Game Review

GoldenEye 007 Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Jon Wahlgren

The N64 is not enough

Ah, GoldenEye 007.

A remarkable game on the ol’ Nintendo 64, no doubt about it. Countless hours of planting proximity mines in Basement and Facility for your friends to run into, scream and punch you on the arm is enough to earn a hall of fame spot in any player’s heart.

So when Activision and Eurocom — who first became familiar with the franchise back in the 64-bit era with The World is Not Enough, a fine title itself strongly tied to and considered a sequel to GoldenEye — announced plans to release a new GoldenEye game, scepticism and hesitation abound, with many quick to dismiss the project as a cheap cash-in on 13-year-old nostalgia. To be fair, these fears were not entirely unjustified; the end result, however, puts them to rest. Eurocom’s GoldenEye 007 may not bottle the same lightning as its classic predecessor, but it’s a well-made package with a solid campaign and a strong multiplayer component worthy of carrying its illustrious name.

This isn’t so much a remake of the 1997 game as it is a reimagining of the 1995 movie itself; the story has been yanked from its Cold War ruins and fiddled with to suit 2010, complete with new tech, new locations and Craig, Daniel Craig’s rougher interpretation of James Bond. It’s a game much more in line with Call of Duty in both feel and pace but still holds its ground as irrefutably Bond. Environments feel much more like real places than Rare’s elaborate mazes ever did, and the leaps and bounds of technology have enabled a far more cinematic approach to storytelling, including full voice work by Craig and with Dame Judi Dench reprising her role as M.

The revamped story was penned by one of the film’s co-writers, Bruce Feirstein, and takes a few new unexpected turns to keep things interesting while giving plenty of winks and nods to the more memorable moments of old. Call of Duty-style high tech mission briefs replace text documents between levels to further the story and give context to what you’re up to, and in-stage cutscenes do the rest, but these don’t go far enough in explaining character motivations or giving emotional weight to what unfolds. Someone who knows the plot will have no problems following the familiar beats, but newcomers might be puzzled as to why certain twists are significant. It’s surprising given the larger emphasis on narrative how many holes are left in the plot, like any indication of a timeline between missions and events.

Newer conventions like regenerating health and weapon carrying limits have wormed their way in, and older ones like added objectives depending on difficulty are still here, if a bit on the bland side. For a more old-school approach, the 007 Classic difficulty does away with health regeneration and stashes armour around the stage, complete with familiar health bars; it’s a welcome throwback for those who appreciate the way these games used to be made and a nice way to add an extra bit of challenge for someone whose first console FPS was Halo.

There’s a surprising amount of influence from Eurocom’s Dead Space: Extraction in the single-player campaign, which turns out to be both a blessing and a curse. The scripted moments are neat and when they work they're invisible, but too often the seams show. It’s as if Eurocom occasionally forgot that GoldenEye is not a rail shooter and that players are fully capable of doing things on their own. At least once per stage, you’ll have control needlessly taken away from you as the game fills in any eventual actions with QuickTime events, forcing you to just watch as Bond does something that you very well could have done on your own. At other times you’ll stay in control, but the tight scripting becomes excruciatingly obvious, like a rescued hostage looking and talking to where the game thinks you should be instead of where you actually are, or during climactic gunfights that are easily gamed. Enemy AI is sadly lacking, with most content to either duck behind cover, stand out in the open or just run at you, but the strong level design, potent weapons and excellent controls make each encounter a lot of fun.

When the campaign doesn’t have a preconceived notion of where you should be standing, though, it’s fantastic. Each stage, while linear in design, offers multiple approaches to situations and encourages you to go off the obvious path to wreak havoc from the shadows. Stealth is huge; be it silently taking down a guard from behind, sniping security cameras, or secretly reprogramming a drone gun to turn against your enemies, staying hidden is both rewarding and thrilling. If you’re discovered, though, a flood of enemies will pour in for an all-out firefight.

