This review originally went live in 2011, and we're updating and republishing it to mark the game's arrival in Switch's N64 library via the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack.
Highly revered by countless N64 owners, GoldenEye 007 is often credited with kick-starting the first-person shooter craze on consoles. It not only showed that a good first-person shooter could be crafted for a machine other than a high-spec PC, but arguably also created the multiplayer FPS phenomenon on consoles. In fact, if it weren't for GoldenEye, it's quite feasible that franchises such as Halo and Call of Duty might never have experienced the intense popularity that propelled them into the gaming lexicon.
However, the games industry evolves and moves along faster than that of perhaps any other entertainment medium and gamers, likewise, are more often than not a fickle bunch. Aside from certain titles that somehow manage to retain a freshness and vitality beyond their age, a game that would have been cutting-edge in 1997 might not necessarily cut the mustard when placed side-by-side with today's games. So, after all these years, should you still be excited for GoldenEye?
Visually, Rare's magnum opus of the 20th century is difficult to pigeonhole, perched precariously between impressively 'realistic' for the era and polygonally past its prime. Naturally, its production values are primitive in this day and age: blurry textures and characters with permanently clenched cube-shaped fists were fine in 1997 on a CRT television, but they're an acquired taste today.
An appreciation for the low-poly aesthetic has blossomed in recent years, though, and if you can look past the obvious limitations, it's a clean-looking game with a subdued palette that complements the realism of the environments, the enemies, and their excellent animations. Sonically, it still delivers, with the classic Bond theme reworked in a variety of ways that feels true not only to the series, but also GoldenEye the movie. There's no speech of course, save for the odd grunt or groan, but the sound effects and score here belie the audio limitations of the original platform's cartridge format. GoldenEye still sounds great.
The game, luckily, always had more to offer than flashy graphics and Hollywood flair. Over the years, the FPS genre may have degraded into linear shooting galleries in which players were spoon-fed objectives that were never off the beaten track anyway, so playing GoldenEye with its more open-ended, realistic-feeling levels will be quite a shock to many younger gamers. Rare constructed a brilliantly balanced difficulty system, too, that not only affected the amount of damage that the player and the AI enemies inflict, but also added extra mandatory objectives throughout each of those levels depending on the set difficulty.
Thus, whether you're an FPS novice, veteran, or something in between, GoldenEye has a difficulty setting to suit you. This formula encourages you to improve your skills and gives you an incentive to run through the game multiple times, kicking things up a notch each playthrough. Indeed, you could go through GoldenEye's campaign three times and each playthrough would yield a sizeably different experience from the last. Rare continued to use this refreshing approach to difficulty in Perfect Dark and Perfect Dark Zero, but the system went largely unused by other developers until the Wii 'reimagining' of GoldenEye 007 in 2010.
While this is indeed a shame, GoldenEye nonetheless clings onto other, less favourable old-school gameplay mechanics. Holding the shoulder button for more precise aiming at the cost of having zero manoeuvrability (save for a sidestep) — while an innovative addition that pre-dates "iron sights" aiming — feels slightly too archaic now. It could be argued that GoldenEye is designed to be played at a more methodical pace than other shooters, with many missions requiring the player to remain completely undetected. But doing so is a lot more laborious than it should be with this stop/start aiming system feeling somewhat counter-intuitive if you've been living for decades now on a diet of dual-stick first-person games.
Of course, for many, the above criticisms will consist almost entirely of moot points, because for many GoldenEye is most fondly remembered for its immensely enjoyable split-screen multiplayer suite. Those aged visuals and the less-than-convenient aiming all fall by the wayside once you get three friends involved. GoldenEye multiplayer doesn't quite boast the dizzying array of options of modern deathmatch shooters, but its five distinct modes and their team-based variations each bring with them a unique gameplay mechanic to keep things fresh for a long time.
'Normal' is your standard deathmatch, while 'You Only Live Twice' and 'Licence to Kill' shake things up slightly; the former sees players only possessing — yes — only two lives before they're out of the game, while in the latter mode a single shot from any weapon is enough to kill you (or a karate-style chop if you're caught without a firearm, or playing the weaponless 'Slappers Only' mode. 'The Living Daylights' has players scrambling to hold a flag for the longest time, but it's 'The Man With The Golden Gun' that's by far the most interesting and frantic mode in the game.
Only one Golden Gun — a weapon that kills with one shot — is available in a match, and once a player grabs it the only way for his/her opponents to gain possession of the fabled firearm is to kill them for it. This leads to some frenetic action in which fragile alliances might be forged in order to take down the holder of the Golden Gun, at which point all cooperation is thrown out the window as a three-way struggle for the gun ensues. Wielding it successfully requires precision and skill, but when that single shot hits its target, you really feel like you're Bond in the opening gun barrel sequence as blood runs down your opponent's screen.
When paired with a generous helping of arenas, a plethora of weaponry, and a deep roster of characters from the Bond universe, GoldenEye's inspired variations on the standard idea of four people all trying to shoot each other in the face go a long way to keeping its multiplayer modes tremendously entertaining even now. It's very basic compared to modern offerings, but the core is strong — a sentiment that neatly summarises the entire game, really.
Some will adore GoldenEye, now as the day it launched. Others may appreciate its achievements on a more intellectual level, or find fuel enough in familiarity, nostalgia, and great memories to overlook aspects which nowadays feel a bit rough-and-ready. Many others, however, will struggle to click with it at all so many years later. It is, much like the classic character himself, a product of its time with a dodgy joint or two, but it is also a game which had a profound influence on the entire video game industry and one which evokes treasured memories for legions of fans, us included. GoldenEye deserves our respect, if not our love, and still has the power to impress given the proper context.
