Goldeneye 007: RETROspective

written by Incognito


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In a time of remaster that and remake this and reboot those, its starting to feel like nostalgia is the only thing keeping gaming alive. I mean, hell, even this game had a shitty remake. Or was it a reboot? I have no idea what you would want to call it but it surely missed the point; A remake is suppose to enhance the feelings you got when you played the original game while simultaneously keeping the same art direction and feel. Goldeneye 007: Reloaded felt more like a underwhelming Call of Duty simulator than it ever felt like its predecessor. Goldeneye 007 is one of those rare titles that stood the test of time and is still being discussed 4 console generations later. I told myself I wouldn’t be making “Rare” jokes in this one, and I failed already. That low hanging fruit was just way too damn easy. With all its critical praise over the years can we really say this game is a masterpiece that stood the test of time?

Regarded as one of the best First-Person shooters of all time, Goldeneye 007 is a movie adaptation of well, 1995’s Goldeneye. It was released for the Nintendo 64 in August 1997 two years later. Originally it was set to be released on the Super Nintendo as a rail shooter, like the Time Crisis Series. Can you believe that? The team over at Rare demanded it be slotted for Nintendo’s next generation of console and so the development began. At the time there weren’t many first-person shooters around let alone many on consoles. Aside from the Doom 64 port here and the Duke Nukem port there it was a dry market. So much so that the term “first-person shooter” had not even been decided for the genre. They would call those games “Doom Clones” instead. Goldeneye 64 is in a league of its own. Where most “Doom Clones” of its time were just mindless shooters where you killed enemies to get a key card to get a better weapon to kill more enemies to get to the boss to kill more enemies to get better weapons to find a key card to unlock a door to kill more enemies to get better weapons. You see where I am going. It was just a cycle of the same garbage. There was no real story no real objective: Goldeneye changed that. With a huge arsenal of weapons from pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, grenades, throwing knives, and the ever so elusive Golden PP7 you can imagine how many different ways you could attack your objective. For the first time you truly were not playing a linear shooter. The game offered expansive free-roaming 3D levels with increasingly difficult objectives the higher you put the difficulty. Who would have thought? Stealth is a significant element of gameplay; frequent gunfire could alert distant guards, and activated alarms can trigger infinitely-respawning enemies. Therefore, to avoid gunfights with numerous opponents, it is advantageous of the player to eliminate soldiers and security cameras before they spot or hear the player. Plenty of weapons had suppressor or telescopic sight attachments to help the player in keeping that stealth element alive.

The most important mode and quite frankly the mode everyone remembers most fondly is the multiplayer mode. Three of your best friends all battling each other in one of the many maps the game had to offer it was just a grand time. Of course if no one picked that damned Odd-Job as their character. I mean honestly COME ON how did Rare not think that someone was gonna abuse him. He is a whole foot if not 2 feet shorter than everyone, so you can barely hit him even if you do aim properly.


Rants aside, the multiplayer added infinite hours of fun to the game. Remember how I said there were higher difficulties in the single player with harder objectives? Well those just weren’t there to make you break controllers. If you completed those tasks you would unlock maps, characters, guns, modes, and cheats for the multiplayer. You would unlock everything from paintball mode to big head mode. I mean some of the most fun I had was when I finally unlocked the license to kill mode which made the multiplayer hard core. In license to kill mode everything was a one shot kill, and that included being karate chopped at any time by that DAMNED ODD-JOB! Who am I kidding, I was like 6 when my brothers let me play with them, of course I picked Odd-Job. I identified most with the little guy.


So it would seem this game had everything and that it shaped the future for gaming. Goldeneye set the standard for most shooters you see today, but the real question is can I recommend this game? And does it truly hold up to the standard we see today? Well as unpopular of an opinion as this may be, I don’t think it does. In its Nintendo 64 state, the game was riddled with technical problems. From shoddy frame rates to absolutely appalling resolutions, so low that you are getting killed by enemies that you can’t even see. This game in my eyes is heavily shrouded behind those powerful nostalgia goggles. Don’t get me wrong, it was a wonderful masterpiece of its time. However, go back today and try to play it. It’s like trying to teach a snake to play fetch, eventually you might get the job done but you just feel like it’s a lack luster waste of time. In its original state Goldeneye 64 has been objectively obliterated by the passage of time. Fear not though, I do believe this is one hell of a good game, and with fan support this game has been redeemed for me. With an emulator and some mods to go along with it you can play Goldeneye 64 in a much better state. Higher resolutions, higher frame rate and even keyboard and mouse support make this turd polish into that beautiful diamond I remember it to be. These first person shooters were not meant to be played on console with a controller. You can play games like Timesplitters and Perfect Dark with these same tools and it completely refreshes the game into a new era.

Goldeneye was a revolution of its time and it completely changed the game, for lack of better words. I love this game. It brings back so many memories. It is a marvel, there is no denying it. Goldeneye could and is better than some of today’s modern shooters in some aspects. The story was great and the freedom the player was given, both made this an outstanding title. These are things I see lacking in the modern space. While I don’t think the technical aspects of this game hold up to today’s standards, I do still believe this game to be a masterpiece. The fun I had even replaying it today just doesn’t stack up to the modern experience of a first person shooter. I give Goldeneye 007 for the Nintendo 64 my RETRO Seal Of Approval.




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