Giant Bomb Review

61 Comments

GoldenEye 007 Review

4
  • Wii

GoldenEye 007 is one of the rare game remakes that actually manages to simultaneously provide warm-feeling nostalgia and solid, updated gameplay.

Remaking a beloved classic like the N64 shooter GoldenEye 007 just sounds like a bad idea in principle. Think of the absurdly narrow line a development team would have to toe in order to actually please all of the required audiences involved--specifically, the die-hard nostalgists with their rose-colored glasses and perhaps overly squishy memories of multiplayer games gone by, plus the modern gaming audience, accustomed to the many, many advances in first-person shooting over the last, like dozen years since GoldenEye's initial release. How do you make a game that evokes pleasingly nostalgic feelings yet feels up to snuff with modern entries in the genre? Go ask Eurocom, because by and large, this updated version of GoldenEye is surprisingly adept at having its cake and shooting it, too.

 Thomas Crown has been replaced by Lord Asriel, but in the modernized tale this story tells, it makes sense.
Let's get one thing right out of the way: If you know the GoldenEye film, or have particular remembrance of the game's plot progression, this is not that. The story of the game has been rewritten and "modernized," with Pierce Brosnan's cheeky and suave version of James Bond replaced by Daniel Craig's more sarcastic and overtly homicidal Bond. The new storyline pretty much follows the key beats of the original, with characters like the traitorous Alec Trevelyan, the cute-as-a-button programmer Natalya Seminova, and the murder-by-sex specialist Xenia Onatopp all making appearances, albeit in rejiggered form. In most cases the differences are pretty minor, though they're all pretty keenly designed to fit into the Craig brand of Bond universe, meaning everyone's a little more savage, and a little less quippy. At least the voice acting is largely decent, if a bit stiff in a few places.

Granted, the original game was pretty light on story to begin with, so this really only applies to people who were big fans of the movie. As far as the progression of the game itself goes, the differences you'll notice tie more largely into the mechanics and layouts of the game's various levels. You'll find familiar scenery, such as the massive dam at the outset of the game, plus the tank chase through Russian streets, but you'll also find that these aren't just rehashes of levels you've already played. Everything's bigger, more elaborate, comes with the requisite visual upgrades (which are quite nice as Wii shooters go), and lean a bit heavier on the action. Some of that comes from the improved enemy AI, which is certainly several steps above the dunderheads that occupied the original--these guys will actually detect you if you're not careful with your attempts at stealth, call in reinforcements, and use cover just like you will.

There are other changes. Bond now has an all-important smart phone, which he can use to hack various electronic things around each level (such as door locks and controls for sentry guns). Also, quick time events! You love those, right? Now they're here, albeit in limited and mostly unobtrusive fashion. You'll also periodically find yourself in a bit of an on-rails sequence, shooting down bad guys as you roll along on a motorcycle or sit shotgun in a stolen Russian supply truck. Most of these additions are pretty light in the grand scheme of things, though, and the vast bulk of the time you'll be running around, shooting Russians and Janus Group thugs in their stupid faces.

 The gameplay is an interesting mix of the old and the new, and it works shockingly well.
It is in the action that GoldenEye retains that ever nebulous but all-important "feel" of the original title. It's hard to nail down exactly what it is that the game does, but everything from the feel of the guns, to the pace and design of the levels, just feels...correct. That's not to say there aren't caveats. Stealth is not an overly effective mechanic in this game, as headshots don't always seem like they work correctly, often relegating you to melee attacks, and sometimes you'll get spotted creeping around for no discernible reason. At the same time, the run-and-gun gameplay is simply a wonderfully enjoyable mix of old school mechanics mixed with updated technology. I felt like I was playing a classic game, not an old game, if that makes any sense at all.

The single-player campaign is a largely enjoyable one. It's got a decent length to it, and multiple difficulties to play through, with additional (and, unfortunately, largely hidden) objectives tossed into the higher levels. A few levels go on for a bit too long and throw a few too many waves of bad guys at you, but the overall pace of the game is a good one. For the most part, the game handles well no matter what control scheme you choose--it supports the Wii Remote/Nunchuk combo, both types of classic controllers, as well as the GameCube controller--though personally, I found that accuracy got a little more scattershot when I was playing around with the Wii Remote. Fortunately, there are myriad controller setting options to play around with and tweak, so you're bound to find some setting you're comfy with.