As a history lesson in how things used to be done, and as a split-screen multiplayer game, GoldenEye 007 still delivers the goods where it counts, although certain aspects haven't aged as gracefully as you would hope. Its precision aiming mechanic is fiddly and ever so slightly impractical on any controller that isn't the original (and divisive) N64 pad, and — as with most 64-bit titles, to be fair — an old-style CRT is much more flattering on its visuals than today's HD displays. However, play for a while and you'll quickly find evidence of the subtly profound design that made this such a game-changer back in 1997. GoldenEye represents an instance of genuine innovation in the first-person shooter genre, and its brilliant local multiplayer reminds us that there's still nothing quite like gloating and showboating with three friends all crowded around a single screen.
Did I time travel to 1998? Sure isn't an 8 now, that's just nostalgia speaking.
I never realised that they had simply plastered photographs on the character's faces.
I love it!
But, no, I have no interest in playing this again (though I really enjoyed playing Quake for the first time recently, and I still love the classic DOOM games). I played this on a cousin's N64 back in the day, and it was good fun at the time, but it's aged terribly. Wasn't the remake on Wii any good?
At the time it was ground breaking but now? Its a dated relic, even on Xbox with better controls it feels old and somewhat painful. Its been fun replaying it this morning but its aged like milk sadly. A Perfect Dark style remaster would have done wonders.
The thing that jumps out to me as having aged badly is how unclear what you're supposed to do is sometimes. In the first level, how are you supposed to know what the uplink screen is, hidden behind boxes even. Or that you're supposed to put a modem thing on that, but just press the action button on the server? Also annoying that you can blow up the door controls in the second level and it won't tell you that you just failed the mission because of that. I'm still having fun with it, but I'm getting through these levels based entirely on memory from N64 version.
This game sadly didn’t age like wine, it aged like milk. Which is to be expected honestly, good for nostalgia purposes tho.
I always liked the scope of the game. For the time it felt huge but while I put some hours into this as a kid I am not an fps fan and this game didn’t endear me to the genre (although it did make me like bond games). I’m just glad the 3rd person bond games eventually came later. Game looks fine to me. I still play my N64 so I am not bothered by the graphics.
I love this game, but a masterpiece?
I did play it few weeks ago on my N64, if anything the original Doom aged better than 007 gameplay wise.
Played through the game on Agent mode with the remapped controls that had been suggested and had a great time. Made me feel like i was 12 years old again. Looking forward to going back and trying the higher difficulties later.
GoldenEye is absolutely a masterpiece.
Can't figure out a mission objective? It's called exploring! The levels are small... part of the challenge and reward is figuring it out. These aren't massive levels that require waypoints and checkpoints.
The multiplayer remains absolutely brilliant.
The controls are bad? You need the N64 Controller for this game. This game is an N64 game, built from the ground up for the N64 Controller. It is not simply a FPS that you can play like a modern FPS. I much prefer the controls on the Switch using the 64 controller than I do the Xbox version. Maybe it's a personal preference, but it stands to reason that the controls are best with the Controller it was meant to be used with!
And what about the unlockable content?! The cheats are brilliant. The 64 characters for multiplayer. The 2 secret levels featuring classic locations from other Bond films. That all remains great as a reward!
And then there's the speed running! Already a healthy community for the game, which will now expand further (and no doubt some new world records imminent too).
NL - you make it sound like you have to stop, aim and shoot throughout the game. Load up Silo on Agent, allow yourself auto aim and charge after the 3 minute target time with your AK out and no aiming. Tweak your aim with the C buttons instead. It's an absolute joy that few FPS games have matched.
@Sisilly_G the remake was really a reimagining and I didn't like it, not a patch on the original.
Any chance of EA remastering their 007 games from 2001-2004?
Boy I know a lot of people that worshiped this game but I never liked it. Neither the story mode or the multiplayer. And I had a best friend who wanted to play nothing but this game so it was extra miserable.
I love it and think it holds up as well as ever. Using the n64 controller for it is as fun as it gets. However the regular controller even after adjusting it to be more “modern” doesn’t really feel as good due to the sensitivity of the analog sticks. Especially frustrating on handheld, which was something I was looking most forward to. It looks amazing handheld on the OLED.
It's a beautiful piece of history. Its like going back and playing the first Doom or Wolfenstein. They aren't the best FPS currently available, far from it, but you surely can extract fun from them.
It's a treat for gaming enthusiasts, young and old, now easily available on current gen consoles
@Don It would be great if they remastered Agent Under Fire, Nightfire, Everything or Nothing, and From Russia with Love for modern consoles. Would also love to see The World is not Enough added to the NSO service.
It is kind of wild that Goldeneye is the only James Bond game that can be played on current generation consoles.
I guess it really doesn’t efficiently work without an N64 controller?
I remember kind of walking diagonally to go faster or something 🤷♂️
N64 games seem to have mega weird button settings 😬
I couldn't stand the visuals even at the time.
Playing it again earlier today the control scheme was horrible as well.
@theModestMouse You'd be surprised how well the old games age. Today's 10/10 games can't hold a candle to 90s and 00s 8/10 games. Video games industry before 2010 was a completely different thing than the mess we have now.
frankly brilliant review, i agree on all counts. i never owned the game, but played hours upon hours at friends' places, and secretly harbored jealousy over what my parents would have thought was an inappropriately violent game to buy me.
my rec is to swallow your pride and leave auto aim on with a lower difficulty than you might jump to at first. as a kid i didn't even know manual aim was an option, i didn't mess around much with precision aiming or even strafing and as i usually played 3d platformers the stick movement was familiar, and yet the shooting action was still so fun for me and my friends. not stressing about placing your shots perfectly while running around is both more fun and honestly what i think the devs mechanically intended even at higher difficulties. that keeps much of the jankiness of the controls from getting in the way.
you also have to just rely less on fluid sideways movement in general i think, except for specific moments of strafing. trying to slide around like a modern fps is possible but really difficult and basically unnecessary. the level design doesn't really require it for success anyway, at least in single player
Still love headshooting is this game. The damage animations are still great and each shot has an impact thanks to the awesome sound design so it doesn't feels like you're shooting into paper like a lot of modern FPS.
