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Sean Patrick Hagen

Just a Vancouver coder

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So about thirteen days ago I received one of the games from my GameAccess.ca queue in the mail. The game that I got was Goldeneye 007: Reloaded. This is basically the original Goldeneye 007 ( from 1997 for the Nintendo N64 ) redone for the PS3 and Xbox 360. I got the Xbox version – I didn’t really have a preference, I chose the Xbox version because I was browsing through the Xbox section of the site when I saw it.

Anyways, time for a review of the game!

To start off, the single player portion of the game. I’ll admit, it’s been about fifteen years since I’ve played the original N64 game ( even then, I mostly played the multiplayer with friends ). The single player portion itself seemed to follow along pretty closely to the original game, with one major change: instead of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond, it’s Daniel Craig! Personally, I thought this was pretty awesome, as I’m a big fan of Daniel Craig, and his portrayal of James Bond in particular.

Now, on to the actual gameplay!

First off, the game is full of what I call “surprise! you’re dead!” style gameplay. Basically, a combination of factors leads to lots of becoming suddenly dead, on any level. There are several things that lead to this style of gameplay. One is that the indicators that show up when you’re being injured aren’t very accurate. It’s hard to tell where incoming fire is coming from, leading to lots of looking around ( while being shot ) for enemies. The design of the enemies is the second part: they’re very bland, and fade into the background. On most levels, the enemies blend into the background. Now, I’m not saying that every enemy needs to be outfitted in neon pink jumpsuits. I’m just saying throw some red or orange into their uniform so that they stand out against the scenery.

Another thing is that in several levels, there are enemies that are hidden in alcoves or behind cover. They’re positioned so that you’d have to be walking backwards coming out of a door or through a choke-point to see them. The thing that bothers me is that several points the enemies placed at that point carry rocket launchers. It seems like on any difficulty, rocket == one-hit-kill. Now, there was one simple thing they could do to make these hidden enemies less annoying: make them loudly yell a combat taunt before firing. Then it would be my fault they kept shooting me in the back, not the games fault.

This is tied in with the fact that this is yet another game with regenerating health, so you don’t get a health bar. Now, most games with regenerating health know that if you don’t have a health bar, you have to be a bit forgiving. Enemies can’t have perfect aim, and while they can still do the same amount of damage, it has to be a bit spread out. I can accept taking a hit that takes half my health, but being surrounded by mooks that dish out that kind of damage is just damn annoying.

Or watching an enemy running in front of you, with their gun pointed perpindicular to you… and them shooting on full auto and still hitting you.

Let me break that down for you:

Enemy was running, and had perfect aim ( something you never have ) Enemies gun wasn’t pointed at me, yet bullets somehow took a sharp right or left turn upon leaving the muzzle of the gun to hit me They were firing on full auto, and I’d say 80 to 90% of the shots would hit me Slightly annoying.

Next: vehicles! In short, the vehicle sections in this game suck. No, scratch that. They SUUUUUUCK. At one point, I was driving a tank through the city, chasing after the bad guy who was trying to escape in a truck. The game tried to use the Halo style of driving vehicles: look where you want to drive. Unfortunately, they forgot to make the left analog stick do more than “forward & reverse”. The tanks in the Halo games let you use the left analog stick to steer left or right, independant of where you’re looking. Goldeneye doesn’t let you do this.

At one point, I got my tank stuck in a narrow corridor. I have no idea how I did this, I was trying to drive forward and then suddenly I apparently got stuck, Austin Powers style. There isn’t much to say about the tank section besides the fact that it drives like a drunken hippo on acid.

One other complaint I have was that the voice actors seemed to not match the locale that I was fighting them in. For instance, while running through half-built malls in Russia, most of the mooks seemed to be Sweedish or Australian as opposed to Russian.

In summary: the single player? Not so fun. The story wasn’t very strong ( despite them trying to update it – they referenced recent events like the banking crisis ). It’s almost like they took the script from the first game and went ahead without changing it very much. The gameplay itself was also pretty weak.

ON TO THE MULTIPLAYER!

I have to admit, this was probably the biggest selling point of the game for the N64. It was the first console ( that I know of, feel free to correct me ) that had four-player multiplayer without needing you to buy any accessories. I spent hours playing this and Duke Nukem 64 back in elementary school. Goldeneye 64 had tons of different gameplay styles ( Man with the Golden Gun was always fun ).

Goldeneye 007: Reloaded pretty much copied and pasted all of those different multiplayer game types. The problem, however, is that coupled with the updated gameplay, multiplayer falls on its face. It doesn’t feel like you’re doing any damage to the people you’re playing with, and it’s hard to see them while you’re running around the levels. While the multiplayer levels do look a lot better than their N64 counterparts, it means that there are a lot more little things ( bushes, cars, boxes, other random miscellany ) that make it hard to see the other people in the levels. Maybe it’s because I was only playing with one other person split screen, but it felt like we spent most of our time running through the levels looking for each other.

In short: multiplayer? Meh.

So, my thoughts on the entire game? Overall, it kinda sucked. There were parts of the game that were fun to play, but they were definitely in the minority. I’m glad I rented this game, instead of paying full price ( or even bargin bin price ) for it. Don’t buy it, don’t waste your time playing it. If you are really missing yourself some Goldeneye 64, go pick up a Nintendo 64 and Goldeneye 64, and play yourself some Bond.