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|007: Blood Stone|
|Developer(s)||Bizarre Creations (PC, PS3, 360)
|Release date(s)||NA November 2, 2010
AU November 3, 2010
EU November 5, 2010
JP January 13, 2011
|Media/distribution||Optical disc, download|
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 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. There are some driving sequences. 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. 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 slowly pushed off a ledge 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 a bridge. 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.
- James Bond 007 (portrayal by Daniel Craig): An MI6 agent, and the sole protagonist of the game in one of his first major assignments since the events of Quantum of Solace and GoldenEye 007, facing several brutal villains that he has never encountered before since acquiring his license to kill.
- Nicole Hunter (portrayal by Joss Stone): A wealthy jewellery designer, planted as MI6's contact in Monaco. She teams up with Bond to help him going after Stefan Pomerov, whom Nicole knows very well. However, she helps 007 in Siberia whilst he gave chase to Pomerov. Her knowledge about driving a hovercraft became useful to Bond. However, in the epilogue level, her background story was revealed to be very mysterious, and it caused Bond to lose control in his investigation. Nicole was revealed to be the one who kidnapped Tedworth and was eventually confronted by Bond, although she is killed by an unmanned aerial drone.
- Rak (voiced by James Goode): A Chinese terrorist appearing as one of the main villains of the game (the other being Pomerov). Rak is very brutal man whom Bond confronted in his boathouse in Bangkok and tried to capture him after a hand-to-hand fight. He manages to drug 007 and takes him to Burma where he owns a prison camp. He tortures Bond and intends to slaughter him, but he fails when Bond escapes. Shortly after escaping, Bond engages in multiple fights with Rak. The conflict enters its climax when Bond fights Rak on a catwalk in a dam, eventually knocking him off. Rak tries to call for mercy, but Bond 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 with his pistol, who, in his dying moments, accidentally shoots the helicopter with a grenade launcher. The Osprey explodes along with Rak, killing him.
- Stefan Pomerov (voiced by Laurentio Passa): Pomerov is a Russian industrialist who owns a chemical refinery in Siberia. He is one of the two main villains of the game (the other being Rak). He is known as the buyer of a biochemical research that simply can be weaponized, developed by Malcolm Tedworth as the screenplay reveals. Bond is taken by Nicole to one of Pomerov's casinos in Monaco. She 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. In Siberia, Bond breaks into his office at the refinery and discovers that Pomerov built a bio-factory and is manufacturing toxins. He destroys the refinery and chases Pomerov until he boards an ekranoplan meant to transport the bio-weapons. Bond fights his way to the cockpit and confronts Pomerov. They briefly fight until 007 shoots the ekranoplan's emergency door release with his Walther P99. The door is wrenched away and Pomerov is sucked out of the ekranoplan to presumably his death. After the bio-weapons are recovered, Bond tells M that the tip about the bio-weapons was fabricated and it was set up by someone who wanted Pomerov dead. However, it stays a mystery.
- Bernin (voiced by Ramon Tikaram): Bernin is a small gangster and a middle-man who has kidnapped Tedworth and sold his research to Stefan Pomerov. After Bond chases him with an Aston Martin DB5, he corners him at an old colliseum. Bond fails to stop him selling the research but forces him to reveal the buyer's name. After finding the name of the buyer, Bond kills Bernin by kicking him from a ledge.
- Malcolm Tedworth (voiced by Timothy Watson): Tedworth was investigating some researches to find an antitode. But, the organisation which kidnapped him has used him to cover their evil secret operations. He was executed by Bernin's thug after he gave a password to his USB drive, who then was executed by Bond directly afterwards. Later, it was revealed that Tedworth was just a victim and never linked to the bio-weapons.
- Greco (voiced by Luis Soto): In the game's prologue Greco is an international terrorist planning a suicide attack on the G20 summit at the Acropolis structure in Athens. M sends Bond to investigate and prevent an attack from occurring. After a brief encounter with Greco on his yacht, Bond pursues him through Athens. After a second confrontation with Greco, Bond stops a bomb-laden car destined for the Acropolis structure, saving the G-20 summit from potential disaster. It is unknown if Greco escaped from Athens alive or was arrested.
- Nicole's boss: The mystery boss of Nicole Hunter is someone who asked Nicole for help in bringing down Stefan Pomerov, Nicole claimed he was bigger than Bond, Bigger than MI6 and Bigger than Everything and he was watching Nicole when she was telling this to Bond and sent an unmanned drone that appeared and killed Nicole. Due to the cliff-hanger ending, it is quite possible for Nicole's boss and lover to be the terrorist Greco, from the game's prologue.
- Silk (voiced by Richard Dillane): Silk is a supposedly old friend of Bond who owns a club in Bangkok, Thailand and reveals Rak's location to Bond. He informs someone that Bond would be heading there and tells them not to let Bond succeed.
- Colonel Ping (voiced by David K. S. Tse): Ping is a Chinese agent who Bond met at the aquarium in Bangkok and revealed a man named Rak is behind some of the bio weapons incidents, he is killed by a sniper sent by Rak.
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 Dave Stewart. The song is featured exclusively in the game.
|Official Xbox Magazine||6/10|
007: Blood Stone has received mixed to positive reviews from critics. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Nintendo DS version 74.50% and 70/100, the PlayStation 3 version 65.97% and 65/100, the Xbox 360 version 64.45% and 62/100 and the PC version 62.92% and 63/100.
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. Following on from this, it is believed the sequel to Blood Stone was either cancelled or replaced with the upcoming game titled 007 Legends announced in April 2012, which is also developed by Eurocom. As of December 2012 no word on the status of the Raven 007 game.
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