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James Bond 007: Blood Stone
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Old 08-13-2012, 11:43 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: UK
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Why all the hate for this game?

I've gotta say, I've had this game since it first came out, have played through the story several times, and I simply cannot understand why Blood Stone received such harsh scores from critics, or why it has subsequently received a poor reputation as a result.

A lot of the negativity seems to be focused on repetition, even though I'm pretty sure there isn't a single shooter out there which isn't repetitive. Call of Duty, Mass Effect and - probably the most repetitive of all - Gears of War always receive acclaim from critics; yes, CoD has some exciting setpieces, yes, ME has a great story and added RPG elements, and yes, GoW has sleek graphics and brutal, enjoyable combat, but at their cores all of those games really just revolve around running from area to area until you meet an enemy, then ducking behind cover, shooting them, and repeating. Don't get me wrong, I like all of those games a lot, but the point is that they haven't done anything important that Blood Stone hasn't, simply because they CAN'T; the shooter genre is, by nature, a repetitive one.

It does kinda make me wonder whether Blood Stone was just a game a lot of critics wanted to hate, for some reason, but couldn't find any real flaws so just fell back on the basic criticisms. A large number of negative reviews I re-read recently did seem to display the pro-Connery (i.e. anti-Craig) views which a number of Classic Bond fans share these days, so I genuinely reckon a lot of those reviewers were just hating on the modern Bond. For example, the IGN review highlighted the game's lack of gadgets, even though the modern films have also seen a major cut-down on the use of gadgets and so the game is just in keeping with the new tone; in other words, the reviewer was either hating on the new tone, or was failing to take the game's source material into account, and that's something that really pisses me off when I see it.

I really do think there are a lot of things that the game doesn't receive enough credit for, and sadly, the developers seem to have hesitated to make a sequel - something they were initially set on - as a result. For starters, the game looks good - like, REALLY good. The textures and surroundings look nice, and all of the character models and animations - all of them, not just Bond - are fluid and well-made. The single player game is, as far as I know, completely bug-free, and the combat runs smoothly. The AI can be a little dopey at times, mainly during stealth sections, but if they weren't then the aforementioned stealth sections would be far too difficult. The car chases are fast, action-packed, imaginative, and extremely enjoyable; these have, thankfully, received praise already. The highest difficulty level is overwhelmingly hard at times, but I'd much rather see a game with a genuinely hard 'Hard' mode that takes a while to complete than one where the high difficulties are barely more difficult than the low ones.

The multiplayer is also good fun, and is very accessible for newcomers, like Quantum of Solace before it - it's always a good sign when you look at the scoreboard at the end of a match and see that a humble newbie has managed to make a solid impact. Unlike QoS, however, the game is also lag-free. The Focus Aim mechanic from the single player is integrated nicely into the multiplayer, making melee attacks all the more rewarding and allowing for some very satisfying speed kills; while playing as a basic MI6 agent yesterday I was attacked by three enemies who all ran around a corner at the same time. I opened fire with my UMP, taking out one of them, while the other two retreated back round the corner. I then sprinted after them and managed to bash one with the butt of my gun, and as the third was about to finish me from the side, I then used the Focus to swivel with my pistol (pistol Focus Aims are always cooler) and pop him in the head, in a manner reminiscent of Bond's trademark title-screen kills. The point is, the multiplayer is no less fluid than the single player. Admittedly some of the Accolades seem a little hard to understand, and you sometimes won't receive as many as you should, and the Achievements related to them can therefore also be buggy - but on the whole, this game is worthy of far more praise than it's received.
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Old 03-15-2014, 12:51 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2010
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I never played the MP part of the game, but otherwise I agree with most of what you said. I found it to be thoroughly enjoyable and, for someone who doesn't excel at shooters, I even found the highest difficulty level to be quite accessible. It's a shame it received so much hate and that they went on to make 007 Legends rather than a proper sequel to this fantastic game.

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