Review by horror_spooky

Reviewed: 06/20/08

Bond. James Bond.

One of the reasons why I am such a huge James Bond fan now is due to this game. I remember playing this game as a little kid when it was first released for the Nintendo 64 and it is one of those few timeless classics that I still play to this day. Nobody dislikes this game, and I mean nobody. This game is the reason why first-person shooters got as popular as they did and I doubt that if GoldenEye was ever made then there would even be such a thing as Halo today. Not only did it provide amazing gameplay, though, it showed off what the Nintendo 64 was capable of and also proved that video games based on movies can still be good. In fact, they can be perfect. On top of all that, fans of the Bond universe can get stuff from the game as well as there are plenty of references to other James Bond films besides just GoldenEye.

First off, what makes this game great is that there each mission practically tosses you into a completely new location, offering exciting and rarely repetitive gameplay for practically every mission. There are four difficulty modes as well and they don’t just make the game harder. Oh no, in GoldenEye, playing on a harder difficulty mode means that you are awarded new objectives to complete in the missions, making the missions even more expansive.

These objectives aren’t very generic either and vary greatly throughout the game. Sure, some of the more annoying objectives maybe should have been excluded (like shooting out all of the security cameras in a level), but for the most part the game is well balanced.

Your health only shows up to block the screen when you are actually hit, but you can’t refill your health gauge. Instead, you can pick up some body armor in order to provide some extra protection, but some weapons can totally blow right through the body armor.

Speaking of weapons, GoldenEye has a large variety of ways to pick off your enemies. If you want to take the stealthy approach, a silenced pistol is at your disposal, but there are also some more imaginative weapons. Rocket launchers can be used in order to create massive fiery explosions that kill all who walk into the flames; a laser with unlimited ammo can make quick work of your foes; a golden gun is a one-hit kill wonder that can really make things exciting; land mines can be placed strategically to blow someone to hell; knives can be thrown at an enemies’ face to send them to a dishonorably demise; and, if you want to kill them in a more interesting way, karate chopping someone to death is always an option.

Gadgets made famous in the James Bond universe also make an appearance to take the gameplay up even ANOTHER notch. You can use your watch as a magnet to pick up keys or you can use it as a freaking laser.

Of course, even though the campaign is very solid, provides very memorable gameplay, includes unforgettable levels, and could earn a perfect score all by itself, the real reason that people are still playing this game to this day is the amazing multiplayer. GoldenEye created FPS multiplayer as we know it today and did it better than any other game ever. Sure, some people think Halo is amazing, but you don’t know a first-person shooter until you’ve played GoldenEye 007.

There are plenty of characters to choose from that are a part of the Bond universe, including fan favorites like Jaws and Oddjob, not to mention some more obscure villains from the other films. There are plenty of levels to choose from as well with their own hidden secrets, but the core gameplay is why you play right? Right, so let’s get to that, shall we?

Up to four players can play in a regular deathmatch mode which is worth the original price of the game alone. The other modes are named after various Bond films like You Only Live Twice, The Living Daylights, The Man with the Golden Gun, and License to Kill. In You Only Live Twice, just like the title implies, you only get two lives before you lose. Living Daylights is a game where you grab a flag and have to hold it the longest while The Man with the Golden Gun obviously revolves around the golden gun and the object is to be the first person to grab it so you can pick everyone else off with one shot. In License to Kill, everything kills everyone with one hit, and you can definitely have some fun with that one. There are various ways you can customize the modes and the multiplayer is the most amazing multiplayer I have ever seen in a video game to this day.

What mixes up the multiplayer even more is the availability of unlockable cheat codes that will definitely provide some laughs. You can make everyone have gigantic heads, for example, and I know the first time you see this you won’t be able to stop yourself from letting out a little chuckle or two.

Fans of the movie will be glad to learn that the game more or less follows the plot of the movie pretty faithfully. If you are unfamiliar with the plot, basically there is this new weapon called the GoldenEye that can take down any city in the world that uses electricity. With plenty of exciting moments and more twists than usual in a Bond escapade, GoldenEye proves to be a noteworthy narrative as both a film and a video game. If you are into spy stories, this is definitely a game for you.

Being a Nintendo 64 game, and an early one, it is no surprise that GoldenEye 007 isn’t the prettiest game in the world. However, the game’s ugliness only maximizes its charm and there are virtually no graphical glitches or lagging that makes the game unplayable at all. On top of all that, there can be quite a few enemies on screen at one time, which is an awesome thing for a Nintendo 64 game. Physics are nice as you can shoot individual TV screens or shoot helmets off of enemies. Depending on where you shoot someone, blood spots appear there, and this can get to the point that it’s simply hilarious. Bullet holes appear in the walls, but disappear eventually and plenty of mines can be placed without much problem, but they disappear, too. The environments aren’t that great looking, but there’s a lot going on, so the game can be excused for this, and while the character models aren’t the prettiest thing in the world, they are also pretty good for a gaming system from the fifth generation. Just imagine how great GoldenEye could look on a seventh generation console with updated physics and character models?

Those classic Bond tunes are front and center in GoldenEye and that pretty much guarantees the audio is awesome. With memorable sound effects still used in movies and games today, the audio in GoldenEye couldn’t get any better. Sure there isn’t any voice-acting, but who cares? At least this game based on a movie doesn’t blow like most do, and that is a blessing.

Let’s see…I first played this game around the time it came out about 11 or so years ago. I’m still playing this game today, so that should obviously tell you that this amazing, ground-breaking title will spend plenty of time in your Nintendo 64. The campaign is great fun, there’s some cheats to unlock from it, and four different difficulty modes that actually add some objectives besides just making the enemies smarter or something. The multiplayer could count as a game all by itself and still be better than almost any other game ever created, and that’s saying something. Ultimate replayability? You have it here.

For years and years and years I have played this game. Words cannot do this title justice and it is the one of the main reasons why I got so addicted to video games in the first place. I mean, just look at all the other scores from the other reviewers if you don’t believe me. This game is probably the only game on the site to receive no score lower than a nine and that is an amazing feat. There is nothing to hate here and any gamer can still squeeze some hours out of it. Nowadays when people think of first-person shooters they usually think of games like Halo 3 or Half-Life 2, but those games are nothing compared to this legendary shooter that amazed gamers everywhere and set the bar high for an entire console generation of first-person shooters. The name is Bond, James Bond, and I’m here to stay forever.

Rating: 10

Product Release: GoldenEye 007 (US, 08/25/97)

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