story Mode.

When you choose Multiplayer, you have three basic types that you can play: Team Deathmatch, Objective, and Last Man Standing. I believe that it's pretty obvious what the goals are for each type. Personally, I think that the Team Deathmatch and Last Man Standing should keep you entertained for as long as you can continue to find opponents! You can choose to join a quick match against random players everywhere or you can create a private match for just those that you want to join in.

Upon starting the game, you will get to choose your difficulty. If you'd prefer a very easy time just to get to see the game all the way through quickly, then you'll probably want to start on the "Recruit" mode. There are three harder difficulty levels available as well. Once you choose one, be prepared to play it through or give up all your progress as there is only one game save available. If you want to go to a harder (or easier) mode, you have to save over the current game. That is probably my biggest gripe about the game as I do like to be able to create different saves to test and compare things. Of course you can create a new profile on your PS3 for a different save if you want to go to that trouble.

If you're looking for a different type of difficulty, you should check out the multiplayer options. You can choose to play with someone on the same LAN as you or you can opt to find a game with someone on the Playstation Network. The only thing that you can't do is play with someone on the same console as you. Having multiplayer options really opens up your world giving you the option to own someone or end up owned yourself. With the ability to play with up to 16 people at once, I can only wish you luck!

Game Mechanics:
I believe that Blood Stone 007 makes use of every single button on the controller, but don't let that scare you. The controls are actually quite easy to get the hang of. If you're having trouble, you can always start out on the easiest mode just to get a feel for the controls. The really nice thing is that you don't have to read the manual just to find out how to play. As you go through the beginning objectives, the game will tell you how to fire your weapon, use objects as cover, take down nearby players, drive a vehicle, and more, including how to use your smart phone, which really makes your life easier!

You will start off each level with a weapon (if it is needed), but you can always pick up enemy ammo after you've taken them down. You'll automatically pick up anything that you can use when you walk over it. If you don't pick it up then you either can't use it or maybe don't need it.

I haven't played a game like this in a while. Blood Stone 007 is a beautiful mixture of so many different types of games that it should have something to appeal to just about everyone. If you're a fan of the series, I recommend you go pick it up today!

-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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