GoldenEye 007 (Wii) Review

By Shane Jury 22.11.2010 6

Review for GoldenEye 007 on Wii

Ah, GoldenEye. If there is one name that resonates with all gamers that witnessed the console dimensions-shift with Sony’s rise into power, it is this movie tie-in. One of the first Nintendo 64 games to fully justify the existence of the machine's four controller ports, and arguably a pioneer of the glut of first-person shooters in modern days, GoldenEye 007 is Rare's most ambitious and genre-defining game of all time. Not too surprisingly, there have been efforts to capitalise on James Bond's most popular title, most notably EA's Rogue Agent game that is better off not being mentioned again. Since the unveiling of Xbox Live Arcade and Virtual Console, GoldenEye has been near the top of the list for inclusion, though due to complicated copyright claims with Nintendo, Microsoft, Rare, Activision, and the holders of the Bond movie licence itself, the game in its original form has never resurfaced on any of these services. Activision, though, have managed to sidestep these issues, and together with developers Eurocom, bring a version of the classic game to Wii owners. Are two eyes better than one, or should GoldenEye have been left as a shining relic of the past?

In order to combat the problems involved with bringing the original game back to the masses, Activision have taken the movie source material, and crafted an almost entirely new game around it. You're no longer in control of Pierce Brosnan's likeness; Daniel Craig takes the mantle here. In similar fashion, none of the main characters resemble their movie counterparts any longer, leaving Craig and Judie Dench voicing M as the only actors from the movies. These new representations of the characters may not be familiar, but one thing Eurocom has done incredibly well for this re-imagining is to present them all, together with Bond's first person perspective, in a realistic and involving manner. There is less reliance on gadgetry for this game, unlike more recent Bond escapades, but the character interactions do their part in putting you into 007's shoes. The visuals, despite taking less of the artistic style that the Wii is best at and going for a realistic turn, hold up well, with a solid and stable frame-rate, effective environment design, and some standout pieces in later levels, particularly the snow-filled ones. The game also brings a new musical score to the fray, with a new version of the GoldenEye theme used in the opening level, and excellent voicework for character interactions. The original game held too much reliance on remixes of the main Bond theme for its levels, but each backing theme on show here is strong enough without source material.

Screenshot for GoldenEye 007 on Wii

The level setups themselves have seen a vast change. The first area of the Dam level gives the impression of an enhanced remake to begin with, but the game quickly shows how it is entirely separate from the original, as you work together with Agent 006 to infiltrate the base. Most levels share their names with the original, and the story progresses much the same way, albeit updated to today's technical and present-day issues (global warming for example). Just as quickly as you jump into the green truck, two more changes show themselves; the more linear path the game flows on, and an increased focus on gun fights and shootouts.

As in the original, players are given tasks to carry out for each level, dependant on the difficulty selected, but instead of the more open-world feel before, and different ways to approach each objective, this version keeps things going on a steady path, with a radar and target marker keeping you on the straight and narrow. This change does fit the more cinematic feel of the game much better, and insures that you'll always be in the best spot for taking down enemy soldiers.

Shootouts are one of GoldenEye Wii's biggest strengths. Enemy AI here is notably effective; enemies will seek cover, be aware when you have them in your sights, and gang up on you; a clear and immediate contrast to the original, though a few of the soldier death animations are a welcome throwback. What was once a set amount of health per level with the occasional armour pickup, now matches present day shooters with regenerating life - a welcome change reflecting the newfound intelligence of enemies, though the classic difficulty option, which does set a health limit, is now more of a brutal setting with the game's design.

Screenshot for GoldenEye 007 on Wii

Shooters on Wii have had a number of years to fine-tune control options, and GoldenEye 007 is easily one of the most notable to offer players a solid range of them. Wii Remote and Nunchuk are the default options, and with the point and click nature of the device, the most intuitive for new players, especially with a wide range of button-mapped control choices. For those wishing for a more traditional means of input, both Classic Controller and GameCube pad are also accepted, with sensitivity and mapping choices abound. All three controller choices carry an auto-reticule option, that locks onto an enemy close to your sights, a highly useful feature to use with ducking and fine-aiming. Pre-set control options aren't, for the most part, instantly perfect or comfortable, so fine-tuning will be needed from players initially.

