Everything or Nothing great: variety and replayability. These two items seem paramount to a game's success with our staff, and EoN, in our minds, represents the height of 007 in video games for those reasons (and probably more, because how else do you win our awards for both Best Bond Game and Best Co-Op Multiplayer, as well as selections to both my own and Chicken Man's top ten lists?). It's strange to reflect on the evolution of Bond games in the eight years since EoN and see nothing less than an outright rejection of variety and replayability, much to the detriment of the games, and despite their increasing graphical sophistication.
Blood Stone does seem quite similar to EoN, at least initially. It's a third-person shooter with an ostensibly original story, featuring big, cyberscanned stars like Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, and Joss Stone, emphasizing gun fights, and utilizing many of the same gameplay techniques, like the ever-ready tactical stand-by, wall-hugging. For the first few stages, Blood Stone is a fun reminder of what made EoN so refreshing. The graphics are wonderful, especially the character models and backgrounds. Gradually, however, it all starts to get really repetitive. Only a few levels call for stealth, and only a few levels let you step away from the gunplay to pilot something fast, and only a few levels put Q-labs to work with the requisite gadgets. No variety, and no real replayability, either. Complete the game and you have achievements to earn, sure, but there's no gold, silver or bronze awards to chase after, no medals to achieve, no 007 bonuses to collect, there's not even tedious time trials to slog through. There's really no reason at all to play through this game again unless you play online or want to relive the story, but the plot is so barely there I'm hard pressed to remember anything about it. Bond fans could do with a weekend rental, but that's about all.