Now, I'm known here for my universal hatred of games that are of the First Person Shooter genre. Just about all of those that I've played have been boring, repetitive, and the same old thing (which, believe it or not, sums up the Halo games perfectly ).
One FPS that I do love to bits though, one that I have enjoyed from the first day I played it all those years ago, is the timeless classic Goldeneye 007.
And since I seem to be on somewhat of a roll with N64 game reviews lately (and still haven't finished Okami yet ), plus I'm going through the game on hard mode as we speak/read, there is no better time for ye olde review.
If there was one developer that made the Nintendo 64 as great as it is other than the Big N themselves, it was Rare. from delights like Lylat Wars to brilliance sealed in a cartridge like Conkers Bad Fur Day. All of these great games owe a special something to perhaps what is Rare's most important and greatest achievement, Goldeneye 007.
When we think 'Movie tie-in' these days (and lets be honest, its always been this way), we usually let out a collective groan. They usually end up cheap crappy games to grab money off the back of the movie, and it wouldn't have been too surprising to see that happen to Goldeneye too. It is a testament to the Rare of old that it didn't.
Goldeneye 007 was one of the first fully 3D free-roaming FPSes, and it really set the standard. Like Rare's other title at the time, Lylat Wars, the game has a very Movie-like feel (which isn't that surprising, given the content source), with a Roll-call at the beginning of the game, and area overviews of each level at the start.
The looks of the game, whilst basic now, were simply astounding at the time. Every shot hits, each gun just feels right, this game is truly the origin of First Person Shooters on consoles (for better or worse).
The core gameplay of Goldeneye is easy to get the hang of, but difficult to master. Each level (of which there are over 20) has a set number of objectives depending on the difficulty you choose, from Agent to 00-Agent. You are given the items you need to complete these objectives, and the rest relies on your trigger finger and your resourcefulness.
The button configuration for the N64 controller works very well here, despite there not being a second Analog Stick like nowadays. Directional movement is handled on the analog stick, and up, down, left and right on the respective C-Buttons handles the looking-around. The humble Z Button on the underside takes care of the bullets.
This system works brilliantly, you'll be darting from cover to cover, and blasting down enemy soldiers with hardly any effort.
One thing about the game that can grate, and is excusable considering the age of the game, is the enemy AI. Quite frankly, it's dumb. Soldiers either stand right in the middle of a corridor and hope one of their bullets hit you, or they take 5 or more seconds to bend down and take a better shot at you leaving a lot more time for you to happily blow their brains out. That's not to say that the AI makes the game easier, far from it, but it does make it more predictable.
Like No More Heroes from an earlier review, Goldeneye 007 recycles the main theme for most, if not all of the levels, and thankfully, this works great.
Aside from the main one-player mode, there are hidden cheats to unlock, depending on the difficulty you choose for each level, and a robust and fun multi-player mode for up to 4 players, so chances are this game will last you a while.
Whilst not impossible, it is unlikely that Goldeneye will pop up on the Virtual Console anytime soon, so any chance you have to get this game really should be taken.
Below; Great little game intro.