Ask anyone with fond memories of GoldenEye's legacy of the mode they spent the most time with, and it's almost a guarantee that multiplayer will be the answer. Both Activision and Eurocom are more than aware of this, and have built a solid split-screen mode into the game. For up to four players, GoldenEye offers a number of maps to play on - mostly new designs, but retaining the simplistic feel of the original - and a high number of rule sets to play by, such as Golden Gun, Team Matches and Set Lives. A fair few modifiers to alter the gameplay are also included, with Paintball and Grenade-behaviour options the most notable. The list of characters to choose from is highly extensive also, with pretty much every character design from the main game making an appearance, together with classic Bond villains like Oddjob, Baron Samedi, and Dr. No, not to mention a choice of pre-set weapon selections for each, so there is plenty of variation. This mode becomes an absolute frenzy with the right people and the right settings, and will keep the game disc in your Wii long after the campaign is done.

Screenshot for GoldenEye 007 on Wii

Another mode that will no doubt do the same, and will be a godsend for those looking for competition without nearby friend players, is online multiplayer. Online games on Wii have been fairly hit and miss at times, with Friend Codes being the chief annoyance. Unfortunately, they are present here, with no option to migrate codes from the Wii's main address book, but for those willing to punch in those digits, GoldenEye 007 offers a wealth of gameplay options, bonuses, and a very stable field of play when you get going with it. One session can involve up to 8 players, from either around the world or specific to your region if you wish and, provided your own WiFi connection is sufficient, there’s very minimal lag even with the Wii Remote's pointer. There are even more choices for gameplay styles in this mode than the split-screen one, including Black Box, which divides players into rival groups, one protecting the box, and another seeking to harvest it, and GoldenEye, that challenges groups to hack into the most computer consoles to position the satellite over their rivals. These modes are a lot of fun, but it’s difficult to find lots of players together online; the standard Conflict Mode, which is a regular time-limited kills-tally mode, seems to be the most popular.

Online is a key driving force behind the longevity of the game, and although the leaderboards have unfortunately been hacked already, the level-based Accolade system, that rewards you with new modes based on experience you collect from online play, and the promotional code option that will also allow new features upon release of those codes, are high incentives to return. Wii Speak omission between friends is a sad loss, but given the relative unreliability of the device in other games, it is not entirely unexpected.

With solid online, an addictive splitscreen feature, and an engaging campaign endeavour, GoldenEye 007 ironically recalls a phrase used by some to defend Wii's name when it was first revealed; a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. To be more succinct, this game doesn't need to rely on the brand legacy to provide the effective gaming experience that it does.

Screenshot for GoldenEye 007 on Wii

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

In all likelihood, Activision will see high sales for this game from brand awareness alone. Yet GoldenEye 007 could have gotten away without using that namesake as, against all perceptions upon initial reveal, this re-imaging is strong enough to stand on its own and, aside from a few online limitations and control niggles, it is easily one of Wii's best shooters.






First Person Shooter



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   


Good review! It's a game I'm definitely looking forward to. It's such a good time to own a Wii at the moment, what with this, Kirby's Epic Yarn, Epic Mickey, Donkey Kong Country Returns & Sonic Colours I don't know what to get first! Smilie

Cool, I'll get this next week.

Here's another review...

3DS Code 2578-3122-0744

I wish I had more money for games right now so I could buy this but then again I'm not really into FPSs in the first place, heck the only time I've played one was when some classmates talked me into playing Counterstrike with them in class. So yea, I'll have to pass on this with DKCR and Epic Mickey around the corner. GoldenEye 007 looks really solid though.

Also Didn't this version out sell Blood Stone, enough to actually upset Activision, and give the developers of Blood Stone a three month warning ordeal?

I do remember playing this game, when I was younger (on the N64). It did hold great memories, but I was never able to actually get it. so it will be nice to have this game.

When all is bad don't look for a easy way out. Because you wont know what to do once your out

Blood Stone was developed by Bizarre Creations, which is being sold by Activision after its last 2 games- Blood Stone and Blur - did not sell very well. In fact, those were the only 2 games they developed for Activision since being acquired by them in 2007.

( Edited 22.11.2010 20:00 by PMD )

Nice review Shane, I can't wait to start playing this on Christmas Day.

PMD said:
Blood Stone was developed by Bizarre Creations, which is being sold by Activision after its last 2 games- Blood Stone and Blur - did not sell very well. In fact, those were the only 2 games they developed for Activision since being acquired by them in 2007.

Didn't they make Geometry Wars?

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