It’s clear that Eurocom knows their way around Wii architecture, as GoldenEye is quite the looker. The world appears very much alive and as realistic as can be expected for the console. The framerate does take an occasional hit during hectic moments, but it's never slideshow-bad. Similarly, the audio work is top-notch; weapons sound powerful and the music fits right in with the Bond films. But really, the best parts involve the small stuff; in the crucial moment between a guard seeing you and putting them down with a well-placed shot, a quick inhale of instruments creates just the right amount of tension, followed by a relieving exhale signifying that you just got away with something.

Much ado has been made about GoldenEye supporting the Classic Controller, but we’ve found that the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combo is where the game shines. Even if you crank up the sensitivity settings, there’s a real nice sense of weight to your movements that just wasn’t there for the comparatively ropey Conduit. Sure, you can pop in a Classic or even a GameCube pad and go to dual-analogue town if that’s your thing, but we strongly encourage using the stock controllers; it’s startling how much more loose and liberating the pointer feels in comparison.

And you’ll need all the agility you can get to stay on top in the four-player split-screen or eight-player online modes, which is where you’ll likely spend the majority of your time with the game after its five to six-hour campaign. Local matches are plenty customisable, with several cool modifiers to apply, like paintball bullets, bouncy grenades or, our favourite, huge explosions when players touch. Call of Duty is again the blueprint for the online portion, which is by no means a bad thing. Gathering experience in matches opens up new perks and gear for your custom load-outs, and accomplishing certain combat- or weapon-specific tasks will in turn dole out nice little EXP bonuses to accelerate the unlocks. The ten maps inspired by the campaign are surprisingly well made, with lots of routes, arena spaces and hiding spots to do battle in, perfectly sized for frantic eight-player matches. Lag is kept to a minimum, but the most irksome part of playing online is the lack of host migration. If the game host quits mid-battle then it's curtains for your match and gathered EXP, and if you're in a lobby, everyone is disbanded. Another somewhat bothersome issue is the inability to customise your load-outs or look over your progress while in a lobby, which should be standard for a game like this. Wii Speak support is sadly omitted, so you'll have to find alternate ways of communicating with your friends.


This new GoldenEye 007 certainly isn’t perfect, but Eurocom hits enough high points to make a really enjoyable, modern Bond game while honouring the legacy of the N64 original. The campaign is a bit short but fun while it lasts, and the local and online multiplayer modes are strong enough to carry the game for a good while. GoldenEye likely won't capture the same intense adoration as its predecessor managed to, but it's still a great experience and a prime example of a film game (and reimagining) done right.

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User Comments (99)



CanisWolfred said:

I'm happy with what I've read. Good article, Jon, and I don't say that lightly. A bit emotional, but that's be expected from a review of a game based on another game that so many gamers have waxed nostalgia so much that they could start a candle factory by now. The modernization to the archaic formula of the original sounds very invigorating, and if stupid Redbox finally recognizes that it has a machine in my town and put some games on there, I'll thoroughly look forward to renting it for a couple days to get my fill of FPS action. Of course, I'll be switching to the classic controller right from the onset. I prefer my pointer to be rigid so I can aim more carefully.



Shiryu said:

Hey, it's Friday already! Only a few more hours until I pick this up. =)



WaveGhoul said:

So....can you use that awesome SilencedPP7 like in the original? If not, screw this game...I kid I kid. And it would of been awesome if they actually threw in and remade a few levels from the original's multiplayer mode, like the Complex or Bunker for example. Anyhoo, instant buy for me!



sonic_brawler95 said:

I wasn't even aware this came out yet.

Looks nice, but Sonic Colors is the only thing on my mind for November.



MasterGraveheart said:

8 is about where I gave my personal rating. While I wish it were the watch instead of the smartphone and I wish some areas seemed a bit more familiar, I'm not going to nitpick a truly great game.

IT COMES WITH A GOLDEN CONTROLLER! This was the big selling point for me since I played Goldeneye with a gold N64 controller... plus gold controllers are just awesome.



rustythekid said:

I still want the original on the VC dammit!

My rational self does not approve this message.



