Long-time shooter fans will remember the original 1997 GoldenEye, developed by the talented folks at Rare, not just as a great game, but as one of the first great console shooters. It was one of the first console shooters with features such as stealth gameplay, zoomable scopes, and multiplayer deathmatch modes. And it was the inspiration for the Perfect Dark series.
While it was a groundbreaking game in its day, a straight port of GoldenEye released 14 years later might scratch a few nostalgia itches, but it likely wouldn’t encourage extended gameplay, or grab the attention of gamers who weren’t yet playing when the original was released. So Activision and developer Eurocom went back to the drawing board for GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, which definitely has elements that pay tribute to the classic game, but which stands on its own as an entertaining, modern shooter that will appeal to even to James Bond fans who haven’t played the original.
Like the original, the story in GoldenEye 007: Reloaded is based on the 1995 Bond film. But along with modernizing the engine, the game’s designers have also modernized the lead character: A virtual Daniel Craig replaces Pierce Brosnan here, though Dame Judy Dench’s M returns from the original.
The 10-plus hour single-player campaign follows the general progression of the movie, but the levels, mission design, and scenery are all new here and updated to modern-era standards. The gameplay is an interesting hybrid of old and new. There are plenty of concessions to modern shooter expectations here, such as regenerating health (though you can turn that off at “007 Classic” difficulty) and cover-based gameplay, but the game still has a lot of the run-and-gun action of the original. You can play it very secret agent-style and sneak up behind enemies, performing melee takedowns and silenced headshots as you try to avoid attention. But once you slip up and set off an alarm, the game turns into a Call of Duty-style shooting gallery. You can carry a pair of weapons, as well as mines and grenades, to help you get succeed on your appointed tasks. The campaign offers additional bonus challenges at higher difficulty levels, and overall is a more entertaining, better-written single-player campaign than we’ve seen in some higher-profile products.
Along with the campaign, there’s some single-player replayability courtesy of the 40 MI6 Ops missions, which let you compete via leaderboard with friends on a variety of stealth, offensive, and defensive missions.
The real fun, though, hearkens back to the classic GoldenEye: multiplayer. The game supports 16 players over Xbox LIVE, or you can play with friends locally in good old classic four-player split-screen. No squad based action or killstreaks here – it’s good, old-fashioned gunplay. My son and I had had a blast with the various deathmatch modes in split-screen, which include “You Only Live Twice” (guess how many lives each player gets?) and “Golden Gun” (there’s a one-shot, one-kill Golden Gun found on each level). There are a ton of modifiers to tweak the multiplayer gameplay, there’s a good selection of maps, and you can play as a variety of Bond characters. Along with a boatload of henchmen, there are classic Bond villains, each with their own special perks. Oddjob, for example, replaces grenades with his deadly sharp throwable bowler hat, while Jaws has additional hitpoints and is darn hard to headshot. Most of the big names are here: Goldfinger, Max Zorin, Dr. No, Onatopp, and more.
GoldenEye 007: Reloaded is one of those licensed games that does its source material proud, and it’s an excellent experience in both single- and multiplayer modes. It doesn’t break new ground like the original, but it’s still a great choice for Bond and long-time shooter fans, particularly if you’re looking for a game you can play with friends on the couch. It’s kind of a shame that it hit the market in such a busy time for new shooters, but if you haven’t picked it up already and you're in the midst of other battles at the moment, it’s an excellent addition to your holiday wishlist. (Or a great use for a gift certificate!)
-- Denny Atkin (Gamertag: Editer)
i got 2 say that the game does looks good but the original is a classic 4 a reason, GAME PLAY!! as long as thats the same im happy.
this game looks beter than the originals..I GOT TO HAVE IT!!!
Sounds interesting and right up my ally. Never played the first though. The original Splinter Cell back in... 2001?... was my intro into this new age of gaming. I had pretty much quit gaming after mastering Galaga in the arcade :) ...too funny. Now I'm like a 12-yr-old kid again.
"Call of Duty-style shooting gallery"?
i miss the n64 version
that would be awesome if they remade (remastered) a 360 version of 007 Goldeneye
add me i have a mic
I CAN'T WAIT!!!!
Hmmmm I dont know what to say..
should be an interesting game i may have to buy it
wow looks pretty legit :D
There should be an option to play as Pierce Brosnan
Might be interesting but I'm sure it wouldn't be long before I went back to playing Battlefield 3