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GoldenEye 007: Reloaded review

Decent
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AT A GLANCE
  • New twist on the Goldeneye campaign
  • Revisiting familiar but revised locations
  • Gunplay works well
  • Matchmaking issues
  • Multiplayer doesn't stand up to the competition
  • The generic enemies are boring

The bar has been set extremely high in the world of shooters this holiday season with blockbuster titles we're sure the majority of gamers plan on adding to their collection. Among this stiff competition comes GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, the remake of the classic, this time in HD.

 

If you’ve played GoldenEye on the Wii, there won't be much new for you to find here. The campaign still has its ups and downs, as mentioned in our Wii review, with some fantastic set pieces and stealth elements, only this time with a fresh coat of paint slapped on. The graphics look much improved over the Wii version from last year, with more crisp textures and a higher resolution, but don’t expect to see any fancy new character or weapon models. We did notice some textures popping in here and there and the improved visuals don’t do much to make the environments or enemies more interesting. Everything still looks generic, lacking the visual and audible punch of bigger shooters.

But that’s not to say there is no fun to be had playing as the world’s greatest field agent. As far as the campaign goes, it is an absolute blast to see the classic levels and objectives reimagined in this generation. There are a few throwback scenes that can be directly compared to the N64 grandfather, like the first level’s intro scene or placing mines on fuel tanks to blow up the facility. Along with those classic scenes, there are plenty of new ones that catch the feeling of playing GoldenEye from the good old days. Walking through a night club to make contact with undercover agents while rejecting imitation high-end vodka adds to the authenticity of playing as James Bond as much as driving tanks and blowing up helicopters. This game has those instances, and they’re awesome.

The stealth portions of the campaign are where we’ve had the most fun. Sneaking around, strangling guards, delivering silenced head shots with the PP9 make us really feel like we’re playing a GoldenEye game. However, the feeling diminishes when the action heats up.

The heavy action sections seem to take inspiration and shooting mechanics from modern shooters like Call of Duty and Killzone. Enemies typically run toward Bond or duck behind cover resulting in both sides taking pot shots till everyone’s dead. Bond will pop out from cover when ducked behind a crate or wall and snap to a target when aiming down the sights. These mechanics felt smooth and natural even while using the Move controller on the PS3 version. While there wasn’t always much variety in combat situations, the shooting mechanics work well enough that taking out a room full of soldiers in rapid succession is satisfying enough to continue on through the campaign.

One issue we had with the Move controller was that it took a considerable amount of tweaking in the settings to get comfortable. We ended up having to calibrate several times, then spending five minutes fiddling with the settings. Once we found the sweet spot though, the extra precision had us capping heads faster than with the standard controller.

But enough about all of that – one of the biggest draws of the GoldenEye name since the N64 days has been the multiplayer. So, how does it stand up? Well, it does just OK. There is clear inspiration drawn from the Call of Duty franchise – offering customizable loadouts, level progression, and accolade bonuses that pop up as they are earned in game. There are a ton of modes ranging from the standard deathmatch to the game’s own version of gun game (Once a player gets a kill they automatically switch to the next weapon in the sequence, and will be set back in the sequence for dying twice without getting a kill). GoldenEye’s multiplayer offers plenty of variety and motivates players with weapon, gadget, and character unlocks. However, there are a few issues.

In matchmaking, we ran into network errors when trying to join team games, but when we were sent to a game lobby no other players would be in it. In fact, we were rarely sent to a lobby that was populated. If we sat in the lobby long enough, eventually other players would join and the game would start, but no one wants to wait ten minutes whenever they change modes. GoldenEye’s multiplayer also doesn’t offer the fine tuning of more popular shooters. Some hits don’t seem to register on occasion and the general feel of the controls feel slightly sluggish and imprecise. There are also “perks” unlockable – called “Gadgets” in GoldenEye, but rather than creating bonuses that would be unique to the James Bond universe they are just more generic perks like longer sprint time, faster reloading, and the ability to drop a grenade upon death. Making use of laser watches and other spy inspired gadgets was a missed opportunity.

 

GoldenEye 007: Reloaded has some definite strengths and some obvious shortcomings. The single-player campaign captures the feel of James Bond despite some generic environments and cookie-cutter enemies. The multiplayer leaves something to be desired, which might have satisfied more with the unique James Bond tone attached than an attempted Call of Duty clone. GoldenEye lost some charm moving from being one of the few first-person shooters on the Wii to the shooter heavy PS3 and Xbox 360, but there is something here for Bond fans with a variety of gameplay modes each with something to offer – if you can get over a few bumps.

More Info

Available Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Developed by: Eurocom Studios
ESRB Rating:
Teen: Blood, Mild Violence, Suggestive Themes, Violence

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26 comments

  • augdog - November 4, 2011 4:45 p.m.

    IT WAS NEVER THE PRESENCE OF JAMES BOND WHICH MADE GOLDENEYE FUN. When will this finally sink in?
  • austincharlesbond - November 4, 2011 4:41 p.m.

    Wow... I loved the Wii version. I would whole-heartedly recommend this game
  • JSayonara - November 4, 2011 1:39 p.m.