Sneaker13 said:

Ordered it today. Hopefully I will receive it tomorrow. The reviews of IGN and Gametrailers really convinced me.



irken004 said:

I'm glad I traded in some games for this. The singleplayer is plenty of fun, and the online is a grand old time. Nothing more satisfying than sneaking up on someone and POW! Melee to the neck



Kid_A said:

Nice review! I definitely would have rated it higher (this is by far my favorite Bond game ever), but I can't argue with your criticisms.



Deviant_Mugen said:

I agree with the score so far, but I have a feeling it'll increase for me once my brother, best friend and I actually give the split-screen a good workout...

Great review, Jon...



JamieO said:

Great stuff Jon, it sounds like Eurocom have done a quality job at reinventing GoldenEye for modern gamers, while still retaining enough old-school elements for old fogies like me, such as ditching health regeneration for the 007 Classic difficulty level. Fair play to the devs for achieving that, pleasing both retro-heads and modern FPS-nuts is quite a balancing act!

I don't mind too much that it is short, although it is a bit of a shame that the extra objectives are not hugely exciting. This is one game with which I should be able to convince some of my PC-lovin' mates to boot up a blast of local multiplayer, based upon it presenting a new way to rekindle old memories.

From what Jon says though, despite my N64 nostalgia, it sounds like I'll opt to play the new GoldenEye with the Wii Remote.



SuperMarioFan96 said:

Well, I guess I'll try it out (well put it on my holiday wishlist ), really don't like the Call of Duty games, the Halo games, or The Conduit (although my experience with the first two is limited, so maybe I'm just stubborn?), but I think I'll try this anyway. Maybe I'll like it.



SilverBaretta said:

I was wondering if you were gonna be the one reviewing this, Jon. Well, I agree with the score, and I definitely agree about the lack of host migration. While your Wiimote-Nunchuk control suggestion is tempting, I think my Gamecube controller is what I'll stick with. Good review.



MakeMyBiscuit said:


Nice review. This game is a MUST purchase!

There are SOOOO many great games that have come out this year for the Wii and are lined up to come out. If a person can't find a game they like they must not like video games.



King_Boo said:

Will there be a review coming for the DS version also? if I'm going to get this it will be on the DS.



Oregano said:

The game is amazing. Single player is amazing, looks great, plays great and just generally is a lot of fun.

Multiplayer... fast, fun and very well balanced. Multiplayer maps are very well designed with multiple paths and vantage points. All weapons are equally useful too from what I've experienced.



pikku said:

Nice review Jon!. I'm ot going to be getting it till at least Christmas, though unfortunately
also I lol'd at the tagline



jkshaz said:

The game is a lot of fun, but the frame rate really can become an issue in spots. So beware if that is something that bugs you. Overall though it doesn't happen often and shouldn't be a detraction from the games numerous good qualities.



Rerun said:

I got this pre-ordered with the Golden Classic Controller. I'm glad it turned out to be an OK game.



GammaGames said:

Now I need a COD: BO review... this game looks good, im just more into the COD series



RantingThespian said:

I have been playing this since the day it came out. 9/10 for me. The game is awesome, and I love it. Definitely one of my favorite Wii games. On Tuesday, me and my cousin couldn't set down our controllers. I think we went to at least 3 am with the game.

My favorite multiplayer option is Singularity. When one player touches the other, BOOM!



Varoennauraa said:

-Hows weapon sets? Can I modify weapons to my liking?
-How about game modes, can I adjust to realistic health?
-Can I get RID of that regeneration?



The_Fox said:

An 8 sounds right. The Wii is terribly weak in the FPS genre so this one will be especially important for Wii only gamers.



CanisWolfred said:


There is a mode to have Health Packs instead of regeneration, yes. No realistic health, though. No one has that, except for Hardcore mode in Call of Duty, and that isn't so much realistic as it is hard.



RonF said:

The reviewer never mentions it but I had the impression that this Goldeneye also features the different objectives under different difficulty modes that gave so much replayability to the original game's single player campaign.



irken004 said:

@Monteblanco I believe those are in this version too. I played on the normal mode for awhile, then tried easy mode, and there were some differences in objectives.



the_shpydar said:

Totally right there withya, girl. Between this game, DKC and Golden Sun coming up (and some others i'm sure i'm overlooking ... oh yeah, New Vegas), and having just bought Force Unleashed 2 for 360, my gaming dollars are seriously threadbare. D'oh!



