17th November 2010 - Let me get this out in the open, when they announced they were making GoldenEye I danced the jig in my lounge room and celebrated like it was 1997, I imagined sleepless nights of playing against old roommates and friends. Yes I am a fan boy. I love GoldenEye and everything it did for the first person shooter genre. It is the long awaited reimagining of the Nintendo 64 classic for the Wii. Is this just a spit and polish on one of the best games of all time, or is it an update that is worthy of the full game price. The game is not a direct remake of its predecessor and is more of a nod to a classic, more aligned with the movie than the original game, not that there is anything wrong with that.
The gameplay of GoldenEye was always going to be the biggest question mark over the title. By not being a direct remake of the original it has allowed the developer to concentrate on making this story fresh for the old audience and relevant for the new one. It feels familiar but different at the same time that is probably due to the source material, there are only so many ways you can re-tell a movie story. The plot has changed slightly to accommodate the new version of Bond in Daniel Craig so I found myself playing through the story and still being intrigued by it. In my preview I said I wasn’t sure what to make of them not using Peirce Brosnan. I actually liked that they moved away from the old character model and used the new one. It helped with the freshness and new feel to the game. The level design is different, which is a good thing, as they are now a lot bigger and the levels take longer to complete. However you will find your self stopping and saying “Gee this looks a little bit familiar.” There are also some nice little touches such as the fly in at the start of the first level which is almost identical to the original. The game still uses the difficulty level to increase the amount of objectives you need to complete. I would probably prefer those objectives to be a little more prominent during the game either by telling me them at the start (similar to the original) or by making a list of all of them available on the smart phone. The smart phone also replaces the watch for as your lifeline back to MI6 and to upload photos and hacking into drone guns and other wireless points.
The controls are where I had some issues, it took me a while to find something that I was comfortable with and that had most stuff near where I wanted. This may be due to the huge amount of control types available. You can choose from the Wiimote and Nunchuk combination, the Classic, Classic Pro Controller, Wii Zapper or the GameCube controller. Personally I wasn’t a huge fan of the Wiimote option, but the Classic Pro controller to me just felt the best of the tested options. Maybe it is after all these years of playing with two sticks. But as a huge fan of the original and the way that it revolutionised how we use a controller maybe I was expecting something a little tighter. The way the controls work with the Wiimote and Nunchuk is that the stick on the nunchuk is used to move and to look around you must move the Wiimote pointer to the edge of the screen. I found this option to be erratic at best and quickly moved on.
Most of the weapons in GoldenEye are closely modelled on a real life gun. There names are close enough to know what they are talking about without causing legal issues. There is lots of variation in the weapons as you would expect with everything from pistols to automatic shotguns and sniper rifles to grenades. They all have there own strengths and weaknesses that are pretty much standard across the genre nowadays. What I did find enjoyable was trying to match all of the new weapons to the old ones and see how they compared. And yes there is proximity mines!!!
In GoldenEye there are two types of multiplayer, you get the now almost standard online play and in what I think is one of the best moves they have included a four player split screen which has its roots firmly set in the GoldenEye of old. The online mode is very good with a range of game types for single player and teams. What befuddles me though is the lack of voice chat, I will be honest and say that in the single player styles I didn’t miss it, but when playing a team game you need voice chat. All in all that is probably the biggest let down of the online multiplayer and is not really forgivable in this generation. The game uses a rank up system that is very similar to the Call of Duty system, so similar it might even be exactly the same. As with any online community it is only as strong as the people who are playing it. Hopefully it will keep a solid following for the coming months at least and maybe beyond given the lack of quality shooters on the Wii.
To test the split screen multiplayer I got a few mates around of varying degrees of skill (you know, so I would win). It is still a lot of fun, with the yelling and questioning of who just killed me. The biggest thing they all wanted me to bring peoples attention was the controls again, so it wasn’t just me who didn’t like them and I made a point of not letting my thoughts be known before letting them loose. I only have 1 Classic pro controller and there was almost a fight over who was going to use it. So I can see myself investing in 3 more of them just to even the playing field. It is good to see the accolades at the end of the rounds which are good for bragging rights in really tight matches.
As with any Wii title there will be questions about the graphics. Does it match up to the shooters on the HD consoles? Of course not. But the graphics are pretty good for a Wii game. There is however a graphic “feature” that when you are reloading a weapon the screen goes blurry. I found this to be a major annoyance. I am not sure why they did it if they did it on purpose or if it is a technical limitation of the Wii, but it bugged me. When the screen gets busy there can be a bit of slow down.
The sound is good and features all the right differences in weapon noise. There are a few spots where it does seem a little out of whack though. One such scene is in a nightclub with obviously loud music playing and I was shooting an AK47 and the sound level of it was drowned out probably a little too much. That is being picky though, but I did notice it at the time. There are however some really nice touches that are only possible on the Wii. During one of the levels your smart phone in the game rings and it actually rings through the speaker on the Wiimote and then M starts to talk and it only comes out of the Wiimote speaker and when reloading a weapon the same thing happens. It is little touches like this that make a huge difference and let you forgive some of the other very slight shortcomings.
All of the character voice recordings are top notch and it is good to see the developer use the proper big name actors in Daniel Craig and Judi Dench. It is an expense that is usually not reserved for Wii titles that aren’t current movie tie-ins.
As for Value, how do you put a cost on reliving your memories of being an 18 year old guy with a bunch of mates playing this? I picked it up for $99 including the gold Classic Pro controller (which is very good) so in my eyes it is great value.
This is a very solid title when compared against games across all systems, if you are purely a Wii gamer it is a must buy AAA title. If you are a fan of the previous incarnation it doesn’t matter what I say as you aren’t reading this as it will be taking up precious playing time. Heck I am wondering why I am writing this instead of playing it!!!
AAG SCORE: 9/10
- It is GoldenEye!!!!
- The multiplayer is a huge amount of fun
- Fairly polished with lots of little things and stuff for the fans
-The controller issues when using the Wiimote and Nunchuk
- No voice chat in online multiplayer
- Some of the Wii’s limitations are noticeable.
Reviewed and Written By Michael Brennan