The names Rox, Currierox. I am a not so secret agent working for ML6 and I have been assigned by he who is simply known as “G” to bring you my thoughts on the latest Bond title and re-envisioning of his most classic and revered game, Goldeneye.
I have very fond memories of the N64 original but, like most titles from that generation, I have left them in my past so that I do not tarnish my thoughts towards them. Goldeneye 007 Reloaded attempts to recapture what made the original title such a must-play and for the most part it succeeds, however, there a few omissions which I wish were included.
The campaign is a modernised interpretation of the original Goldeneye story. On the lowest difficulty setting it will take you around nine hours to complete. What I really liked about the different difficulties is that the game takes something from the original which made it so replayable. In most games when you raise the difficulty the only part of the experience that changes is that the enemies become harder, smarter and much more accurate when firing at you. One of my fondest memories of the original Goldeneye is how when you up the difficulty you have more objectives you have to meet within the level which made the game feel completely different to a previous playthrough. It’s a shame more games don’t use this model and I am very pleased to see that it has made its way into Goldeneye 007 Reloaded.
The campaign mixes up missions nicely, one moment you’re running around all guns blazing and the next you’re sneaking up on enemies from behind in a stealth mission, and much like the original you get to cause all kinds of destruction in a tank for one point. It is possible to play the stealth missions all guns blazing as well, however, it’s at the cost of raising an alarm which causes more enemies to appear.
One of my biggest problems with the campaign is that Bond appears to have traded in all his cool gadgets and downloaded all the necessary apps to his smart phone. Want to take some pictures for evidence? Out comes the smart phone. Want to hack a turret so that it takes out all the enemies in the area? Out comes the smart phone. Not to mention my favourite gadget from both the movie and the N64 game is not present. Why take out the laser watch?! That thing was cool! Instead when you reach the point in the campaign where you escape the train you simply shoot at little latches to release the floor panel so you can make your escape. It didn’t feel nearly as frantic as it did on the N64 game.
Now I know it’s probably down to some kind of licensing issue but I had a real problem playing through this story as Daniel Craig. Pierce Brosnan is the Goldeneye bond, but at least the game is in first person so you can at least pretend you’re playing as Brosnan.
There are a few quick time events that appear throughout the game and for the most part are implemented well. They appear at times where it really makes sense, when you are facing certain enemies that have decided to get up close and personal. There is one particular quick time event which I felt could have had the animations run a lot smoother and that’s when you have to pump LT and RT/L2 and R2 simultaneously. The animation stutters a little bit with each press and completely removed any immersion I had and reminded me that I’m just playing a game. Had it been done right then it could have really helped to raise the tension of these situations but sadly they are just laughable.
The gunplay in this game is very tight and the hit detection seems to be pretty much spot on, in fact my only fault with the gunplay is that the auto aim seems to be a little too generous but luckily this can be turned on or off depending on your personal preferences. The enemies in the game are a mixed bag. Upon spotting you they will call for backup which is good, what is bad is how quickly they can abandon cover to come running at you gung-ho style, where they become easy pickings, especially if you have the auto aim assist on. I really enjoyed playing stealth in this game and part of the reason why is because of the enemies. If you are careful enough not to be spotted then most of the time the other enemies will not automatically respond. If they discover a body they then become much more alert which makes the stealth route even more of a challenge.
My biggest disappointment in this game was the final showdown. All it really amounts to is Alec calling in recruits all the time and you hiding in a safe corner where the bombardment of grenades can’t get to you whilst shooting at Alec each time you get a small window of reprieve between waves. This for me was a real shame as up to that point I had really enjoyed the campaign. I loved all the little nods and winks to the N64 original within the game the most memorable by far being taking out the guy in the toilet in the facility. All in all a strong campaign.
There are two other modes in this game, MI6 Ops and Multiplayer. The MI6 Ops are very comparable to the Spec Ops missions in the Modern Warfare Franchise. There are a total of 11 missions to choose from, albeit not straight away, which have various objectives covering the areas of: Elimination, Defence, Stealth and Assault. For example, Memorial is a defence mission where you have to defend three consoles from enemy attack while you download a specific amount of data to complete the challenge. You are then graded on your mission and can earn up to four stars for it. The inclusion of leaderboards is a nice touch as it allows you to look at your friend’s scores and see if you can do any better. This is a nice little extension to the main game but it’s a shame that it can’t also be played in co-op with a friend.
Multiplayer… what a sad sight. If there’s one part of this game that highlights that it’s been released at the wrong time then this is it. I didn’t manage to get into a single match online and if it wasn’t for being able to play local splitscreen then I would not have a single thing to report. It’s a shame really as the multiplayer on this game has a nice mix of match types and supports up to 16 players. One particular mode I can imagine being a bit of frantic fun in a full game would be Detonator Agent. In this mode one person starts with a bomb that is ticking down and you have to pass it on to other people by getting up close and using melee to kill them. When they respawn they have the bomb, the only difference being that the timer on the bomb has not reset. It’s like a really dangerous game of hot potato.
Overall I think that Goldeneye 007 Reloaded is a good package that has come out at the wrong time of the year. It has a fun campaign which changes depending on the difficulty you play it on. Also worth noting that on the hardest difficulty you don’t have regenerative health. Instead you have a health bar which is displayed just as it was in the N64 original and you rely on finding body armour. The MI6 Ops are a nice little extra to extend the games life. The multiplayer is sadly a dead zone, but that’s hardly unexpected when the game was released around the same time as Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. It’s a shame as the multiplayer certainly has potential. A good experience overall but sadly I think a lot of people are going to miss it.
MLG Rating: 7/10
Platform: Xbox 360/ PS3 Release Date: 04/11/2011
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a physical copy of Goldeneye 007 Reloaded for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on an Xbox 360. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.