Thursday, February 24, 2011


It doesn't feel quite right to describe a Bizarre Creations as ugly, and making Judi Dench attractive is completely impossible, but when you put real people into a game the first hurdle would be for them to actually look like people, not lifeless, hollow mannequins. Bizarre Creations (up until this and Blur) created incredibly detailed worlds in which to drive amazing looking cars in a pseudo realistic manner. The Project Gotham games are probably my favorite racing games, striking the perfect balance between simulation and arcade handling while still giving Forza and Gran Turismo a run in the looks department. It also doesn't hurt that they spawned Geometry Wars, the game that easily got more play than anything else in the early days of XBLA.

Then came Blur, which I either didn't get or played wrong, because it wasn't any fun. And now we have Blood Stone, an odd departure in genre and quality that may or may not have been the developers death knell. Blood Stone is little more than an average looking shooter with ugly characters and muddy environments that takes itself entirely too seriously. It feels like an early beta test of Uncharted minus Nathan Drake plus the new angry, unsexy Bond. The shooting is actually much too easy, and you should feel nearly invincible as 007, but making the player aim would not have been a bad idea. Everything is trying so hard to be cinematic that I feel like I am interfering with a movie, fighting 'wow look at that' camera angles just so I can shoot the bad guy who I was supposed to kill in the previous scene when the focus was on him.

It only gets worse when Bizarre remember s what kind of games they actually make and get back to driving. I was quite pleased to see the Koenigsigg make an appearance. I mean, look at the thing:

I played through most of Project Gotham 3 in one of these (or was that 4?) so jumping back behind the virtual wheel should have been a great time. Only it didn't handle like an over powered should, the roads offered no freedom to actually race on, and it was a chore. Taking a page from Stuntman, the driving sections need to be played the way they were intended or you have to start over. This worked for Stuntman because, A. the courses were about a million times better designed and B. building excitement was not really the intention, it was a puzzle game on wheels. Restating sections of Blood Stone over and over kills the mood and makes me thing that Bond should have his license revoked.

While I am not one to lay into a company for a bad game... Actually, I am exactly one to do such a thing. I don't know what Bizarre Creations was thinking, but Blood Stone is so far out of their comfort zone that it makes me uncomfortable playing it. To make matters worse this was the last game they made before closing up shop. So Bond killed Project Gotham (more or less), the fucker. 

No comments:

Post a Comment