Marvelousmoo said:

I guessed that it would be given an 8, and I think it deserves just that. It was a good, polished, entertaining game, but it lacked in some ways. The story mode really disappoints me. I guess it is pretty good, but it just feels jumpy in terms of the plot, and I really have no idea what the big picture is. "This is Bond. I'm going to Africa." Why? What did I miss?

So I had a question. There are some guns playable in both the story mode and Online that I cannot currently use in local matches. I haven't finished the story yet; can I unlock more stuff for splitscreen multiplayer?



Vinsanity said:

Eurocom made 007 Nightfire on PS2/Gamecube, the best Bond game (although admittedly not as important as Rare's Goldeneye). Their re-imagining of Goldeneye was always destined to be a great shooter. Glad to see it get good reviews

I hate Activision, but I support Eurocom when they pump out awesome games. I might have to check out Goldeneye.



Guybrush_Threepwood said:

I'm still not excited about this rip-off so no buy for me. It's sad we won't get a Virtual Console release or XBLA remake of the original GoldenEye because of this.



Chozo85 said:

Considering the general lack of good FPS games on the Wii this fills a very nice gap in the market. I have fond memories of the original and look forward to picking up the Wii game today.



James said:

Looks like I might be getting this one today. Is multiplayer cross-continent or is it region-locked? I'd love to smack @Jon's backside with my Oddjob.



Chunky_Droid said:

That sounds dirty James!

I'm definitely picking this baby up as soon as I get some cash together!



Chris720 said:

Awesome review, may have to pick this up at some point. But I'll have to wait for the review of Black Ops, so I know which one to get first.

@James Oh... you dirty little man.



danschemen said:

wow really!!! only an 8 ign gave it a 9 and they usually try to put down games made for the wii.



XCWarrior said:

Wow, sounds like its worth buying. I figured they weren't going to get everything right, but sounds like they did enough. Looks like a purchase.



JonWahlgren said:

@James Worldwide, so bring it on! Anyone else up for a game with fellow NLifers, plop your Friend Code in the online gaming thread.

@Monteblanco: I mention the objectives:
"Newer conventions like regenerating health and weapon carrying limits have wormed their way in, and older ones like added objectives depending on difficulty are still here, if a bit on the bland side."



Kirk said:

The weightiness doesn't come from the controls as such but more the improved weapons animations and better implementation of rumble imo (the controller actually rumbles when you shoot as opposed to doing nothing).

The Conduit does however still have better pointer/turning implementation no matter what anyone else says. It's just smoother and more precise and the looking/turning acceleration curve is just better implemented in The Conduit.

GoldenEye still has the best fps controls on Wii outside of this however imo.



3DS said:

i have to wait till tuseday darn you GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Varoennauraa said:

I don't mind hackers for I play with friends only anyway. Mindless internet idiots are too close to bots for my liking. I recommend using Skype for voice chatting.

But there is one thing bothering me, hows the performance when playing online? Some reviewers didn't seem to appreciate it too much? Is it still smooth? Is it more like online lag or performance issue? If its lag it doesn't necessarily mean that much to me as my friends live close to me. We have lag free games even in Smash bros, when we play agains each other, but it goes unplayable when we play with random people across continents.



Varoennauraa said:

Oh, and thanks Mickeymac! Great news! That helped a lot! I might get this if only for single player! Health packs sound more like what I want and after monitoring some online match videos, people seem to die after reasonable amount of lead as well. With no regeneration it seems good enough for me and my friends. The performance might still stop my friends of getting it.



irken004 said:

@Varoennauraa The online modes are usually pretty smooth, other than some occasional lag. It's nothing big though, the lag usually like like a second or two. The biggest problem online that I've seen is that when the host of the match quits, the whole match quits all together.



