Goldeneye 007: Reloaded Review
Reworking the plot and locations of the original game proves to be a winning formula
Wow, that was close, I almost bought a Wii game for the first time in years. Thankfully, Activision saw sense and decided to release their Goldeneye Remake on the PS3 and 360 too with an extra layer of HD detail that wasn’t possible on Ninty’s decaying white box.
The remake of the N64 classic is definitely a remake rather than a HD polish up as we've seen with recent games. Why else would Daniel Craig be the starring face of the game instead of Pierce Brosnan? What, because Activision paid through the nose for the Craig likeness and they want to milk it? How cynical of you.
To be honest, this remake or reimagining is a much-needed breath of fresh air compared to many modern day first person shooters. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy games like MW3 and Battlefield 3, but the genre has become a little stale as the big guns compete to be the best at an identical focus. Let's face it; Bioshock Infinite is a long time away and Deus Ex: Human Revolution never really felt like an FPS, despite its innovations elsewhere.
Goldeneye: Reloaded reminds us of a simple concept of choice. Go loud or go quiet. You're never forced to go for stealth if you don't want too, but sometimes it does make life easier.
It feels so good to be allowed a genuine choice of playing a stealthy option with silenced weapons. It makes the game last longer too as you silently snuff out the guards, rather than sprint through sprayin' and prayin' with an AK. Melee takedowns can be done on the sly if you can sneak up on guards undetected, although some of the random animations that accompany these moves can sometimes go on too long resulting in you being seen by another guard.
The shooting feels fantastic for every weapon. Every successful shot has a visible impact on enemy soldiers as you make them dance with an AK or just jerk them around with limb shots with your silenced Walther P99. For some reason the shotguns don’t seem to obey the rule of losing power over distance as they remain insanely accurate and powerful even from thirty feet away. I’m not complaining though, I just went with it and had fun.
While playing this game I realized that there was a distinct lack of gadgets available. Everything revolves around using your mobile phone to hack a lock (hold a button) or taking pictures. Where the hell is my grappling hook watch? Q’s been really phoning it in recently.
The classic Bond moments seem to have gone missing too. The official set pieces that would set off the familiar audio cue when you did something cool like explode some barrels on a crane, taking out multiple enemies below.
Once you’re done with the campaign you’ll be keen to dip into the MI6 missions where you compete against online leaderboards for the best times and scores in a series of challenges and arenas. The stealth missions are tough -get caught once and fail the mission- but if you enjoy the stealth as much as I did then chances are you’ll obsess over mastering them.
Vehicle sections are curiously absent, but that’s probably because Daniel Craig is still smashing cars up minutes after leaving the hotel. There’s a tank level, which is almost on rails as you just force it forwards while annihilating every vehicle in your path. I’d like to see some proper driving sections in future Bond titles, just as long as the developers don’t make any of the horrific design choices that broke every driving section of Blood Stone.
Fans of the original game may have high hopes for the online multiplayer component of the game and as long as they don't compare the game to modern titles too much, there's definite fun to be had. There's a wide selection of maps and modes to choose from and the inclusion of four-player splitscreen is nice to see too especially as some of the original maps have been worked into the game.
PS3 players can experiment with PS Move functionality too. The game stands a distant second to the way Killzone 3 handles motion control though. Once you've adjusted the dead-zone (how far you move the controller before it turns) to taste it's reasonably responsive, but nowhere near as reliable as playing with a pad. A graphical improvement aside, you probably avoided the Wii version for this very reason anyway. Stick with the pad and enjoy the best Bond title in years.