Remember the days when all you needed to do to simply enjoy a game was to either take your pad round a friends house or invite them all over to your gaff? Not that GR needs the nostalgia to help you revisit those times as it builds upon the previous N64 performance by illuminating, evolving and re-animating certain previous elements with a smart 3D infrastructure to the level design.
This ultimately enables the gamer to receive the best experience possible whatever the difficulty, mode or level of skill the gamer has; and it’s because of the carefully implemented tweaks that give Goldeneye a layer of modern polish. These changes have been implemented with obvious love and care which ensures the original action and stealth elements of the beloved Goldeneye are intact throughout the remake but with the added features that you normally associate with the more modern consoles. This brings heaps more of the game-play you love and would normally associate with the N64 classic.
The story isn’t anything special in itself but it helps create the right environments to utilise all of Bonds tasty skills and equipment, there are also slight changes to the character line-up but this doesn’t effect the actual balance of the game. You’ll start off with a little dab of training in a small MI6 training room and if you’ve played the Wii or N64 version(s) you will instantly recognise certain areas and reflect what changes you can see through the previous versions. The control scheme isn’t anything out of this world, most of the commands you will already associate with FPS’s and the new gadgets can be used with the d-pad, this allows even newcomers to create a little bit of pace and fluidity to their in-game combat ability. The only control issue I can see gamers having misgivings with is the rather abrupt and odd button prompt scenes, which create a slight pot-hole effect in the games pace.
You can ultimately play the campaign in two ways, either using the stealth ability of several foam-wrapped mute ninjas to take out unsuspecting evil henchmen or run in like Rambo and watch the mayhem unfold. Both are perfectly viable options to enjoy either way and both bring you a different view and vibe on the campaign, even when you replay levels multiple times. The campaign also has some fitting action orientated cut-scenes which takes you further into the game and keeps the story intact, no plot-holes or seemingly thinly stretched cut-scenes here just added benefits to an already solid experience. The A.I isn’t that dimwitted either even on the easiest difficulty, you can be creeping away and get spotted if you are too brazen, they also dive behind cover and have other oddities to their behaviour to make them that little bit harder to nail in the head.
A welcome addition to the games campaign is the action-packed but sadly brief vehicle sections, these tie-in with parts of the previous version but improve upon and open up some impressive sequences instead. The Tank especially is hordes of fun and incredibly easy to control, you’ll be rolling along firing at buildings to scatter men on foot and then lock-on to some airborne targets as you chase Ourumov through the streets of St. Petersburg. The array of weapons you have access to straight away is a delight, you’re normally made to skimp on ammo or keep your favourite weapons till you need them, thankfully not for Bond though. There is a small amount of collectables in the campaign, not many at all in fact, but the replay value is found when changing the difficulty as this affects your health, objectives and certain features are removed to create an uber hard test for you and Bond to get through. The campaign is about 10 hours of play altogether, throw in the other difficulties plus collectables and at best your looking at 10-15 hours play, however as this is a remake, Bond has a few more tricks up his sleeve thanks to the MI6 mission mode and the return of the mouth-watering multi-player mode.
MI6 Missions basically require you to do one of three things: Elimination, Defence or Stealth your way through the challenge maps. You are scored on many aspects, though it’s mostly speed and you can change several options and stats before you start your challenge, if you change the amount of health you get or the aggressiveness of the A.I in the option menu it changes the overall difficulty rating bonus you will receive at the end of the challenge. There are some bizarre Mission Modifiers to activate if you wish like; Paintball mode, Golden gun and Ragdoll mode which can spice things up on the battlefield… just a little! They are several maps to complete and these add a miniature sense of accomplishment whether completed on some silly hard difficulty or not; this is all user friendly and changeable. The optimisation of the customisation elements of Goldeneye helps accommodate lots of different ranges and levels of skill gamers have and can satisfy even the oddest or most hardcore appetites, also maps are designed so you can get into different positions and utilise certain weapons to complete the mission quicker.
Goldeneye offers up an impressive multi-player selection, the next selection being the split screen mode. You and three others are able to play on 14 maps, with 6 game modes and a staggering 56 characters (including favourites from the bond series) to choose from. Having a four way with Blofeld, Scaramanga and Oddjob is extremely funny, especially if you’re familiar with the characters or the actual bond movies and this wide range of guns, modes, characters and maps creates a Pandora’s box of funnies. Some of these modes are quite creative, modes like ‘You only live twice’ are fun and challenging; as to win you’ll need to be the last gamer standing after everyone has lost their lives and can’t respawn. Eventually, if you’ve had enough of ruining your mates day in your own home you can always take a trip to multi-player land where the boisterous mayhem hits its critical point and you can ruin people’s day online instead.
Multi-player mode as a whole is solid, it gives you a good range of maps and weapon load-outs and the experience system helps keep your attention on getting as many kills as possible in matches. The best way to describe the game-play at times is to compare it to Counter Strike, when everyone is running round with shotguns or smaller more powerful weapons things can get very fast paced. Online games can also start at the other end of the scale on more evasive maps with multiple objects or buildings that create cover, players pick there other long range load-outs and other players take the lead on the scoreboard. When you create your first weapon load-out, you will find some gadget slots that remind you of the perks feature from the COD series. These work really well with a smaller more compact multi-player mode, the differences are more noticeable and can help gamers easily create a better fitting class that can kick-ass. You have 3 gadget slots altogether, one is for proximity, timed or remote mines along with grenades if you wish, proximity mines are especially crafty which makes them a must for gamers that like to be creative. Gadget slots 2 and 3 are for your character and weapon perks, Fast-Forward; increased speed or Snap-Shot; improves accuracy and you have a acceptable amount to switch between. You can get a lot of good game-play from the multi-player side and you can team up with friends too which makes Goldeneye’s multi-player experience an all round brilliant one. The only slight issue is with the amount of players online; you might have trouble filling rooms for Escalation and any modes that differ from Team Death match and One v all.
Goldeneye Reloaded is totally packed with the stuff you really want, it’s filled with the improvements gamers maybe wanted when it was first available on the N64 but had no way of ultimately picturing this dream. Though we, as gamers are used to being spoilt these days with hogs of extras and DLC to comprehend buying, Goldeneye Reloaded takes all of these previous after thoughts, issues and evolution that is achievable and incorporates it into the original design but with vastly improved level design and pace. This is definitely a title to pick up for good if you and your friends are looking for a solid remake of the N64 classic, re imagined by modern minds for current technology.
Developer: Eurocom Entertainment Software