Varoennauraa said:

Ok, thanks very much irken!!! That does it! Now I can start bullying my friends to get it We play FPS's mostly on PC, but Wiimote is so fun(and immersive) alternative to rubbing your pisiform bone against computer table.

I saw couple of reviews that were othervice almost praising Goldeneye but the after taste following the final scores and talk about online preformance left me thinking that part of the game would be nearly broken. And fortunately that host issue means nothing to us either.

Oh and one more thing, Hows the grenades? Its small thing, but I loved Conduits grenades. They were so quick and precise to use. Does this use gestures on grenade throwing?



irken004 said:

I think you can set grenades to a motion but I'm not certain. By default it's set to a button. These grenades aren't quite as precise as The Conduit's, but they do get the job done



lex0plex said:

heh heh got this on tuesday! awesome game, so awesome in fact that I'd easily rate this a 9 or 10. The only thing that sucks is that single player isn't very long... but all games have to end sometime. Besides, it's the multiplayer where it's at! And as far a single player goes i look forward to beating this on classic difficulty. so far it's a lot harder!

Also the Wii was absolutely built for FPS like this. If you use a classic controller, you suck! Pointing and shooting might seem daunting at first, but it's absolutely thrilling! (though, it might get annoying on local matches cause everyone has to be directly in front of the screen)



Varoennauraa said:

Yeah! People, who have started their gaming on Playstation might have never played FPS on anything other than pads, so they might need a little accustoming. At least it easier to learn to play with Wiimote than on last gen pads, and after getting used to it, Wiimote is just vastly better than last gen pads @ FPS. For me, Wiimote instantly sat on my hands perfectly.

Now even the videos, that use classic controller looks clumsy and slow. Wiimotevideos looks much more exciting and fluid, let alone how fun it feels (to be Bond).



Timwario said:

Fantastic game! It really sets the bar for third party games on Wii, and it will be great to see how HVS responds to this with Conduit 2! These types of production values and epic moment are things rarely seen on Wii. I recommend this game to any Wii owner!



MeloMan said:

Hope I'll get a chance to play this, sounds like me and my friend will be able to get our ol' skool on in this game.



daznsaz said:

started playing this today its not really like the old one but its a good game in its own right



Punny said:

Great game and great review! This is going on the Christmas list for sure!



Azikira said:

I definately think this is the Wii's best shooter (so far, looking forward to Conduit 2)



Ovi said:

This might be a dumb question but I need to ask. I was wondering if this game has a lot of blood or gore, or if you shoot a head will the head blow up with blood or something? Because I want to get this game, but I don't really like bloody games, so could you guys tell me about the blood level in the game. Thanks. And the review was good.



CaptainDingo said:

I'm sure not seeing the correlation between the written review and the score given. In all honesty, I had suspicions that anyone who reviewed this game would bump it up by 1 or 2 points just because of the fog of nostalgia clouding their judgment, and in my opinion, that's just what happened.

What I'm gathering is that the AI is bad (then it's said that the gunfights are fun, which seems conflicting), the scripted sequences were developed lazily, there is no way to communicate with people in online matches, and there's this constant line being drawn to Call of Duty (a franchise that is basically a plague, so I consider that a bad thing), a mention of blandness, etc.

I guess what I'm getting at is that aside from a few paragraphs talking about Rare's game being superior to this one, I didn't notice a lot of positivity in this review mentioning what makes THIS game so good (or an 8 out of 10, if you will). Or is it really for no reason but the split-screen multiplayer?

I guess I may be alone here in my thinkings anyways (aside from Guybrush_Threepwood, but he has a Grim Fandango avatar so we're probably secret soul mates anyways... lol).



Marvelousmoo said:

It is worth an 8. It doesn't sound like you've played it yet. If you have, then you will understand that it is a great FPS for the Wii, although it is not without its flaws.