While the single-player game is all fine and dandy, GoldenEye ain't GoldenEye without multiplayer. Eurocom was good enough to include both the classic four-player, split-screen brand of play, as well as online play for up to eight players. The split-screen action is pretty much the brand of GoldenEye multiplayer you'll remember. You can choose from a variety of character skins (yes, including that jerk Oddjob), as well as several game modifiers, including such gems as Hotshot (all headshots, all the time) and paintball (so stupid, but so weirdly enjoyable). The maps are smaller to accommodate the smaller player roster, and the action itself is nearly every bit the hoot it was back in the N64 era. Is it quite the dorm-room classic it was back in the late '90s? Not quite, but if you have any nostalgia for this mode, you're bound to have some fun with it.

 Reminding you of college much?
Online play goes in a decidedly more modern direction. The mode's ten maps are markedly larger, and a variety of different game modes are available. You've got your typical single and team deathmatch options, as well as such modes as Golden Gun (the holder of the golden gun gets more points for kills, can kill with one shot), GoldenEye (teams try to capture specific satellite stations in order to move the GoldenEye weapon over the opposing base) and Black Box (MI6 team members attempt to destroy a black box full of classified data, while the opposing team tries to keep it alive so they can download data from it). All of these modes are fun in their own right, and the game's leveling system is a good incentive to keep coming back to play again and again. Taking a Call of Duty cue, you earn XP with every match you play, and as you level up, you can earn new guns, as well as gadgets, which are essentially the game's answer to perks. They'll boost your accuracy, your speed, give you more grenades, and so on and so forth. Leveling up can be a time-consuming process, but the progression of the rewards system is such that you're never too far away from some new thing to add to your repertoire.

If GoldenEye 007 wasn't called GoldenEye 007, people would likely not know entirely what to make of it, perhaps viewing it as an interesting, entertaining curiosity. People would find a game that felt decidedly like a shooter from a bygone era, yet with a number of more modern elements tossed in to counteract a bit of that antiquated feel. In that regard, I think this game being a GoldenEye remake actually helps contextualize the experience. You understand from that title why this game feels the way it does, and if you're the sort with any fond memories of the original, this remake seems tailor-made to put a smile on your face. At the same time, thanks to the rock-solid gameplay contained within, specific knowledge of the original game is not required to enjoy it. It's got its imperfections, but considering that this is a remake of one of the most revered console-based FPS games of all time, I think we should simply be pleased with how well-put-together this game is in its own right. Alex Navarro on Google+
61 Comments
  • 61 results
  • 1
  • 2
Edited by zombie2011

Still don't wanna play a FPS on the Wii. Also Alex reviews more games than the main staff now.

Posted by WalkerTR77

Woo more Alex reviews. Almost want a wii now.

Posted by Crushed

I still can't believe that this game wasn't a disaster.

Posted by Zzzleepy

If Alex is going to keep this up he really needs his own pictures to correspond to the score!

Posted by elwillow

@WalkerTR77 
Indeed. 
Waiting for TNT for some gameplay.

Posted by UberExplodey

Kinda surprised by how well this reviewed! Nice job Alex, I'm sure the guys appreciate the help.

Online
Posted by PoppaKyle

Sweet. Ready for the TNT now
Posted by SuperSambo

I thought the images were from the N64 version...

Posted by arab_prince

Wow, I am shocked.

Edited by Zimbo

It's almost like Alex has become part of the Giant Bomb team now. He needs more star pictures. I never played the original Goldeneye so I don't really have any nostalgia for this.

Posted by angryemu

wow

Posted by Milkman

Color me shocked. 

Posted by airules

A wii game worth buying!?! Mine only gets use from rock band and monster hunter nowadays

Posted by Mrskidders

Not enough to make me buy a Wii.  Also, doesn't Giantbomb have enough reviewers that they need to bring Alex in from Screened?

Posted by Blitzer

Wow, wasn't expecting a 4/5. Still won't play it though.

Posted by lawlerballer

4/5? lol k

Edited by Ohvee
@Mrskidders said:

" Not enough to make me buy a Wii.  Also, doesn't Giantbomb have enough reviewers that they need to bring Alex in from Screened? "

It's probably the busiest season of game releases. It's not like he's never reviewed games before.
Posted by Noitu

Yeah this has to be a pretty good game so far I'd say.

