Review by JoeB_91
Rare redefined the FPS Genre
In 1995 the first Bond movie with Pierce Brosnan titled "Goldeneye" was released. Two years later, Rare became a household name when they redefined the FPS genre, and became one of the few developers who made a game based on a movie that did not suck. Most people cannot think of FPS games without thinking of this game, and I am certain that Goldeneye was the Halo of its generation.
Goldeneye has almost the same exact story as the movie [as most movie-games do], but that does not stop it from being good.
Everything starts off in the mid 1980's as you [playing as James Bond of course] are infiltrating a Dam to find the weapons facility hidden inside, and you have help from fellow MI6 agent Alec Trevelyan as you try to destroy the facility. But as you prepare to destroy it, you are ambushed and Colonel Ourumov kills Alec, and you have to escape by flying a plane out.
For the rest of the game, you wind up working with Natalya, one of the people who worked in Severnaya, Russia as a satellite controller. And you wind up going against the criminal syndicate Janus, and your goal is to stop them from using Goldeneye.
Now, I just covered small things because I do not want to reveal the entire story in case there is anyone reading this who has not played the game. But the story is really good, and it feels like you are in the movie.
What a difference this is from Doom, Quake, and Dark Forces, instead of the run-and-gun kill everything style gameplay those three games employed, Goldeneye employs stealth based gameplay. Sure, in the easier modes you can go into an area filled with enemies and land headshot after headshot and be on your way, but in the tougher difficulties you need to find discreet ways to kill them, or you are dead. There are also things like bullets that can penetrate doors, scopes, and silencers on several weapons to assist you in this.
The missions are also objective based; you are usually given several tasks that you need to complete before you finish the level. And the amount of tasks that you have to do is increased as a way of making the game more challenging.
I also think that the Campaign is one of the best I have ever seen in a video game, and few games are able to pull off something like this. Sure, Call of Duty 4, and Halo are good games, but you are just going from one point to another shooting whatever is in your way. But in Goldeneye even though it is a similar format to the other games, you are still doing something besides going from point A to point B. Besides, this is one of the few times where a movie has been realistically adapted into a video game that was actually good. And I actually enjoyed the campaign more than the movie.
There is also one other good feature in this game; you care capable of doing levels in a certain time limit/difficulty in order to unlock a cheat code that can change the game around. You can get weapons, change the graphics around, or make everything faster/slower. It is a good way to increase replay value, I'll give them that.
I will say the same thing I said about Perfect Dark for this section. If you want to just beat the game on easy and go into Multiplayer then you won't have to work very hard. But if you intend to get everything then its gonna take a while. On the "easy" difficulty, the AI is really easy to take down, and there aren't many objectives. But you bump up the difficulty and the AI gets a better aim, you have less ammo, and you have more work to do. I think that qualifies as a damn good challenge, especially to someone who would not be used to the stealthy gameplay.
One of the tough things about making a good console FPS is that the controls are vastly inferior to the mouse and keyboard setup you have on the Computer, but Rare showed everyone just how you are supposed to do it on the Nintendo 64.
There are several different controls, but I found that the one where the C buttons let you move, and the Control Stick lets you aim was the most efficient [and because I am used to the dual control stick method of the newer games], and the easiest to use. And moving Bond around is easy enough, you can aim really well with the controls [and if you suck there is auto aim], and if you can find a N64 Gamepad where the stick is not screwed up like mine is, you should have no problem with the controls.
Goldeneye had some of the best graphics that I have ever seen at the time it came out. The environments from the movie, and several of the characters were recreated very well, and their faces look like they were applied by taking a picture and mapping it over the head polygons like you can in the first Sims game. I was amazed at how well almost everything from the movie was recreated, and expanded upon in this game. I myself have spent a lot of time just looking at the little details that were put into some of these levels to make them look even more realistic. The weapons were also very well designed, and closely resembled their real life counterparts.
The only problem with the graphics in my mind is that there are some glitches that can screw with the graphics, and the frame rate can go down a lot sometimes.
Like most games made by Rare this one sounds really good. The weapons sound good [I love that sound that the Klobb makes, and the buzzsaw sound that the RCP-90 makes is the sound I think of whenever I see a P-90 in a video game], and the score is brilliantly done.
Unfortunately, there is very little voice over work done, even though some other games like Star Fox 64 had this. I am certain that it was not included because Goldeneye was a big game, but I just wish that I could of heard more than Bond, or the other people you are shooting at grunting and screaming as they are shot.
As I said above, this game recreates the movie very well, and you feel like you really are James Bond. The stealthy style of the game works, and the music sets the tone for the levels whenever you hear it.
This is why people still play the game. Even though this was added late into the game, it became the standard for split-screen Multiplayer.
You are capable of selecting several of the characters from the game, and going into different levels that have several different modes and weapon setups that you can play with.
I have spent so much time just playing in the multiplayer mode of this game. I learned the levels, the weapon spawn points, and the best places that I could snipe from. And even though I have played brilliant games like Call of Duty 4, and Halo 3 online, I still come back to this because of how fun it is to just get 4 people on a couch and start blowing the hell out of each other.
Beating all of the difficulties, cheat codes, multiplayer. What the hell isn't in this game to keep you from replaying it?
One of the few good adaptions of a movie to a game, brilliant single player and multiplayer modes, incredible graphics, redefined the FPS genre and continues to influence games today.
Completely archaic by todays standards, slow frame rate, no voice overs.
Should you get it:
I would highly advise you to buy this game if you can find a copy of it just so you can experience the game that redefined the entire FPS genre.
I would also recommend checking out the spiritual sequel to this game Perfect Dark that improved on Goldeneye in almost every way, and its prequel Perfect Dark Zero on the Xbox 360. Also, people who worked on Goldeneye are also at Free Radical now, and you should check out their TimeSplitters series.
Goldeneye redefined the genre, and helped Rare become the legendary developer that they are today, and I still believe that it is because of them that the Nintendo 64 survived against the Playstation as long as it did. Almost everyone who has played Goldeneye loved it, and I think that the only people now who would hate it are the people who only want to play games where you go across a set path blowing up whatever is in your way.
Product Release: GoldenEye 007 (US, 08/25/97)
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