Honestly, the game itself holds up well enough, in a "good, not great" kind of way. The variety in single-player missions is nice, and the multiplayer is still a solid concept.
The game control, however, has aged wretchedly and while the game design is there, the ability to play it is not. One's milage may vary.
You just need to get an N64 Controller and then it's absolutely quality.
I've tried the xbox version, Switch in handheld, Switch docked with pro controller, switch with kickstand and N64 Controller, and docked with N64 Controller.
The N64 Controller options are the best by a mile.
@Sisilly_G That reimagning was a shameless COD clone, since that's all Activision knows how to do. It was a piece of 💩. The original GoldenEye is still a masterpiece. Play that one.
@theModestMouse Keep in mind that in 1998, Half-Life came out.
I think that playing N64 games on gamepass is fun for a bit, but outside the legitimate classics like Zelda it isn’t something I’ve spent too much time with as the things that used to bug me originally are now magnified. I have trouble playing 1st person games without going giddy and used to have real troubles with Goldeneye.
I think Nintendo are going to have to come up with more than retro games to make me commit to the higher tier again this year.
GoldenEye is still a good game, but Perfect Dark has aged much better. The multiplayer beats GoldenEye hands down.
Having gone back to this game for the first time since the 90’s about a year ago or so, I’m acclimated. Plus I grew up with the game so there’s no learning curve or adjustments needed for me. I honestly cannot believe this is available again— I NEVER thought we’d see the day. I would’ve bet money we’d have gotten some kind of re-skinned version of it called “Yellow Eyeballs” or something like “90s Shooter Simulator” and all the guns are recolored and tweaked and faces replaced, etc. “Budget Goldeneye”
Nope- they finally did it!
I mean, either you’re reviewing the game as if you’re playing it now and it’s not an 8. Or you’re reviewing it as if you’re playing it back then and it’s not an 8.
Those controls were a brutal wake-up call to how used to dual-stick shooters we have become 😩
@EVIL-C : Fair enough. The CoD DNA isn't surprising given Activision's involvement.
@theModestMouse Spoken like a gamer who doesn't grasp nuance.
We now live in a world where Goldeneye is playable on current systems. Thank you xxx
Every hobby seems to have it's own cancer. If you're ever into sport shooting or target shooting, guys tend to all think they're Rambo and that the world is out to get them so they must be ready at all times for an attack. In the video game world, it's equally annoying with the gamers who have to sh** all over a game because they think it makes them sound more discerning.
I cannot grasp why so many gamers want to hate GoldenEye so bad when probably 90% of us spent hours upon hours upon hours of our lives playing games that we loved, that were directly inspired by GoldenEye. If you can't appreciate that for what it is, fine. But you're missing out.
Haven't played it since the original release, but surprised how much fun it still is. Shooting feels good, sounds are good, graphics not so much but gameplay is king here. For N64-era title it is a masterpiece indeed.
@theModestMouse NL always gives a +2 for being on Switch. It's actually a 6.
I actually tried playing it for a bit last night, and I couldn't beat the first mission (on 00 Agent). The control scheme was seriously throwing me for a loop, and try as I might, I couldn't get into enough of a groove for it to work.
Either I need to get the N64 controller for this one game, or I should try some of the controller profile changes mentioned online to make it feel better. We shall see, but it was a heck of a nostalgia rush!
Yeah even at the time I found the game to be a janky, barely playable mess, but I appreciate that it walked so that future FPSes could run. And hell I still enjoy the original tank-controlled Tomb Raider, so I'm not one to judge!
@theModestMouse It was a 10 in 1998.
Played it on xCloud earlier, ran great. Two thumbstick controls are a godsend. Will try out the Switch version tonight.
Yes, 100%. I find it so annoying that so many randos on the internet are trying to "educate" the rest of us about what has or hasn't aged well. They all adopt this godly, objective voice, like they're the only ones seeing reason and are looping us all in on the truth. Get a grip.
Feel sorry for the people in the comments who evidently had no friends back in the late 90s/early 00s and never experienced the joy of Goldeneye's 4 player splitscreen mode.
@nocdaes I agree with the C button usage. Nothing like panning up or down a stairwell to haul up your AK and rip off a burst into several soldiers.
Can't be said enough. My only disagreement is with the strafing: I basically moved in diagonals all the time in both Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. But the point is that you don't have to worry that much about aiming on the Y axis. The game isn't built for that. I essentially played it like Doom. Not that I knew that at the time, because I first played Doom in 2020 (and it's still one of the best games of all time). But that's what I did: mostly movement on the horizontal plane, constant strafing or diagonals, relying on autoaim like it's part of the game (because it is, just like Doom), and sporadic adjustments on the Y axis. I always thought the controls were fluid, on an N64 pad. Not sure how it'll play on the Switch pad, to be honest. I assume I'll have to be holding the right trigger all the time to use the face buttons like the C buttons. Which sounds kind of like a drag, but that's how I play Zelda on NSO and it's fine.
Multiplayer is 10/10 but, even in its day, the back half of the campaign is garbage - escorting Natalya is a special kind of hell.
