There have been few games that have reached the plateau of fame as the N64's Goldeneye 007. Not only was it the best console shooter of it's time, it also completely revolutionized how console FPS games will be played in the future. All of the popular FPS games such as Halo and Call of Duty follow the format of Goldeneye in terms of UI and playstyle. Now, after over a decade of waiting, and now with the development of Eurocom, Goldeneye 007 has gotten it's own modern facelift and has been re-released on the Wii. So, grab your slick suit, your sidearm, and a shaken, not stirred martini and come along to see this new version of Goldeneye 007!
Title: Goldeneye 007
Title: Goldeneye 007
Systems: Wii, DS
Probably one of the most well known FPS titles to ever come about, the N64 title Goldeneye 007 absolutely revolutionized console-based FPS games by not only proving that they could be done, but they could be done extremely well. With many failed attempts in the past to recreate the aura of the original, Eurocom definitely was facing a difficult task. Having the Goldeneye name would cause the game be compared to the original in every way, and many feeling that anything less would be equated to an utter failure, especially since the game was going to get a facelift to conform to modern times and changing the face of Bond from that of Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig. However, Eurocom has taken the game and defied many expectations by not only producing a very competent shooter, but also successfully updating the game to more of a grittier style that has been seen in the new James Bond movies.
One thing that one needs to know going into this game is that this Goldeneye is not the Goldeneye of old. The storyline itself, while adhering to most of the original Goldeneye plot, has a number of differences that makes the game something separate entirely from the original game. This is seen immediately in the first level, as the player, as Bond, meets up with Trevalyan in the Dam level. Rather than starting out with your silenced pistol and the guns blazing strategy, Bond instead takes down the guards with Alec via a melee sneak attack. The game then proceeds through the story differently by having the team hijack a truck and driving through a very different Dam layout. This is just the tip of the storyline changes, and those who were expecting a game to be a copy of the original will be in for a major surprise. However, this is not a bad thing, as the story itself is actually put together quite well. Yes, the actions taken are different, but the overarching plot is still pretty much the same; the player is James Bond, and you need to stop the evil Janus organization from destroying society. The story now is put into a more modern timeframe, and the historical tie-ins have been modernized in such a way that it makes sense. In fact, it was one of the original screenplay writers who helped write the plot of this game, and it definitely shows due to the quality of the game storyline itself.
The other thing that needs mentioning is that this one is being released in a time where there are many successful console FPS games on the market already, and as such, the requirements and expectations are much higher. With games like Halo and Modern Warfare 2, Goldeneye not only has to appeal to the older N64 Goldeneye crowd, but the newer crowd who are used to additional functionality. Goldeneye 007 for the Wii definitely does a good job in bridging the gap for the most part. The controls are rather solid overall, though it depends upon the controller scheme used. Being it is on the Wii, there is the option of using a number of different controllers to play the game. As expected, the Wiimote controls are rather clunky, but tolerable. However, the game definitely feels a lot better on either a Gamecube controller, or the newer Classic controller Pro. On these formats, the game actually plays rather well. The action buttons are easy to access, and it doesn’t take too long to actually get used to the controls itself, allowing for newer players to jump into the game pretty quickly.
Another thing of note in regards to the single player is that the AI enemies in the game have definitely seen an improvement. Not only will the enemies react to the presence of the player, but they will take actions to avoid being shot. The enemies will constantly duck behind cover, and some even do a dash and dive behind barriers. The accuracy of the enemies has also been improved, and the player will find that even on lower difficulties they will be hit. This will require the player to actually act like a spy, in that they will have to complete missions with stealth and some cunning. Going in guns blazing can work, yes, but this will definitely lead to doom more often than not. Given the newer health system is more along the lines of Call of Duty, where there is no actual health bar but more of a crisis meter that gets redder the more one gets hit in a short time. The option for a classic health bar is still there through the settings menu, however, so both camps are represented in the game, and the style of play can change a little depending on preferences.