    How the Hell do Activision keep screwing up the Bond license? Every game with Daniel Craig 007 starring has been boring as all hell. This is a totally flaccid and generic shooter. No cool Bond moments, all run and gun and the only gadget is the frigging smart phone again. I don't know which disappointed me more, this or the BF3 sp campaign. I wouldn't mind but it's all cheap as well, so you get DC and Judi Dench, but no original movie actors or likenesses. Totally screws the mood when you don't even realise who certain characters are meant to be. They should have just called this something else entirely new ala Bloodstone. Nintendo don't own the Goldeneye movie, this shouldn't be a problem. Even the Tina Turner theme song is a cover. What Activision, Call of Duty not paying enough to cover the licensing fee? Total drek, this may play well on the Wii with all it's crappy games, but on the PS3/360, during this time of year, against the competition it's up against? Activision must be high.
  • JudeDude92 - November 4, 2011 12:35 p.m.

    Far as I can tell, you're docking this game points solely because it doesn't hold up in the multi-player area. That's fine. Being 007 isn't about fighting with people on 'even' levels. It's about being the most bad-ass spy ever to grace MI6. If this were to find it's way into my 360, I'd cherish the single-player.
  • THEBIGJ3 - November 4, 2011 12:34 p.m.

    I personally think I would probably be much more attracted to a XBLA/PSN re-release of the actual N64 title! A cheaper downloadable version for when Nostalgia completely takes over, and a way to trip down memory lane with childhood mates over the internet. Maybe some achievements/trophies thrown in just so you could say to yourself - "Yeah I still got it!" I'd happily pay for that
  • Evanesco - November 4, 2011 8:33 a.m.

    There's a surprise.
  • Zepaw - November 4, 2011 7:04 a.m.

    I care just enough to give the single player go through. It will have to wait months because there are far too many games I want to play much more coming out.
  • rob619 - November 4, 2011 4:40 a.m.

    A lowered score then expected, will give this one a miss then.
  • Canvas_Of_Flesh - November 4, 2011 4:11 a.m.

    I hope they just let Goldeneye go and stop trying to recreate what was done with the original.
  • db1331 - November 4, 2011 5:45 a.m.

    Exactly. The one thing they can't recreate with Goldeneye is the time it was released. It wasn't the game itself that was so much fun back in the day. It was hanging out with your friends in person and playing it. That's something that just doesn't happen today in the age of online friends and online gaming. I'd bet that this reloaded version, just in a straight up comparison, is a better game than the original by every measurable means. It looks better, sounds better, plays smoother, has more options. The one thing it doesn't have is the nostalgia factor. The kids who enjoyed Goldeneye with their friends all those years ago are all grown up now. They have jobs, bills, maybe even kids of their own who are now gamers. When they played the original, they were getting out of school at 2:00, and hanging out at a friend's house without a care in the world. Now when they go to try and recapture that with Reloaded, they are getting off their soul-crushing job at 5:00, coming home to all the things they have to do, and maybe finding a quick 30 minutes to jump on and play with some random stranger halfway across the country. It's just not the same, and it never will be.
  • Moondoggie1157 - November 4, 2011 7:54 a.m.

    Wisdom, db, couldn't have said it better myself. These "back to roots" games will never be as good as the originals, regardless of how much better they actually are! As much as it hurts to say, this is the same for the Pokemon and Sonic franchises, my two favourites.
  • THEBIGJ3 - November 4, 2011 12:30 p.m.

    Spot on!
  • mothbanquet - November 5, 2011 2:50 a.m.

    You hit the nail on the head here, well done. That old magic came from a different time and a different world. Things have changed and moved on and everything we fondly remember about GoldenEye can never be truly recaptured. I'll be getting this when the price comes down as it certainly seems like a solid enough single player campaign.
  • Rhymenocerous - November 4, 2011 3:16 a.m.

    My favourite Bond film gets a mediocre game remake. Stop getting Bond wrond!
  • DIStroyinmasses - November 4, 2011 2:16 a.m.

    007: COD REBRANDED!
  • IceBlueKirby - November 4, 2011 12:13 a.m.

    I didn't think much of the Wii version, so I don't see any reason to play it again with a fresh coat of paint. Maybe I'd like it if I'd never played the N64 game, but as it is, nothing can compare. Activision needs to give the license back to EA, at least they made a few decent games, namely The World is Not Enough and Agent Under Fire. Hell, even Everything or Nothing was pretty fun. But this...this is just a waste of time.
  • Grif - November 3, 2011 7:50 p.m.

    As a James Bond fan I'd love to play the single player campaign on this game. I loved running through Golden Eye and Nightfire (yes I said Nightfire) trying to be the ultimate agent. But at $60 this game just isn't good enough. Maybe when the price drops.
  • Darkhawk - November 3, 2011 7:05 p.m.

    Think I'll stick to my N64. In fact, I challenge you to all go out right now, and via internet purchase an N64, GoldenEye, and 4 controllers. I'll be it comes to less than buying this new.

Showing 1-20 of 26 comments

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