E3 2010: GoldenEye 007 changes more than just the leading man

GoldenEye 007 is not a remake, at least not in the traditional "update the visuals and add online play" sort of manner. Sure, it shares the title of Rare's Nintendo 64 hit, delivers the much-loved four-player split-screen experience, and likely offers up several familiar scenarios. But GoldenEye 007 for Wii is more a reimagining of the 1995 film's content, albeit with obvious winks and nods towards the original game -- even if Activision seems reticent to admit such things.

Above: You can almost see the camera panning around your chunky 3D Bond

Billed as a contemporary update to the original, GoldenEye 007 for Wii revises the characters and storyline for 2010 in more ways than the most obvious one, swapping in current Bond actor Daniel Craig for previous star Pierce Brosnan. Just as Craig's version of the suave secret agent has been noticeably more aggressive and violent in his two films, Activision reps said the in-game character would bear such traits, as well. Moreover, the real-world environments in the game have been updated to better reflect changes in the world in the last decade-plus.

In the single-player mission we viewed, we instantly recognized environmental hallmarks from the original, but the events seemed different, along with the presentation. Certainly, the game looks better than its 64-bit counterpart, but another noticeable difference came with how the scripted sequences were presented, and in the way Bond can now subdue enemies and vault over barriers. It reminded us of the recent Call of Duty games in its flow and presentation, which shouldn't come as a shock, considering the publisher in question. The mission was also preceded by a fresh cinematic, not only setting the stage for the events, but also revealing to us that actress Judi Dench will be reprising her film role as the voice of Bond's boss, M.

Above: "Do I haaaave to go look for Bond boss? It's icky out!"

Activision demonstrated how player choice guides your path through missions, as you'll often have the choice between covert tactics and straight-up firefights. Branching physical paths also play a role, and it seems likely that you'll be able to tackle missions in a handful of different ways. And if you do want to go in guns blazing, Activision says the game will include more overall weapons than the Nintendo 64 game, including several familiar (or nearly familiar, in the case of the "Klebb") favorites. In addition to using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to control the action, GoldenEye 007 also supports the recently released Classic Controller Pro, or you can even use the Wii Zapper, assuming you haven't already trashed that awkward plastic shell.

Naturally, multiplayer got a lot of focus in our demo session, and Activision confirmed that GoldenEye 007 will include four-player split-screen play, as well as eight-player online matches via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Familiar modes and modifiers from the N64 title like paintball guns and "You Only Live Twice" are included, but Activision's press release on the game only mentions five multiplayer maps -- a surprisingly skimpy amount, if correct. From the little we played of the split-screen (using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk), GoldenEye 007 felt pretty familiar: tight corridors and simple controls lead to a lot of action, and it's fun to trash-talk over the post-match accolades.

Above: The bodies are still a little blocky, but the textures are much improved

We didn't see a ton of GoldenEye 007 at E3, but there's certainly plenty to be intrigued by. Activision's take on the game maintains enough of what keeps the original a nostalgic favorite, while embracing the evolution of the franchise -- and first-person shooters in general. Whether it's enough to take on more modern titles or convince doubting purists remains to be seen, but we'll no doubt be hearing much more about GoldenEye 007 before its winter release target.

Jun 16, 2010


E3 E3 2010


  • HeroOfLegend - June 17, 2010 8:34 a.m.

    So it's sorta like if they were to remake the actual movie GoldenEye, with Daniel Craig, and then make a game about it. Uh huh. Whatever, as long as it's still good.
  • Vitoruss1 - June 17, 2010 1:24 a.m.

    I hope you can swap out Craig for Brosnan. Not that I don't like Craig, I do, but it's just Brosnan's story (as well as my favorite Bond movie).
  • Tenfey - June 17, 2010 1:17 a.m.

    I hope they keep his signature gun as the PP7
  • taterboob - June 16, 2010 11:52 p.m.

    I hope it's better than their last attempt at reclaiming that Goldeneye magic (Rogue Agent).
  • ATLAS - June 16, 2010 11:17 p.m.

    I just hope they have DK Head mode. reCAPTCHA: Hoaxed expected. I hope this isn't an omen...
  • PaulieWaulie - June 16, 2010 10:01 p.m.

    Am I about to be wounded that I sold my Wii? Don't think so yet, I think only Rare of yore could make a decent Bond game, no one else has ever done it and what makes Activision think they can just rip one of the best games ever and make a modern day classic from it? Arrogance is the answer I think.
  • Metroidhunter32 - June 16, 2010 9:04 p.m.

    Never played the original Goldeneye, but I've got Time Splitters 2 which is supposed to be like it. This might get an investment from me. Also, I see a super review coming.
  • Sukururu - June 16, 2010 8:56 p.m.

    Game looks sweet. Gonna play it over at my frinds house like the good old days. I can't wait.
  • Fiirestorm21 - June 16, 2010 8:51 p.m.

    Okay, a reimagining more than a straight remake as I was given the impression. That works. As long as they keep that objective-based difficulty system in place, I'm up for whatever new stuff they do. That system I think along with the multiplayer (of course) is what made GoldenEye so great.
  • twewy13 - June 16, 2010 8:01 p.m.

    i can't wait, this game, Zelda, and the fact the 3ds is just so damn cool Have been my favorite parts of E3
  • Cleanser247 - June 16, 2010 7:53 p.m.

    I enjoyed the first one too. Lots of good memories, and goog times!
  • Spybreak8 - June 16, 2010 7:52 p.m.

    I can't imagine that I played four player split screen on such a small TV back in the day. It's nice to know they're updating the gameplay and such. I hear that is the case for all the N64 "ports" Nintendo is conjuring up for the 3DS as well. When I saw Daniel Craig in the trailer I about did a double take.
  • Felixthecat - June 16, 2010 7:47 p.m.

    I'm pretty excited for this - Goldeneye was my first FPS, and one of my favourites ever, I just hope that this turns out to be good. Also, I would like all the people who will say that they hate Activision so they won't buy the game to kindly shut the fuck up. No one cares anymore, and I couldn't care less. If I want to buy a game, I'll buy it. Besides that, I think this looks pretty good already. I love the way that they've recaptured the good old N64 graphics too...seriously.
  • Redeater - June 16, 2010 7:43 p.m.

    sweet! I loved the original

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