You should have made the review again. This doesn't make justice to the re-release of the game. It took 26 years for Goldeneye to be available in modern consoles LEGALLY, and you just copy paste a review that doesn't mention the improvements of the Switch release, such as stable framerate, less fog, and online multiplayer. This game is a gem, a true classic worth playing now on its best on the Switch.
I'm all for the jank. This has put a massive smile on my face bringing back great memories. I don't think we appreciate early 3D games enough, without the usual it's 'dated' or 'unplayable'. You literally never experienced it at the time and how incredible it was to play these types of games.
Pro-tip: The opinions of those who talk about games "aging" one way or another should always be dismissed. Those people simply do not understand video games as an art form.
I think most of the games from this generation have aged very poorly. I've said this in many many post. It actually breaks my heart to say this too. Many of the games I say this about were groundbreaking games when they were released. I feel the same way about Mario 64. It was awesome when it was released but it's aged poorly and is no comparison to every 3D Mario game since. Same is true about Mario Kart 64. The only classics that came from the N64 that I feel can still hold up is Ocarina of Time and Star Fox 64 (best in series). There are a few other games that are okay, but I'm talking about the classics. As for Goldeneye, it was fantastic gaming back in the late 90's. I have memories of playing this with family & friends for hours and hours. Making our own rules, talking trash, watching each other play the single player missions...it was awesome! But when it comes down to it, I would much rather play a modern game in the same genre that controls well, has less wonky cameras, and the challenges of creating early 3D games has been worked out. I'm ultimately thankful to have lived through this age of gaming. I appreciate these games. I have fond memories of these games. I'll fire this up over the weekend, but long-term, I doubt I'll play it much.
I think Mario 64 is the best 3D Mario. It was the last one I played along with Galaxy. Not everyone cares about datedness as much as you do.
Having played this today handheld and having completed the N64 original hundred's of times I personally can say this is an almost prefect release. The increased frame rate, resolution and draw distance are great. The controls handheld when re-mapped are perfectly fine but playing on the TV with the N64 controller will be my preferred when I'm at home. But being able to play a prefect emulation of the original game on the go is amazing!
Haven't played this for at least 15 years. Fired it up and I know where every baddie is, every corner, every shortcut. It's like riding a bike, you never forget. Glorious.
Perfect review and spot on. I just had a quick session on the N64 and had a great time. The N64 was obviously enjoying it too, as it decided to throw various random enemies at me. The game never gets old, there's always something different about every play through.
In terms of the start/stoppiness of the controls, you can still move and shoot without invoking the crosshairs, it's just less accurate. I tend to "stun" enemies using that method and then line up a quick headshot to follow. You barely need to slow down that way.
"I can't wait for people to play this again and realize it is terrible" is like the worst take I've seen in a while. It's like saying "hope you have an awful time" to someone going on vacation. I don't get that at all.
I, personally, loved the Wii Remake. It's one of my favorite games on the system alongside Super Mario Galaxy 2. It does a great job of modernizing the film and updates mission objectives as you go up in difficulty like the N64 game does. The multiplayer has the Perk system from COD, but no killstreaks, which is my least favorite part of the COD suite.
I'd say give it a shot before dismissing it outright. (The game is also available on Xbox360 if you have one and/or if it's easier to get a hold of than the Wii version).
I was expecting less of the visuals. Sure they're a bit dated, but 16:9 on my C1 OLED TV looks fantastic.
And I don't have much to complain about with the controls since I use the N64 controller and it all seems like riding a bike to me.
@zgillet So shooters were awful for almost 20 years? THANKS HALF-LIFE!!!
"A measure of historical knowledge and context is needed to get the most out of it"
Oof, you gonna do me like that? I was there, Gandalf. NL gonna start calling me historical now? Y'all and your 'my first Zelda was Windwaker' need to get off my lawn.
@theModestMouse I liked Modest Mouse in 1995.
I appreciate this game being added. The faces of the baddies look super flat and have super blank expressions on their faces though but that's ok it's exactly how I remember it 🤣🤣
Hmm, I only really play my Switch as handheld, might hold off a little, see if Nintendo patch it for better handheld controls.
@Beaucine I wouldn't call it "datedness". I would call it progression and improvement. I care about stuff like cameras working properly. Controls being accurate and tight. I can live with graphics being what they are if the game plays well. It's not about the "new" factor either.
Plus, how can you say it's the best if you haven't played the other 4 titles?
I have played them. I've played Odyssey, Galaxy, Sunshine, and 64. I just didn't play them (to completion, anyway) in the order they came out. 64 was one of the last ones I played, Odyssey was the first. (I'm missing Galaxy 2, yeah. Blame the All-Stars collection.)
I get what you're saying about improvements to the controls and camera, but I also care about stuff like structure, progression, overall atmosphere, fundamental game design, compactness, etc. I appreciate Odyssey improves, say, controls and camera. That's hard to argue against. But I abhor the way the game is put together, the challenges, the level design philosophy, etc. I prefer all of that in 64. I can get used to jank, but I can't get used to "the way the game is put together," because that's always going to be there, no matter how good I become at the game.
@Beaucine lol. K.
Tried it out on both N64 Online and Gamepass today. It controls so much better on Xbox and with wide-screen and better graphics, that's the way I'll be playing through the single-player. The Xbox version is vastly superior I have to say.
I’ll never forget being blown away by being able to zoom in with the sniper rifle and take targets out from afar.
That was revolutionary in this days!
@eltomo I played through the entire campaign (on the easiest difficulty) in handheld mode, just had to remap the controls in the system menu to swap the left and right joysticks, ZL to ZR, L to ZR, A to L, and B to R, and then select the Solitaire control option in the game. Playing the game like this in handheld was lots of fun and very satisfying.
