If you’re a Bond fanatic, you’ll love “James Bond 007: Blood Stone.” If you’re not, you’ll still like the videogame, if not love it.

It combines third-person shooting, melee and vehicular mayhem in a polished but not too shiny package. There is even some stealth and high-tech gadgetry in the mix.

Graphics are on par with current offerings of this generation, yet animations seem a little stiff at times, especially during cut scenes with closeups of characters’ faces.

Where this game really attempts, and often succeeds, to push the action is its adrenaline-fueled levels of back-to-back encounters with enemies. When you melee an enemy from a hidden position or go toe to toe with one, you earn points toward “focus kills,” which you can then use to get instantaneous head shots on enemies out of arm’s reach.

Linking these different attacks together while on the run is a blast of bone-cracking and head-popping fun. Foot chases are a perfect venue for stringing these combos in rapid succession, and the developers give you plenty to chase.

Sadly, there are a few levels, mostly early in the game, where you run around searching for someone or something and spend most of your time hacking computers with your secret agent cell phone. This is relatively simple, but tedious.

A good amount of vehicle scenes are scattered throughout the game. These scenes might not be as fun as the on-foot levels, but are nicely paced. They add a nice variety to the game and really give you the classic Bond experience.

The story isn’t Shakespearean by any measure. That doesn’t mean it’s without worth. It is just enough of the right dialogue to get you from one extreme situation to the next without making you wonder why you’re driving down a frozen river.

There is also online multiplayer mode. If you are an online shooter fan, take “Bond” out of your console and put in “Halo” or “Call of Duty.” You can thank me later.

Despite the last-minute feel of the game’s multiplayer mode, I still recommend it. It is short. I beat it in about five to six hours. However, I had a blast for four to five of those hours, and the rest wasn’t bad at all.

Platform: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3


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