Gamers of a certain age may remember the original GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64. Appearing out of nowhere it became a huge hit thanks to its comprehensive story mode and laugh-a-minute split screen multiplayer (die, Oddjob, die!). This is why we approached GoldenEye 007 for the Wii with apprehension when it was released exactly a year ago, as surely nothing could replicate the original. Well, it actually turned out to be one of the Wii’s best games, and now a sexy HD version has come to PS3 and Xbox 360.[boxout] The first thing to point out is that Eurocom developed GoldenEye 007: Reloaded isn’t really a remake of the N64 game at all, yet doesn’t follow the movie 100% either. Sure, there are enough moments included to give our nostalgic hearts strings a tug, but the world has moved on, and so has Bond.
The game starts in the familiar (to fans) Arkhangelsk dam, and this is where you notice the first change; Brosnan is out in favour of current Bond, Daniel Craig. The atmosphere is tense as 007 and 006 stealth their way up to a pair of guards, and subdue them using new takedown moves. Before this level is over you’ll have been flung from a speeding truck; used your phone to photograph an EMP hardened helicopter; punched, chopped and sniped your way down to the dam before leaping off it without a parachute whilst that oh-so-familiar GoldenEye theme tune blasts your ears. It’s loud, fast, brash, and typically Bond.
On the whole gunplay feels solid, and sounds great. For those who enjoy a bit of stealth there are a number of levels that allow you to crack out the silencer, enter the vents and go about things that way. There’s something deliciously primeval about sneaking up behind a guard before either taking him down or putting a couple of silenced rounds in his back (the men in white coats are on their way, Dan – Ed). A cover system has also been added, allowing you to pop up and shoot off a few rounds before ducking back to safety. Be warned though, some of the cover, such as tables, degrade rather rapidly under heavy fire.
The story mode is an enjoyable affair, relying on mid-mission radio chatter to progress things, rather than cutscenes. It has its surprises too; for example when the nightclub level starts blaring out ‘I Remember’ by Deadmau5/Kaskade, which adds a nice touch of realism to things, as well as being a kick-ass song. The downside is that the story doesn’t last very long at all, and can be clocked on Agent difficulty in less than five hours. To try and add replay value tougher difficulty levels unlock, but whether you’ll want to try these out is another matter entirely.
New to Reloaded is the MI6 Ops, which are a number of levels that provide different objectives to complete, such as ‘eliminate all hostiles’. Parameters can be tampered with, so you can adjust your health, add in the Golden Gun, start with an RPG etc. These levels are timed, with the player being awarded stars on how well they have done.
Once the single player campaign is done and dusted you’ll want to head directly to the extensive 16 player online multiplayer mode. There are so many modes to choose from, such as Golden Gun, You Only Live Twice, License to Kill, Conflict and Black Box, with some not unlocking until you level up. The player really is spoilt for choice. You can also use XP earned to unlock all sorts of extras. The Xbox 360 version seems to be lag free, although there are rumblings that the same can’t be said for the PS3, although we haven’t been able to confirm this.
One of the negatives for the Wii version was the lack of a chat feature, but this has been included in Reloaded. The downside is you can now hear all the expletives aimed in your direction. Time to reach for the ‘mute’ feature.[drop] Of course, we can’t forget the offline splitscreen multiplayer. Whilst we didn’t get to try it out with this review copy, we did with the Wii version back in 2010 and it was an absolute blast. Good memories will come flooding back, although these days you can’t “accidentally” unplug your opponent’s controller. Cursed technological advancements!
Despite shouting about its HD makeover, there’s no denying Reloaded’s Wii roots. Whilst the Bond character model looks fantastic, the same can’t be said for a number of the environments which seem a bit flat. The now famous tank level also suffers a bit, as there seems to be no splashback damage from the main canon allowing enemies to dodge you by simply ducking behind a two foot high wall, which can apparently shield them completely from the blast of a tank shell. On the plus side, the framerate issues from the Wii version have now been eliminated.
What hasn’t been eliminated is the line of sight issue, where an enemy spots you despite the half-foot thick concrete wall you’re hiding behind. It doesn’t happen all the time, but when it does it can be very frustrating.
- Engaging story.
- Manages to capture the Bond atmosphere.
- Solid gunplay.
- Nice melee combat.
- A wealth of multiplayer options.
- Story mode is really short.
- Can look a bit flat.
- Some line of sight issues.
One must feel sorry for GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, sandwiched between Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3. However, it feels so refreshing to step out of army boots and into a tux, with GoldenEye providing a nice change from the norm. Despite not being the best FPS on the market, the game can easily stand tall and comes highly recommended for those suffering from an overdose of modern battlefields.