Overrated game,dated weird controls and gives me serious motion sickness.Pass.
@FantasiaWHT I never could get into this game, even back in the day. My friends would absolutely go nuts with this game though.
From top to bottom it’s a masterpiece. Shaken not stirred. 10/10 😃👍
I find it much better if you disregard any sort of traditional FPS pretenses and just let aim-assistance do the legwork. It plays more like a pre-mouselook shooter that way. I love how the difficulties have varying objectives that require you to explore more of the level the harder it's set on. Wish more games did that.
So when's Perfect Dark?
@Bucky you're a hero
@eltomo I didn't come up with it but am happy to spread the word so more people can enjoy this game.
Probably going to use the N64 controller when playing online, I tried playing with a pro controller and it was pretty difficult since the default control option in the game was selected.
@Ambassador_Kong I’ve never seen an 11 or a 12 though. That logic is flawed.
In multiplayer its not about stopping and aiming but straffing in circles with the c buttons filling them with lead...also xbox (unreleased and on pc) remaster did a great job of remapping the controls i wonder if they've mapped em the same
@Beaucine yeah, controls with non-n64 controllers are still less than ideal but certainly not as horrid as ppl who've never played and understood the mechanics of the original are claiming.
Imo perfect dark is far more superior in graphics and gameplay but Goldeneye is what started it, I was disappointed that perfect dark went to Xbox 😏😏
One of my greatest accomplishments in gaming is opening all of the cheats in GoldenEye. One of the hardest "trophies" I've ever earned.
Great to have it playable on something other then my aging N64. Great game and holds up better than half games on later consoles.
Be nice to have a few other bond games released
@Bucky everything or nothing was one of my favourite in the GameCube series at the time, I'm not sure how well it aged tho
Tired it on game pass. Fantastic, love the modern controls! Tired it on Switch. For me, almost unplayable. Has to be played with a N64 controller. Guess that's why I preferred Turok 2 multiplayer over this. Control was more intuitive. Still a great game. Gonna play it on Game pass though.
Don't get me wrong, I loved Goldeneye back in the day but I really couldn't imagine trying to play it today. Shooters have come a looooong way since then but still cool to see it playable again on modern platforms.
@nocdaes Here's the thing the N64 controller is awful though so it doesn't really help and yeah the game is a relic of its time, yes it was groundbraking but not long after Half Life happened and not long after that Halo changed everything and those games have aged far far better. Goldeneye is fun for us sure but i think those enjoying it most are those heavy with nostalgia, chances are a new player is not going to like it.
This game has aged fine, in fact, it looks WAY better than it ever did on N64, but the real star of the show was playing multiplayer with 3 other friends, that's where we all spent hours playing Goldeneye, not single player. I always wished I could jump and wasn't restricted to wheelchair mode though.
For those struggling with the four control style configurations, check out the following post. It lists the steps to change the Switch button mapping for a modern day control feel in the game:
@Faucet Exactly this. It's frankly disappointing on Switch but great on Xbox via Game Pass. It controls terribly on Switch along with much poorer graphics.
Xbox is certainly the way to go if you have both options available.
@Edu23XWiiU as the writer of the original review from 2011, I agree.
I still own the N64 version and just played the XBox version.
8/10? Never ever!!!
This aged badly.
The best thing I can say about the XBox version is the controls, they did a good job here.
The visuals feel crappy in this high resolution and the game feels flawed, enemies hang in walls sometimes and the picture feels jaggy.
This is today a 6/10 at best.
Not a single word on how the game fares online? That's really the only meaningful addition here.
I never did finish this one, but I remember enjoying it back in the day. I know they did a fairly-recent remake in the past few years, but I haven't played that - does anyone know if its any good?
It took a while to get used to the controls but completing the game on Agent mode was a great way to relearn single stick FPS games. I do wish there was a way to remap the buttons. Strafing should be on the left stick and turning should be on the right stick.
@Sisilly_G I really liked the wii remake, sure it’s nowhere as revolutionary than the n64 version but I had a good deal of fun on its online multiplayer. Night fire and everything or nothing in the GameCube were really solid games as well. Night fire was first person fun like goldeneye but everything or nothing was a 3rd person action game with cover mechanics and a cool robo spider gadget.
It’s not flawed.
It’s a game that had perfect level design. Perfect pacing. Perfect difficulty levels and was designed to work perfectly with the n64 controller.
Modern games especially FPS wish they could have this level of care and design given to them. Perfect to the source material. No nonsense. No gimmicks. No grind. Just a purely fun experience.
@glaemay exactly. I never understand people that say this hasn’t aged well or is flawed. They play modern FPS where it’s all dancing round and ridiculous damage and movement. This game gets it right, not modern FPS. Most of which are horrible grind fests designed merely to get you to part with more and more cash in Microtransactions.
They are addictive, not fun, this is fun and addictive.
As someone who only properly got into this game in 2008 or so (my friends and I barely played it in the '90s), I can attest to this game's quality, beyond nostalgia.
Newer games like CoD (or the 2010 reimagined Goldeneye on Wii/PS3/360) are slicker and more polished, but these have lost a lot of the heart that the early 3D games had: they weren't just shooting galleries, but places to explore and puzzles to unravel- with challenging situations to approach strategically.
I won't say that someone's opinion is wrong because they only like modern, usually streamlined games, but I will say that they're missing out.
Not that modern games are all CoD. They just tend to head in that direction over time: more streamlining, less jank... and less freedom, and less interesting design. But then you've got the likes of Dishonored, which captures a lot of what those older games did well- without feeling like a relic.
