Review by Rogue_Agent
Reviewed: 12/14/15 | Updated: 02/24/16
So Good, it was remade twice.
In 1995, Irish actor Pierce Brosnan took the role of James Bond in his acclaimed first Bond film entitled "GoldenEye". At around the time, Rareware, had decided to make a video game for the Super Nintendo, that would follow the plot of the film. Then, it was decided, that the game would rather be put on the Nintendo 64. This game is the greatest First Person Shooter to be put on the Nintendo 64, and probably, the best game to date.
The Plot of The Game
The story starts out in 1986 (as it starts Nine years before the present, which was 1995 when the film took place), with James Bond 007 and fellow 00 Agent, Alec Trevelyan 006, on a mission to destroy a weapons facility with extreme prejudice. The mission goes horribly wrong, and it leads in Alec executed at the hands of General Arkady Ourumov, and Bond escaping, leaving the facility in ruins. Over the course of 9 years, Bond begins on a quest, and eventually, discovers a horrifying plan to wipe out London.
The game very wonderfully follows the story of the film. Although, there are changes. In the film, Bond had never visited Severnaya. There also wasn't a scene in a Silo. Some scenes were added to make the game more action oriented. Other than those, the game follows the story of the film perfectly.
The Game Play
As you may or may not know, this game is a First Person Shooter. So, you get to see the world throughout the eyes of the most famous spy in the world. Throughout the game, you will be in usually dangerous scenarios: Infiltration, Demolition, Hostage Situations, etc. As you make your way through the levels, you will have to complete a set of objectives. More objectives are added as the difficulty is raised, so on Agent mode, you may have 2 or so objectives. On 00 Agent mode, you'll have 4 or 5 to deal with. These objectives have to be completed to progress.
GoldenEye has an incredibly unique set up. When you take damage, two bars with show up on screen. The one on the left is the normal health bar. Once damage is taken, it cannot be in any way recovered. As you'd expect, once fully depleted, 007 is Killed in Action. The second bar is for Body Armor. This game be picked up to protect yourself. Unlike the health bar, this can be refilled, by picking up more armor.
Bond has an amazing arsenal of weapons in this game. The main weapon you usually have is the Walther PPK, renamed the PP7. There is both a regular edition and a Silenced one. There are about 20 more weapons, including fully functional Sniper Rifles (Usable Zoom and all), Rocket Launchers, Machine Guns, and even Bond series originals, like Scaramanga's famous Golden Gun, and Bond's Watch (there's two, one for detonating Mines, and the other with a laser).
The game, as you'd expect, has it's usual mix of enemies. These are just guards, sent all over the place, toting guns, and will fire on sight. While the variety isn't too amazing (most guards have the same AK-47, and rarely have different clothing), they should never be under estimated. On easy, they can be defeated easily. On hard, not so much. Enemies have different reactions when shot, mostly depending on where. If shot in the buttocks, they'll jump while holding them. If shot in the hand, they'll start grasping their hand in pain. The list goes on and on. However, enemies aren't too intelligent. If you spy at them inside a building through a window, they won't see you. If you're on a staircase, and behind a railing, if their not next to you, they won't notice you.
The control schemes are pretty good. There is a good deal of them. The "C" buttons make the character move, and the Control Stick makes you aim. Pressing "A" lets you change to the next weapon, and holding "A" and pressing "Z" makes you go backwards. The "B" button is the action button, and is used for opening doors, as well as mission specific actions. The game has two different way of aiming. The first was just mentioned, and the second, is hold The "L" or "R" buttons, and a Target appears. You use the Control Stick to move it, to make more accurate shots. They can take a bit of time to get used to, but they eventually grow on you.
While in 2015 these graphics are quite obviously outdated, back in this game's heyday this was pretty amazing. The game captured Pierce Brosnan's likeness pretty well, and managed not to make it too much like previous actors, like Sean Connery or Timothy Dalton. The likenesses of Sean Bean (006), Izabella Scorupco (Natalya Simonova) and others were done magnificently. Another good example of attention to detail, is that James Bond, in several scenarios, has been given a new outfit. Camouflage, A White Jacket and Pants, A Tuxedo, etc.
Another cool thing is the levels. The developers had apparently explored the sets of the film, so the game can have as accurate a location as possible. Levels like Bunker, Dam, Facility, and Frigate look exactly like their film counterparts. However, the level design, on the first play through, is incredibly confusing. Some levels are so huge, the player can get lost very quickly and easily. Although, they aren't like a city, so they eventually become easy to navigate through.
The Difficulty is perfect. If you have gotten used to the levels and know your way around every corner, this can be done somewhat easily. There are 3 main difficulties, each with their own set of objectives for each mission. Agent, Secret Agent, and 00 Agent. After 00 Agent is complete, 007 Mode is unlocked, where you can set the Statistics for the enemies (Health, Damage, Accuracy). As you progress, enemies will get even deadlier and more accurate, Body Armor will become more scarce, enemies won't drop as much ammo, and objectives are harder. This can give even am experienced player a challenge.
The Music and The Sound
Both amazing. The music, is probably Rareware's finest job. When the game starts, you see the famous Gun Barrel opening (which was in every film until Skyfall), and hear Rare's version of the famous James Bond theme. One can never really get sick of it. The in game music is pretty fantastic. Each level has it's own music track, and even a couple multiplayer exclusive ones. They fit in for every situation, Excitement, Stealth, etc. The music doesn't loop too quickly, which is fantastic. The sound isn't that far behind either. There is one problem. No voice acting. Everything is said by text. While this is forgivable, it is a disappointment. The sound effects, are amazing. Every gun has it's own sound effects (though there are few exceptions), and enemies make their usually funny noises of pain when attacked. Every sound is pretty realistic sounding, and never get tiring.
While many games from 10 years (or more, in this case) usually don't ever age as well as we had hoped, this game is still very fun to play. Yes, it has some frame rate issues in comparison to today's games, but it's not too bad. GoldenEye 007 is still a solid First Person Shooter to play. If you haven't played it, you should give it a try. I give GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64 10 / 10.
Product Release: GoldenEye 007 (US, 08/25/97)
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