The original Goldeneye for the N64 is one of the greatest games of all time, that’s a fact. It was the game which really showed how great console FPS can be, with fantastic graphics and game play as well as an unbeatable multiplayer. This version is a modern take on the story, bringing in Daniel Craig instead of Brosnan as the legendary Bond. Does it cash in on the original’s good name or does it have a licence to thrill?
Lets me clear something up, this is NOT a remake of the N64 game. This is a reimaging of the story. I was upset at first when I found out Craig was to be in the title role as such, but it really doesn’t make any difference. In fact the game is far more gritty and violent which suits the Daniel Craig films. There are slight differences in the story which mean slightly different levels, but almost all of the original games, the best parts especially, are included here. The story is about a rogue agent who uses a space weapon called the Goldeneye to attempt to cripple England’s economy. This narrative takes Bond around the world in a variety of missions.
The first thing that struck me about the game was the controls. Using the Wiimote and Nunchuck felt really clunky and I immediately felt the game was a run of the mill Wii FPS. I opted to use the classic controller instead and the game immediately felt better. Memories of the original suddenly came back to me rather than motion gimmickry. I did alter the responsiveness slightly to my needs, so there is a decent level of customization control wise. As I played it felt like playing a Call of Duty game, with similar controls, such as a melee attack and the ability to look down the sights of your gun. The game felt, in a nutshell, like COD World at War with the Goldeneye storyline bolted on. I really liked the controls and after a few levels I was sneaking, shooting and blowing up tanks with ease.
The levels in Goldeneye are huge. Compared to other Wii FPS it dwarfs them all in terms of grandeur and layout. The Dam level from the N64 version is pretty much identically portrayed here, but with huge extra towers, secret underground tunnels and vehicle sections which make it seem that much more modern and impressive. My personal favorite in the original was the eerie snowy Severnya level, which had Bond sneaking and sniping in dark snow filled plains. In this version you sneak around still, but this time there are huge roaring fires and explosions of crashed jets. It basically has the original levels, but builds upon them with larger, more realistic set pieces. One of the best levels is set in a nightclub, which has impressive lighting effects, disco soundtrack and hundreds of clubbers getting ‘jiggy wit it’. This level is not in the N64 game, but fits perfectly in the storyline and brings the game up to date. The only gripe is that sometimes the levels are too big, I often found myself wishing them to end, so I can see a different location!
Graphically, the game is fantastic for the Wii. The first level is not the best example of the game, with its drab gray colors. The best graphical displays are the club level and jungle type levels later on. The set pieces are incredible, with moving vehicles, huge explosions going on all the time. It feels like a 360 game squeezed onto the Wii. It’s very impressive stuff and the developers should be proud of what they have achieved. Some of the colors and indoor levels are sometimes a bit run of the mill, with offices, laboratories and gray corridors often looking a little repeated throughout. The grand scale of the levels and the effects are top notch, so this can be overlooked. Sound wise, the music is pretty decent, with the usual 007 scores and genuine voice over’s. The only thing I was disappointed by was that some key characters, such as 006 and Boris Grishenko have been changed from the original and sound nothing like the characters in the film.
The multiplayer is fantastic. It’s about time a game on the Wii had a decent online multiplayer that rivals the Call of Duty series on Xbox. This obviously isn’t as good, but comes damn close. Matches are easy to join and the games are fast, frantic and great fun! There are a number of game modes and you can even level up your character. I felt like I was playing the original game again, without sharing my screen with 3 other players. I hope that other developers see how well a Wii online game can be and take note.
Goldeneye is a brilliant Wii game. Fans of the original may be disappointed with character and level differences, but this is a totally different experience. The single player campaign is huge and very fun, and the multiplayer is the icing on the cake. Forget about other lesser Wii FPS games, this is the best of the best.
Very fun and challenging campaign, multiplayer is a riot.
Levels are huge, graphics very good, sometimes a little drab.
Great Bond soundtrack and fairly decent voice acting.