I've unfortunately heard bad things about the online for this game, which is one of the big reasons to play it on the switch in particular. Shame, as usual.
Ahh...I remember the glorious 90s playing with all the neighborhood kids in multi-player. Them were the good days I tell ya.
Solitaire controls negates the need for dual analogue. Now lets hope nintendo hasnt screwed up the analogue sensitivity again like so many of their ports..mario sunshine..3d world..
@Trikeboy You can remap the buttons, here's a guide to do so (shoutout to @Bucky and especially @Seacor who have already mentioned it):
@JohnnyMind I tried it, it wasn't as good so switched them back.
@theModestMouse I know surely it’s a 10 right?! Such a masterpiece of gaming that showed the way for FPS on consoles and how to do couch multiplayer like never before.
The score should always be 9 for this one because of the pros but I agree with the pros and cons and the whole review. Controls are better on Xbox but both versions should be 60fps. The original version reached 60fps on Nintendo 64 in very limited scenarios. The gameplay, level design, objectives, difficulty, interaction with the realistic-feeling environment and sound are all excellent. Multiplayer still is as fun as in the 90s.
I hope the framerate is bearable-- I worry my eyes won't be able to deal with it, but only one way to find out...
@MeloMan It's bearable but it's a shame that they didn't unlock it, at least optionally. Perfect Dark on Xbox at 60fps is heaven.
Looks like crap now days, maybe 4/10. But for 100 years ago it was a 10/10.
I played this recently. Go in with realistic expectations and it's still a great time.
We should have had the option for motion controls. If you’re going to port an older game, enhance it! Making worth our while. Nintendo keeps talking about innovative was to play but but they don’t follow they preach.
I love Nintendo, but they are damn lazy!
@AgtOrange Its not a port though, it is the game running on an emulator
How exactly do games age? I'm thinking the problem might not be GoldenEye, my dear friends.
Definitely nostalgia goggles at play here.
These days this game is no higher than a 6/10 and only that high because of historical significance
Once I mapped the controls, so A,B,X,Y, became the C buttons, muscle memory kicked in, and I could play this easily. I feel the controls are just different, but actually it's more fun than modern shooters. Aiming is a challenge, yes, but a good one. It's a different mechanic, which works well. My only problem is the A and B buttons, which must be meoped to someplace weird, like shoulder buttons, and hence I have to think when reloading or changing weapons. Takes some time to get used to.
And btw. the 16:9 option was always in this game, in case you didn't know.
Unplayable with the current controller options.
Gee thanks Nintendo. Zero marks for effort.
I agree with you. the entire metaphor of "aged like milk" doesn't really track, as these games are perfectly preserved as artifacts of their time, as good (or bad) as they ever were. it's the fact of that you are "used to" games that didn't even exist yet that ruins the game for you.
put another way, "The milk isn't spoiled, YOU are!" 😊👍
what is your point? nostalgia is half the reason I play games (and there's nothing wrong with that!) and should completely be part of the score when discussing reissues of classic games, just like any other factor.
why do you play games? maybe whatever your reasons are, should be discounted by others, and removed from consideration when scoring 🤔
@Mortenb were you able to do that w/o holding down r trigger? or are you playing on xbox. thats the one unfortunate deal using switch hardware.
@ChongLiVsTongPo Holding down the r button is how I aim, and how I always aimed in this game. It's part of the fun.
Also, one can't go modern controls in this game. It will first of all become boringly easy. And second of all one will walk too slow, as one needs the speed boost one can only get from having one finger control sidestepping and the other control forward motion. I can't imagine this game without that.
@-wc- I'm eating a fine piece of aged milk right now. That Stilton goes really well with this other fine piece of British culture.
Don't fall for the silly trick of mapping the controls to feel "modern". It will make the game not what it is meant to be. It's much better to remap the switch buttons to be more like the n64. You're supposed to be able to sidestep with the c buttons, while moving forward with the stick. It doesn't work well with using the stick as c buttons, as you'll just keep looking up or down. But with actual buttons, it's just a matter of getting used to. Makes the game much more fun. And you have to stop and aim with R, like a real person, not like a God who can snipe people while running like a madman. A big part of the game is finding the rythm of when to stop, when to run, getting used to guard movements, etc. Making controls "modern" is likely to ruin half your fun.
@Mortenb I go full hard, run and strafe with C and aim with the joystick as god intended. I meant it took a few minutes getting used to holding R2 to enable C buttons, then release to use A B. Who stops to aim? R1 is useless, unthinkable! Like breaking in a racing game.
@Mortenb you using Solitaire control bindings right? *Eeedit: And you're 100% correct, jokes aside - this game still has some of the most enjoyable hit detection, and good lord was it out of this world in 1998 - so a staggering or aloof guard is always fun to shoot in various hit points. Playing right now, I stopped and R-sniped some feet and made a soviet dance for you comrade.
@-wc- I play games to have fun and when a game controls as poorly as this I need more than nostalgia to have fun.
I'd rather play the Xbox version with updated controls so it plays how my nostagia thinks it played rather than the sad truth of how it actually plays.
it plays fine, did you try the different controller configs? if another human can whoop up on you in multiplayer then it's just you 😊
@Branovices Welcome to the old games which weren't dumbed down for casual people and mainstream market.
Goldeneye is not worse any any other game back then.
Old games were designed so you had to figure out things instead of a pointer that shows you where to go at all times.
I had no problems completing hardest games in 1980's and 1990's without guides inside game and outside game.
There was a time when games demanded people to think.
Turok also needed some brain due to the level designs.
Most games today doesn't require a brain, unless it's a hard strategy game or something.