Posted by RYNO9881

Sounds cool, I'll probably pick this up later in the year. 

Posted by marcslayer

For England James!

Posted by radioactivez0r

Honestly surprised by how well it's reviewing overall, didn't expect it.  I wasn't even thinking about it, but now I might have to look into it.

Posted by Vinchenzo

I don't think so Tim.

Posted by Claude

I don't play FPSs on the PC except for TF2. I don't have Xbox Live Gold, so... no online gaming. I don't have a PS3.
 
I do have a Wii. I haven't played a FPS online since Medal of Honor: Heroes 2
 
I'm now thinking buy. The music alone would be worth it to me.

Posted by solidlife

Seems like a good update.

Posted by Marzy
@Claude:  You could join me online. I got it today. :)
 
I'm also not a fan of FPS games either.
Posted by Claude
@Marzy said:
" @Claude:  You could join me online. I got it today. :)  I'm also not a fan of FPS games either. "
I have to buy it first. It really looks like fun. The single player seems long for games like this, plus some replay value. The online could be fun for short bursts.
 
I'll PM you if and when I get it.
Edited by GrandMarshal

More Alex reviews then Brad and Ryan put together over the last few weeks. I think alex has forgot about his own website XD

Posted by melting_window
"RARE game remakes"
 
Nice pun.
Posted by JoelTGM

ooh I think I just won a bet.  

Posted by Ramyun
@GrandMarshal said:
" More Alex reviews then Brad and Ryan put together over the last few weeks. I think alex has forgot about his own website XD "
Now all we need is an Alex Video Review sometime and we've got him!!
Posted by ErEl

Um, don't you work for Screened.com?

Posted by Junior_AIN

I NEED this game!

Edited by Willy105
@SuperSambo said:

" I thought the images were from the N64 version... "

Well, this is the N64 version:

Seems fine to me.
Posted by TehFlan
@SuperSambo said:
" I thought the images were from the N64 version... "
You should probably play the N64 version. I'm sure it would be an eye-opening experience for you.
Posted by SathingtonWaltz
@TehFlan: Agreed. The N64 version still looks awesome to me though.
Posted by Redbullet685
@Zzzleepy said:
" If Alex is going to keep this up he really needs his own pictures to correspond to the score! "
Yeah, he has had many reviews lately. Get him some caricatures!
Posted by patrick

Absolutely agreed, the campaign was a nice surprise.

Posted by Landon

Eff you to the people who said this looked like crap.

Posted by fedorajay
@ErEl said:
" Um, don't you work for Screened.com? "
Good observation!
Posted by DBagalot

This got  a better review than Fable 3 or the Force unleashed 2 haha.

Posted by jmrwacko

I have a feeling anything that resembles Call of Duty and doesn't tout to surpass Call of Duty is going to receive a 4/5 or higher from the giantbomb crew in the foreseeable future.

Posted by Hailinel
@Vinchenzo said:
" I don't think so Tim. "
Why not?  Seems good to me.
Online
Posted by bucky

The original was my childhood game and since I'm in college now, I should totally make this my "college game" so when the next remake of this comes out I can be all "MAN, REMEMBER THE GOOD 'OL DAYS?"

Posted by Jost1

Heheh "rare" gameplay remakes . But yeah 4 stars means I'm buying it!  Thanks Alex!

Posted by Death_Burnout

I must say this is a surpsrise, i was on the " what the hell, dont remake goldeneye" boat earlier in the year, but hey, turns out it's actually good.

Posted by Darkraven

love the "harder dificulty adds more objectives" idea. same as N64 goldeneye and timesplitters did. more games should do that, replay value if you do the first play through on normal and then go for a harder setting <3

Posted by zanoob
@marcslayer:
"Always for England." lol
Posted by MisterMouse

haha that is interesting because when they first showed it, everyone was like ehhh...

Posted by TooWalrus

I want it... and I want the gold controller, but if I'm going to be spending the money, I'm sure I could find something better to spend it on... so I think I'm just going to save it- for another pay period at least.

Posted by Gerhabio

49 comments no more! 50!

  • 61 results
  • 1
  • 2