As with the main reason for the fame and staying power of the original game, Goldeneye 007 places a very strong effort into making the multiplayer as enjoyable as possible. There are a number of fun stages available for the players, along with a massive assortment of available characters to choose from. The maps themselves are new, and the detail has definitely been upped to the more modern graphical standards… within the limits of the Wii anyway. The players can also choose a variety of different game modes, and the play modifiers such as Paintball Mode make their appearance once again. This version of Goldeneye also finally brings about a competent online multiplayer function, available with a Wi-Fi connection. While there is a lack of voice chat, the online multiplayer is rather strong in terms of functionality. The lobby system is done rather well, and the matches themselves are pretty fast-paced and lag free for the most part. Overall, this is definitely a step in the right direction in terms of online Wii functionality.
Even with all the improvements, it still definitely has a few down points. As stated before, those who were expecting just the old Goldeneye with prettier graphics will be disappointed as the story actions, character designs, and stages have all been changed around. For those fans of more modern FPS games may also find the game lacking as there is no ability to jump, and while the graphics are pretty good for the Wii, the graphics are Wii quality. Also, the obvious lack of multiplayer voice chat will definitely be a downside to some, though may be wonderful for others. So, mileage may vary. However, as far as Wii games go, especially in regards to Wii FPS games, Goldeneye should still be a satisfying experience.
Overall, Goldeneye 007 for the Wii is definitely a fun game for not only fans of the old game, but also for the generation that is used to the FPS style of Halo and Call of Duty. The storyline has been successfully modernized to the Daniel Craig style. The controls are definitely made to be more suitable for a Gamecube controller or Classic Controller Pro. Finally, the multiplayer is definitely competent in terms of functionality and performance, especially given that it is on the Wii. So, in conclusion, while Goldeneye 007 may not be able to reach the levels of the original in its time, and may be somewhat lacking in comparison to console FPS games on other systems, it could definitely be considered one of the best FPS games on the Wii.
Now for some numbers!
Storyline: 8.75/10 – With one of the original Goldeneye screenplay writers designing this, the transition from mid-90s Bond to late 2000s Bond is very well done. The characters all have some depth to them, and the emotions behind the actions are all present. Without revealing any real spoilers, the story itself actually adheres more to the movie itself than its predecessor in certain areas, such as in the Archive levels, though there are some definite changes in characters, and fans of Boris will be in for a shock. So, the storyline has been done well for the most part, but some of the character changes/removals are disappointing.
Graphics: 8/10 – For the Wii, the graphics are done rather well with portraying some decent character models, as well as some nice landscapes. However, as with most Wii games that try to design some gritty reality, the colors tend to blend into one another and characters may unintentionally blend into surroundings due to the limit of processing power. The viewable distance isn’t too phenomenal, and there have been some issues in seeing things that should be in clear view. Overall, though, the graphics aren’t too bad a tall. Oh yes, the title credits is a fantastic homage to the Bond movies, and it is done in a visually fantastic way, so a bonus point for that.
Controls: 7.75/10 – As with most Wii games, especially in FPS games, the Wiimote is just not that good at providing a truly good gaming experience. However, when moving to the other controller options, the controls in the game undergo a drastic improvement. As a result, the game becomes much more playable and enjoyable overall. So, while the Wiimote fails, the conventional controllers definitely make the game better.
Music & Sounds: 8/10 – Aside from the fantastic cover of the movie theme song, the soundtrack is mainly overlooked during the game. Yes, there are the usual James Bond brass flares, and alone the soundtrack is actually rather decent, but the music really isn’t too prominent during the game itself. In regards to the sound effects, there really isn’t too much to mention. The bullets make different sounds depending on what they hit, and the voiceover work is done well enough to give the characters some emotion.
Replayability & Fun: 9/10 – This is definitely the best part of the game itself. The game definitely shines when there are people to play it with, and those who spent countless hours playing the original can recapture some of that feeling playing this one with a few friends. While the single player itself is of a different style and mindset, it still brings about some feelings of joy, especially with the stealth melee kills. Overall, it is definitely fun in its own way.
Overall: 41.5/50 = 83/100 = B-/BRecommendation: As stated, the game itself has gotten a nice modern facelift in terms of story, style, and graphics. While it isn’t as pretty, nor is it as fluid, as most of the modern FPS games out there, it is still a very competent shooter, and easily one of the best to come out on the Wii. The online multiplayer itself is rather good as well. So, overall, the game is definitely worth checking out sometime.