Skotski said:


You tend to have forgotten that despite all the flaws (which all FPSs have due to the "me too" sentiment many of them have), it is a solid game.
AI being bad doesn't equate to having horrible gun fights (if enemies are placed correctly with the correct weapons in a good level design, the simplistic AI hardly shows... it's when they're singled out or chased into a corner that the AI matters).
Communicating with people during online catches can be an iffy problem (as Nintendo often forces a company to cut this feature due to its anti-family-friendliness) when placing it on a Wii game, so one hardly should ever expect that (besides, it never ruins the game - as this is hardly a team-squadron multiplayer).
And drawing lines to Call of Duty isn't necessarily a bad thing... despite Call of Duty destroying many FPS scenes for me due to their creation of the horrible generation of gamers they've created - - it did get popular for a reason. Copying from a rather aggravating franchise isn't a bad thing at all... the cover-system which was placed into games by Gears of War, is copied into almost every game now (which I find pretty sad, since the cover system SHOULD HAVE BEEN in video games GENERATIONS AGO). One can always borrow good ideas from other games, no matter how hated they are by a certain group.

And two last things...
1. The praise is in the multiplayer... which Goldeneye for the N64 shined on. Yes, the single-player was great, but everyone always went back to the multiplayer. If it was at least as good as the previous' multiplayer: Then it deserves at least a 7.

2. You do realize that 8 is VERY different from a 9, right?
It's not like they're worshiping the ground this game walks on (not like what other review sites are giving). The game, with all the fun you gain from it, is at least a 7. Being generous, they popped it to an 8 (probably due to them being happy it wasn't a horrrrrrrriiiiibbblllleeee adaptation like many were expecting it to be).

...and for the record, your "I" "I" "I" sounded like an opinion-giver until your last comment... which then your "I" "I" "I" sounded prideful.
Just sayin'.



gaminguy said:

Gosh... I feel this review is right on spot. Nice review. I love this game and will probabaly get more enjoyment out of it than an 8, it still has flaws. THerefore an 8 is the perfect score the game.



gaminguy said:

OMG! I was playing online and I saw a person named kid A! Was this the kid A we all know? P.S. IT was in a heroes match, I was playing as Ben.



erv said:

Is it possible to have a two player multiplayer splitscreen with other people joining in online? Or is this a one player per wii online experience?



Machu said:

Great review Jon. The game has some slight issues, but ignoring those, this is effing amazing! And that's coming from a big fan of the original game and movie, who was a tad concerned about the whole 're-imagining'.

I really feel like Bond whilst playing this. I will never tire of subduing guards. Thwack!!!

GoldenCoD Rocks!!!



Ziggyguy21 said:

Just bought it yesterday and OMG this game is a masterpiece. This should have gotten a 10!



daznsaz said:

love it playing it on all difficulty settings long time since ive wanted to play a game through more than once



LinkMetroidhybrid said:

This settles it I'm getting it. I'm just glad there is a good bond fps out because qos while good was sort of a dissapointment. What makes it better is that it is for the wii. I think the wii is going to finally start paying off in the 2010-2011 year.



Dorkvader said:

The only thing i wonder is the boss fights. Are they freakin' hard or are they easy. because i don't want to buy a 50 buck game and i can't beat it cause a boss is unforgiving?



Boshar said:

After playing CoD: Black Ops I prefer GoldenEye in single player (a bit more freedom the choice between stealth and gung ho approach). Not enough online multi player experience to choose the best for that mode...

I can't figure out why people would want to play these FPS games with the classic controllers. My aiming is much beter with the Wii mote and the classic controller needs an extra button for running (with PS3 and X-Box the left analog stick can be pressed to run). I'm always losing valuable time when I 'm running.



DarkVictor00 said:

Is the online worth it? I noticed Nintendo's online isn't the best. I want to get this game, but I don't know if online game play runs smoothly.



Moonhillwat said:

A little over a year later and I still love this game to bits! It's my foothold in the FPS genre. Halo? Maybe. Call of Duty? Perhaps. Goldeneye 007? Yes please!



Caster8 said:

Its a good game dont get me wrong ' but why o why didnt they use the correct Bond for the game ( Pierce Brosnan ) it would have been more realistic to play



motang said:

Just started to play this game couple of days ago, and I can't believe how much fun it is. Reminds me a lot of Counter Strike from late 90s, which I played the heck out of at Internet Cafes!

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