1997’s Goldeneye 007 released for the Nintendo 64 by Rare is a highly regarded title in the gaming community and greatly considered as one of the best video games of all time, however, re-creating the magic of a classic isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Can Eurocom bring this game to the glory of its vintage counterpart or was the series better left untouched?
Goldeneye 007: Reloaded was developed by Eurocom after a decent release last year on the Nintendo Wii. I was personally very excited about this game when I found out it was coming to the PS3/Xbox 360 because I was a huge fan of the original game and thought this one could do wonders on the amazing systems that this generation could offer. The prospect of having multiplayer battles on classic Goldeneye maps with players across the world coupled with stealth gameplay from the single-player campaign made me an instant believer that, just maybe, this game would be exactly what we’ve all been waiting for. Can this game be what Goldeneye fans have been waiting for, or will it put a black eye on the series?
Going into this game, most people would probably guess that this is a direct remake of Goldeneye 007. It’s not; it’s a re-imagined version of Goldeneye; dropping a lot of the recognizable elements from the original in favour of competing with today’s shooters. There’s a bit of an identity crisis in Goldeneye: Reloaded. Sometimes you’re trying to sneak around through levels while other times the player is using a run and gun mentality to get through the hordes of enemies. Some may look at this as a good thing as you can play the game the way you want to play it. While I would tend to agree in most instances, Goldeneye tends to leave you scratching your head at just what Eurocom was trying to do.
In this day and age, building a technically sound game makes all the difference and could have made Goldeneye a much more polished experience. That in itself is what feels very lacking – the polish. The environments are almost generic in detail with some blurry textures and poor lighting. Things like rain seem to be added in just to combat this rather noticeable issue. While the weather looks nice, going to the other environments in the game (even more in the darker settings) gives you the realization of just how mediocre the settings and textures really are. The artificial intelligence in Goldeneye is yet another weak point and, to be completely honest, unpredictable. A CPU enemy will rush you, run out into the middle of nowhere, hide, or sometimes, simply not notice you. It’s completely random and it plagues the single-player campaign. The stealth aspect is another completely random part of the campaign as you can be undetected, running up to your enemy or detected from ten feet away while crouched. These are things that not only can’t be explained, they just absolutely should not happen. The audio is well done with Daniel Craig succeeding Pierce Brosnan and lending his voice talents and an amazingly well put together opening sequence with the theme song being covered by Nicole Scherzinger.
The saving grace for this Bond adventure certainly should have been the multiplayer modes however, that’s just not the case. The online multiplayer portion of Goldeneye suffers from terrible latency issues that really effect to overall experience. Players looked as if they were warping every few steps and getting a kill was simply a chore with the jumpy nature of each game I played. The potential of online multiplayer in Goldeneye is what makes this sting the most. The amount of game modes is astonishing and it would be a wonderful thing to be able to actually play them with any sort of consistency but, that’s not what we see here. Melee and stealth are non-existent and every single person in every game I joined used the shotgun which is easily the most poorly balanced weapon in the game. It’s a shame to see such a promising part of this game be so badly broken and I really hope that a patch can fix some of these issues.
Goldeneye 007: Reloaded is a victim of absolutely horrible timing with the year’s big games all releasing within weeks of its release. While it lacks a lot of polish in certain areas and certainly needs an online multiplayer patch, there’s still an enjoyable single-player campaign and split-screen multiplayer to take a crack at. Eurocom did the best they could with such high expectations from a hungry fanbase and while Goldeneye is by no means a bad game, it’s also not one I can recommend above any of the other blockbusters out right now. At its core, it just doesn’t bring enough to the table.
For more information on how we review games check out our criteria here. A copy of this game was provided to The Paranoid Gamer by the publisher for review purposes.