007 Blood Stone
A view to a thrill?
Review According to Matt Damon, there's very little to admire about James Bond, whom he once described as “an imperialist, misogynist sociopath who goes around bedding women and swilling Martinis and killing people".
It's rude to point
Of course, were James Bond real and able to reply, he'd probably do so by licking Martini from Matt Damon's wife's naked body, then beating an apology from him and finally dropping him into a pool of man-eating sharks while quipping, “I'm no imperialist.”
At first glance there's also very little to admire about 007 Blood Stone. You see, Bond is an exceptionally versatile character, as adept at driving and shooting as he is fighting hand-to-hand and leaping around cityscapes parkour style. The problem is, apart from a couple of notable exceptions, videogames have a poor record in successfully combining driving with any other mechanics. And, for its opening few hours, at least, Bizarre Creations' first Bond game struggles to prove otherwise.
But just as Bond's enduring literary and cinematic appeal is a testament to synergy - the elevation-by-combination of shallow plot devices, one-dimensional characterisation and, of course, guns, girls and glitz – 007 Blood Stone ultimately proves more than the sum of its individual flaws.
A quantum of polish?
Surprisingly, narrative isn't 007 Blood Stone's greatest flaw. However incoherent, the plot about arms traders, Russian oligarchs, biological weapons and a shadowy, nefarious NGO is at least true to the current Bond films. And, although the plot devolves into a barely intelligible excuse to span several continents and kill thousands of henchmen, some excellent cut-scenes and voice acting by Daniel Craig and Dame Judy Dench sustain interest - if not understanding – throughout.