@FantasiaWHT I bought it on release, but didn't like it much. A bit later it grew on me and i completed it.
Nowadays i look at it as a masterpiece for several reasons, and it has a lovely soundtrack.
I were more of a Turok person. Turok were released before Goldeneye.
It is laughable to call this game a masterpiece, masterpieces are good yesterday, today, & tmr. The fact is that n64 FPS' were always a bad idea, you can tell by the amount of auto-aim they slapped on to them demonstrates that that controller interface couldn't cut it. Also the level design of both Goldeneye & Perfect dark is mediocrity, punctuated by both occasional quality & total trash. People's favorite levels in goldeneye are train & Silo which are just murder tubes, hardly brilliant level design. Meanwhile, Doom64 despite its wandery nature was coherent throughout. GoldenEye is not terrible, the weapon feedback is still a highpoint in this game, but its 6.5/10 for sure.
@-wc- the arbitrary reasons a person plays SHOULD have no effect on the score.
I never played it before, and I think it's very good, though you HAVE to rejig the controls or it's horrendous. The aiming is pretty finnicky and it can be frustrating but there's no doubt it's well worth playing. Mind you, graphics snobs will no doubt be put off but old school gamers will still love it
"the arbitrary reasons a person plays SHOULD have no effect on the score."
ok then the score should be robitronically contrived from nothing but 1s and 0s. got it 🙄👍
(we play games for arbitrary reasons, period. your concept of an immaculate, facts-based objective review score is not only silly, it's unhelpful. you read the review to get a feel for the reviewer's sensibilities, and then the score to see if a person with those sensibilities liked the game. ultimately, for arbitrary reasons.)
@-wc- Well Sassy, I happen to enjoy games that use the LOTR license, solely for the reason that they use said license, that said if I’m reviewing such a game, it’s pretty easy for me to separate that out, & look at the rest of the games components, including the utilization of the license itself to determine its overall quality. On my show that shares my username (check it out), I rank games that I liked less over games I liked more, all the time. Goldeneye might be one of the first 5 games I ever played, I had plenty of hopeful notions at the thought of revisiting it, few survived the light of day. All in all I find it usually pretty easy to set aside arbitrary preferences, which allows for greater appreciation of these products.
@ChongLiVsTongPo I'm glad you're enjoying it too. Gonna do a dance myself My wife's soviet born (just barely) of Russian decent, so I like soviets dancing, lol.
Actually, while playing it now, she asked me about the game, and I'm like "yeah, so, I have to sneak around and shoot all these guys". She: "they look like russians". Me: "uhm, yeah, never thought about that, what a coincidence".
@ChongLiVsTongPo I didn't know about this "holding r2 to enable c buttons" trick. I remapped the buttons in the switch system to permanently be the directional buttons (which is the c button in the emulator).
haha, "sassy." I like that! I hope I earned it. 😊
I think we have different ideas of what it means to "enjoy" a game.
"All in all I find it usually pretty easy to set aside arbitrary preferences, which allows for greater appreciation of these products."
why would you "set aside" your own preferences in order to "appreciate" a game? don't you "prefer" to "appreciate" it? what is so "arbitrary" about having "preferences?" are there things to "appreciate" about a game that are contrary to your "preferences?" maybe you should "arbitrarily" change your "preferences," to match what you "appreciate?"
we like what we like, and if a reviewer scores a game lower than how they actually feel about a game, because they are trying to keep their "arbitrary preferences" out of it, who does that serve?
there is no game that is "objectively" a 10, so the score itself is arbitrary in the first place. the review is just a way for the reviewer to share how they feel about a game! in this case, the reviewer felt it deserves an 8! if you wonder why, read the text!
I am sorry that goldeneye didn't live up to your expectations, I know how that is. I can't tell if I am just extremely tolerant about idiosyncrasies, or I I just have lower expectations than some, but I love revisiting old games! even if the genre has come a long way.
thanks for weighing in! Im checking out your channel now! ☺️👍
@-wc- you can expand your preferences by looking past your immediate preferences, Moreover I find reviewing & having fun with a game are related but not entirely the same, the other guy & I are the same person btw.
I would say, once you have "looked past" your immediate preferences, aren't the expanded preferences you find, now your preferences? or not, as the case may be?
I just don't understand the distinction between arbitrary preferences, immediate preferences, and expanded preferences. maybe it's because I'm an old man, and I know very well by now what I like, with regards to videogames? I just have "preferences," which may and do evolve over time
it sounds like you are saying, "push yourself to try new things because you might like it," which I can't help but agree! 👍
ps - I haven't checked the channel, but I will!
@HeeHo gonna respond to my buddy later but this particular comment really caught me in a bad way. Very unnerving when you think about how placated and dumbed down a person becomes throughout their life to become blatantly offended by their past, and the idea of putting any slight effort into having fun. Really scares me. The idea of games aging poorly is one of the most embarrassing aspects of our culture. Imagine someone from a film or music background talking about classics that way? Normal people look at gamers like weirdos for a reason.
@-wc- the end statement is essentially the sum of it, though its a matter of constant re-evaluting, & that re-evaluating might serve to lessen games that you previously liked, which is a possible but necessary casualty of refining one’s taste.
worth noting that if you have 3rd party joycons (as i do, due to joycon drift issues with my original ones) you cannot remap the controls on the switch
This game looks like Perfect Dark. Ofcourse it is a good game. Perfect Dark is the best shooting game ever.
And there it is.
The issue is that we have an entire generation of gamers who did not -refine- their taste, but did the opposite. GoldenEye can be someone else's casualty though because I'm pretty sure the history books will show it for the undeniable gift it is.
