GoldenEye 007 (Hands-On) (Wii) Preview

By Jorge Ba-oh 03.08.2010 3

Review for GoldenEye 007 (Hands-On) on Wii

A herd of gamers new and old were recently dragged kicking and screaming off the streets and scrambled into a room with one question in mind: “What instantly comes to your mind when you think of first person shooters?” The answer for most would still be Rare’s genre-defining GoldenEye 007. Released over a decade ago the first-person shooter grew to become one of Nintendo’s best releases on the format through heated sub-machine gun grinding, vicious knife throwing, and making pancakes out of unsuspecting soldiers using a tank. And now it's back.

While there had been many successful first-person shooters on the PC before its release, GoldenEye was arguably the first game to really get the formula just right on a home console. Since then the genre has shifted massively; no games console is complete without a swarm of great first person shooters, and buried within the Call of Duty, Halo and Far Cry games are elements and styles rooted back in the 1997 classic.

But we’re greedy, always hungry for a spread of sweet nostalgia, and despite the GoldenEye name being used some quite frankly awful games, fans have long clamored for a remake or at the very least a port to the slim and sleek machines of today. Current James Bond license holder Activision has come forward to try and fulfill that dream. Cubed3 staff recently bundled together on Nintendo’s warm sofas for an all-star Cubed3 death-match. See how we got on in our hands-on preview.

The original game had a solid, memorable storyline and setting. It drew strongly from the film’s source material: we destroyed a town in a tank, zapped through a floor panel to escape a moving train, and even did combat upon a lumbering satellite tower. For the most part the multi-player mode was the key to many afternoons, evenings, early mornings lost and a huge lack of sleep, so the Cubed3 team were keen to try and relive the feeling.

Screenshot for GoldenEye 007 (Hands-On) on Wii

The sole multiplayer map on offer was based on the old Archives level. Familiar faces from the Bond universe, a couple of basic guns, and the standard free-for-all death-match were also included. Rest assured, though, Activision and Nintendo are promising a wealth of features both online and out of the box. We sampled both the Wii Remote and Nun-chuck combination, and the newer style dual analogue play with the rather gorgeous Classic Controller Pro. The N64 trident controller allowed easy movement and strafing without the need for a mouse to adjust your viewpoint, and for those who prefer this setup the Classic Controller provides a modern Call of Duty-esque approach with dual analogue sticks and melee attacks.

Controlling with the classic controller felt solid, precise and familiar. It’s nearly identical in feel to Activision’s other shooters in feel, weight and accuracy. It may not quite be as heavy or “retro” in feeling but there is a sense of old blended within the new, and players who have taken a shooter made within the last decade for a spin should jump in easily. Within seconds we found ourselves pelting each other with bullets, dipping behind crates itching for prey, and being increasingly frustrated with Oddjob’s ridiculously overpowered one-hit-kill hat. The experience wasn’t quite the same, but it left us feeling satisfied and craving more.

Screenshot for GoldenEye 007 (Hands-On) on Wii

Where GoldenEye 007 takes a side-step to the original setup is in some of the additional moves and actions you can perform in the heat of battle. In addition to the rather old-school strafing from side to side and crouching, you can sprint for a short time, pounce over ledges (sacrificing a little health after big drops), throw grenades, and perform a melee attack at close range - key characteristics of any modern day shooter. Even within the GoldenEye setting these extra attributes don’t feel tacked on or unnecessary; more like a helping hand to improve your chances of survival and/or catching your opponents.

Weapons have also undergone upgrades, with better zoom and slight visual tweaks - your arsenal still feels meaty and most importantly deadly, but does miss the recoil and sheer thud of pelting your foes with bullets. Characters tend to feel more paper-like than solid. Despite the fact that it regenerates over time, you’re limited to a fairly skimpy level of health compared to the Nintendo 64 original - a handful of trigger squeezes and a wash of familiar fed blood grazes your screen. It makes the pace a little more frantic, perhaps falling short of capturing the familiar chase and accomplishment when you’ve added plus one to your score.
Jorge Ba-Oh, Editor/Founder

This isn’t exactly the same GoldenEye that existed on Nintendo 64. It’s still fun, but it has been updated so that it now plays like a mix of GoldenEye and Call of Duty. You can vault over obstacles now with a context-sensitive action button, and your health recharges if you can stay out of harm’s way for long enough.

Screenshot for GoldenEye 007 (Hands-On) on Wii

If you don’t mind these changes, you’re probably going to have a blast with the new GoldenEye. Only one map was available when I played, and it was hilarious to run through its various storeys, charging at your rivals to gun-butt them or humiliate them with death by Oddjob’s hat to the thigh. There are accolades on the post-match that seem designed solely as trash-talking fuel, telling players how good and how terrible they have played. Even with just one map, four characters to choose from, and only the Classic Controller Pro control method on offer, I had a great time watching the familiar red blood pouring down the screen for at least 40 minutes over the course of the day.
Mike Mason, Reviews Editor

Nintendo are really pushing GoldenEye’s multiplayer, but I also got a chance to play through a remake of the original N64 game’s first level, "Dam". The Archives-inspired multiplayer map was nice, but this felt like a true reimagining. Proceedings kick off identically to the original — with the camera panning over the level before settling in on Bond (in his new Daniel Craig getup). From here on in it’s a mix of nostalgia and shiny new features. For the latter, Bond isn’t alone in this mission, and there are a significantly more enemies scattered about.

The iconic sentry tower returns, once again housing a sniper rifle used to fend off a group of incoming foes. An all-new vehicle section follows, with Bond picking off enemies while a new Alec Trevaylan drives. Next up is a mission to track down and photograph a stealth helicopter (ā la bugging the chopper in the N64’s "Frigate” level). With this done, Bond can navigate along the rest of the dam — a far busier place than the original, full of enemies and explosive vehicles — before the level culminates in the classic bungee-jumping sequence.
Karn Bianco, Previews, Retro Editor

Screenshot for GoldenEye 007 (Hands-On) on Wii

Final Thoughts

Hardcore GoldenEye enthusiasts may feel uneasy when venturing into the updated version. It’s not the same game but it does have a similar feeling thanks to visual clues and certain gameplay elements. There’s a lot more depth to bring in new audiences, surprise the old and keep the fans at bay. There’s a fair bit of tweaking needed to heighten the nostalgia factor but if more maps and levels draw closer to the original’s we could be onto a winner.

Developer

Eurocom

Publisher

Activision

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

8

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (9 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I have to say the game looks really nice in still pictures. One of the best in fact. Should in theory look better when moving. I think I will get this.

Matt (guest) 04.08.2010#2

Graphics are sharp and crisp HDR/AA done very well here,Character animation is better than MW2 on 360 its way better character animation in general is the best ive seen in a MP video game wow,Graphics will be awesome at Gamescom when they show u the IR controls in a couple of weeks.

Minnie M (guest) 08.08.2010#3

This looks brilliant - all those memories from the past are flooding back. Can't wait to try Smilie

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