Review – Goldeneye 007
Platform(s): Nintendo Wii, DS
Genre: First Person Shooter
Rating: T – Teen
ESRB Content Descriptors: Blood, Mild Language, Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence
Players: Up to 4 local, 8 online
Official webstite: http://goldeneyegame.com/
Get it now @: amazon.com, gamestop.com, bestbuy.com
The Scoop: When Goldeneye 007 was released in 1997 for the Nintendo 64, it set the bar high for any game carrying the James Bond license. It was not only a great FPS, but also became the game to represent what a console FPS should be. Console players could finally precisely aim at targets and pull off things like headshots using the N64’s analog stick. Fully-rendered 3D characters of enemy AI would react differently depending on where on the body they were shot and the ability to aim through the sights of a sniper rifle were revolutionary game mechanics. Adding on an excellent multiplayer mode with a ton of characters to unlock only gave the little cartage enormous replay value.
The dozen or so Bond games that have followed in the past 13 years have half heartedly tied itself in with the godfather of console FPS, but Goldeneye 007is the first game to fully embrace its heritage. Purists are not going to get a “HD” remake of the original game but more of a reboot like last year’s Star Trek movie or SyFy’s recent Battlestar Galactica TV series. It may play closer to a modern Call of Duty FPS, but with classic elements from the original blended in, the result is a great game.
The Setup: Goldeneye’s story has been completely overhauled to fit the replacement of Pierce Brosnan with current Bond, Daniel Craig and his take on the character. It is a bit of a risk considering how iconic the original material is, but the game’s developer, Eurocom, is able to pull this off by keeping all the relevant parts of the story intact and dropping a lot of the dated material.
The game starts off like the classic with Bond and Alec Trevelyan (006) infiltrating a chemical weapons facility in Russia. Before the mission is over 006 is captured and killed in cold blood by the base commander Ourumov and Bond narrowly escapes. Bond then sets out to track down Ourumov and he uncovers a plot to steal a Russian satellite that can emit a large electromagnetic pulse called “Goldeneye”. “Goldeneye” can render any electronic device inoperable in areas the size of London. The story does take some liberties with the use of action movie logic but it is a fun ride overall.
As for gameplay, Eurocom went out of their way to let you play 007 any way you want by supporting the Wii-mote/nunchuck, the classic and even the Gamecube controller. All work well, but if you want to keep up the folks online you are going to have to get used to the Wii-mote/nunchuck setup. It is, by far, the quickest way to aim and shoot. I should also mention you can use the Wii Zapper but I do not have one, so no comment.
As a FPS the game feels more like a modern Call of Duty clone than an update of the original as you do things like aim down the sights of your gun to shoot and auto regenerate health by staying out of the line of fire, but this is a good thing. With the advancement of enemy AI you can no longer take advantage of “dumb” AI like you could in the original. (Go back and play it like I did and you will know it to be true.) If you are still not convinced, Eurocom does meet you halfway with “007 Classic” mode which will turn off the health regeneration and leave you at the mercy of finding bullet proof vests to survive. It is not easy.
What’s Hot: One sweet element of the original game that is carried over is the ability to run and gun through the levels, or to play like Bond and get through undetected. The stealth does amount to no more than crouching and clearing areas with you silenced PP7, but the game is way more fun when playing like this for no other reason than it being the Bond way. The levels are broken down into small sections, so if you do accidentally set off an alarm you can kill the few extra guards before moving on and continue as if nothing happened.
Multiplayer was a large part of the original’s legacy being as it was one of the few games you could actually get four people to sit and play. In this modern era of Xbox live, Steam and the PSN, Goldeneye does an excellent job of keeping pace with the times. You can still couch it like the classic with a four way split screen or take it online. I have read of a few people experiencing lag online, but I, for one after sinking about twenty hours into it, have had no issues.
What’s not: Three words: Quick Time Events. They really feel out of place in this game because it does everything else so well. Goldeneye does have a heavier story than your average FPS but it is good enough it doesn’t need me to shake the Wii-mote to move it along. Without spoiling too much, the end boss fight is a disappointment because of it.
I would have liked to have more Bond moments mixed into the single player campaign. The best by far, was when I was about to run across a dilapidated bridge polluted with laser sights from sniper rifles. I had to stop and think, “I don’t have to run across that do I?” In the end, they could have more of this and less explosive barrels.
Final Verdict: Goldeneye 007 is a solid FPS that stays true to its roots by bringing back the still relevant elements of the original game and mixing them with current popular gaming mechanics. Eurocom did an excellent job of delivering a solid Bond experience making it way more than a Call of Duty clone. I cannot recommend this game enough, especially if the Wii is the only console you own. And even if you do have one or two of those big HD consoles, it is time to wipe the dust off the Wii. It is not to be missed.Review – Goldeneye 007,