I mean it is hard to believe someone has not played the game but you typed this like you've genuinely never played it, or really really just don't understand it.
@demacho Lol, respectfully disagree. Controls are horrid. They got it right for Doom and Doom II on switch. Nintendo couldn’t get off their butts and give the game standard twin stick controls? Zelda and Mario are unplayable too.
I keep trying these N64 titles on NSO, giving them a second chance. They’re as unplayable as they were when they first came out.
@robr did you ever play any of those games when they were first released? I'm not saying the nostalgia is the big factor (although it helps) but being familiar with how the games were originally designed to control is. even playing with the switch n64 controller for a while might give you a better idea of how to approach the switch layout controls.
this being said, i think you and i probably agree that the inability to remap buttons at all within the nso n64 application is unacceptable
Yes, I did. As you can imagine, i was a real hit at Goldeneye parties. :0
In my opinion, developers hadn't figured out how to implement controls in 3D games at that point. The audience all looked like someone playing a video game for the first time: running in circles and into walls. I look back at early 3D as a shell shocked and traumatised victim of some sort of vile human test trial.
I actually missed out on the popularization of twin stick controls. I skipped the oughts and teens. When I first encountered modern 3D controls as a greyed and bald old man; I cried a bit. "They did it.". :0
@ChongLiVsTongPo serendipitous that u replied to both of my accounts. At this given time I’m probably more in the know about N64 titles than 99 percent of people in this comment section. That’s why I know that in Goldeneye you can be shot by guards who
Haven’t rendered in (so you can’t fire back), I know that the statue lvl is garbage, & I know that the 2nd surface level is close behind, just as I know that the depot level is almost as confusing as both aforementioned levels in its layout. I know that the stealth is so nonviable that agro-ing guards is usually the best course of action. I know that the multiplayer is still fun enough but it’s not masterclass by any means, it’s more amusing in than anything else, as are plenty of elements in the game. I like certain things about the game, I like the final boss in that it’s do or die at the very end, I like the facility level & the dam level & the frigate level as they designed with some complexity but are logical & I like other things too. However the N64 controller interface never benefitted the fps genre, at least not sustainably (the Turoks, TWINE, Perfect Dark, some other game I forget I played, all subpar to the following generation). There were far better games prior to Goldeneye, & during , as well as after. It will benefit you to refrain (reframe?) from making the “you clearly didn’t play it” remark or one like it.
Greatly superior Wii motion controls + Better graphics + Automatic loadout and the reasonable ability to shoot Oddjob in multiplayer > Better level design = Play the Goldeneye Wii-make instead.
@andyg1412 To be fair, a remake is a re-imagining, otherwise it would just be a remaster. You need to approach the Wii version as such, particularly the much better the motion controls.
@EVIL-C Considering how great most Call Of Duty games are, a shameless Call of Duty clone is also a great game, not a piece of c*** at all. It just relies a little too heavily on stealth without actually being a stealth game.
Besides, the excellent motion controls alone make it the superior game compared to the original version.
@BulbasaurusRex No way in hell is Goldeneye 2010 better than the original. It barely had any stealth at all, it's mostly a mindless run-and-gun COD clone, that was my original critique.
one has to like COD to get significant enjoyment out of that style of game, and as I'm someone who's never enjoyed a COD game, Goldeneye 2010 was a big disappointment. The only aspect I did like the wiimote aiming, since other games did that really well and proved it was a fun way to play shooters; IE: MP3/Trilogy, Conduit, MOH:H2, etc..
COD and the COD design framework needs to die, and the FPS genre is long overdue for a renaissance.
@dkxcalibur Yeah, I agree that the 32/64 bit generation hasn't aged well in general. That's what happens when you go from a generation that basically perfected 2D gaming to a generation that pioneered 3D gaming and basically had to either build the mechanics from scratch through trial and error or just left a lot of good ideas for 3D gameplay on the cutting room floor (until the following generation or even later) due to excessive hardware limitations.
@EVIL-C Run and gun? Are we even talking about the same game?! I tried more of a run and gun style at first like I was playing a "Conduit" game, and I kept dying quickly due to my lack of health and the terrible accuracy when shooting from the hip.
I had to take it slowly and stop to snipe enemies from relatively far away using my sights before they could get too many shots off on me. Then once I got inside a building, I had to stop and look quickly around corners to check for enemies before I was comfortable continuing on to an empty hall or pulling back to get prepared to once again shoot the enemies down quickly, sometimes once again needing to stop and aim through my sights. I wish it was more of a run and gun!
Even if it was a run and gun, most FPS fans think Call of Duty games are great games and not mindless at all, so like I said your critique doesn't make much sense. The design framework by no means needs to die, just adjusted to use a more organic approach to level design like the original Goldeneye did, the one big advantage the original game does have.
Yep, all other FPS controls schemes except mouse and keyboard suck compared to proper motion-controlled shooting, and even the Switch screwed that up by not including a sensor bar. As I said, even if you don't like the rest of what the remake did, those controls alone are enough to make it the superior game.
@BulbasaurusRex Clearly you like COD, I don't. The games are 💩 to me.
GoldenEye actually makes the player feel like a spy. GE 2010 throws endless enemies at the player, occasionally requiring use of Bond's phone for some rudimentary stealth/spy element. The 2010 controls alone do not make up for the superior level and objective design of the original GoldenEye.
@BulbasaurusRex I agree 100%. The games that haven't aged well were also some of the most influential games in the history of video games. I don't really enjoy playing Mario 64 these days, but when that came out, and I played it for the first time, my head exploded! Same with Goldeneye. Ocarina took that head explosion to nuclear levels!
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