Ask any gamer for a list of their favorite FPS titles and you shouldn’t be surprised to see Goldeneye in the top 3. It was a revolutionary gaming experience for it’s time and set the standards for many of the shooters we play today. Its analog control was precise, its level design was nearly perfect and its 2-4 multiplayer experience was responsible for many failed relationships and term papers. The only problem with the game is it did not pass the test of time, but that’s where Activision, Eurocom and Nintendo come in.
Since the release of the Nintendo Wii, gamers have been pleading with Nintendo to make the original Goldeneye for N64 available on Virtual Console. But with the dated control system and rumored rights issue with Rare, they took it one step further and gave the green light to re-create the classic shooter on Wii. The result is a stunning gaming experience that like its predecessor is the greatest shooter available on its console.
The controls in Goldeneye are one of the best available for any game on the Wii. To start you have the option of using the Wii-remote with Nunchuk, Gamecube controller, Wii-classic controller and Wii-Classic Pro controller. You’ll find several effective pre-set button layouts for all 4 controllers to chose from in addition to analog movement and tank control options. The most effective controller is a personal preference, but all of them work extremely well so gamers should have little to complain about.
While the Wii is not capable of displaying the high-end graphics we’ve been accustom to with todays top shooters, Goldeneye does an impressive job with what it has available. Other than an occasional frame skip, the game runs smoothly with an impressive range of textures, models and overall visual design. Every level has a unique look and feel that keeps the game feeling fresh and new while you progress.
Though the game has a classic feel the gameplay has a more modern design. The targeting system took the popular rout with an auto targeting system. Tap the zoom button to auto-target the nearest enemy in range and fire away. Those looking for the classic point and shoot gameplay can disable auto-targeting in the options. Slow-motion target effects are also placed throughout the game in key situations in addition to vehicle control. These might sound gimmicky but it works extremely well to break up the action. Most of the classic weapons (K47, P90, Rocket Launcher) can be found throughout the game in addition to several new ones that will not disappoint.
One of the features that made the original game so compelling was the option to run into a room with the guns blazing or using stealth to take down one guy at a time. It gave the gamer a sense of control over how to play the game rather then being directed by pre-set mechanics. Thankfully those options still exist and have been taken to the next level with the new weapons and improved stealth system. You now have the ability to take out security cameras and enemies Solid-Snake style without alerting the nearby patrols. It works fairly well and other than a couple instances, is not required to play the game.
The single player campaign is one of the best experiences on the Wii and the multiplayer is not far behind. You have the option of 2-4 player split screen or online multiplayer matches. Most of the classic modes that made the original such a hit are present with the addition of several new features including an online XP system similar to that of modern day shooters.
While the game does a good job of capturing the style of the N64 version, it’s still original enough to stand on it’s own as one of the best shooters on the Wii. Bond is back and any gamer with a Wii should pick this one up.
A copy of GoldenEye was provided to us for this review from Activision.