For the sake of this article you could probably say that there are two categories of gamers in the world, those who played GoldenEye 007 on the N64 back in 1997, and those who didn’t. Regardless of which category you fall into, GoldenEye 007 may appeal to you since the developers are seeking to draw in a new audience while still keeping the nostalgia that fans of the franchise harbour intact.
It’s a delicate balancing act, one that no doubt has provided developer Eurocom with many challenges along the way. But judging by the authentic James Bond gameplay experience that we enjoyed at a behind closed doors presentation at gamescom recently, they’ve done a pretty good job of striking the balance just right and building a foundation for a really action-packed adventure that features the more lethal and gritty style of Daniel Craig’s James Bond.
GoldenEye 007 is a first-person shooter for the Wii, an enhanced remake of the N64 game, both of which are based on the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye, which incidentally was the 17th film in the spy series and the first to star Pierce Brosnan as M16 with Judi Dench becoming the first woman to portray the character M.
We had the pleasure of chatting with Graham Hagmeier, Co-ordinator of the project, and Dawn Pinkney, Producer on the title, about GoldenEye 007 as well as witnessing some gameplay and then getting a chance to test the multiplayer out.
Hagmeier took us through a single player level of the game in the jungle. The first thing you’ll notice about the game is that the narrative has been updated so Daniel Craig voices Bond while Judi Dench reprises her role as M. Eurocom has obviously gone to a lot of effort to ensure that gamers will enjoy that authentic 007 experience, they also brought in David Arnold, the original composer, to be in charge of the music while the original writer, Bruce Feirstein, updated the script. The efforts really stand out and help to create an immersive experience for the player.
The level kicks off with Bond crashing in a helicopter in the jungle. It’s evident right from the start that you can employ two different methods of gameplay in the game. You can either sneak around covertly and pick enemies off quietly with silenced weaponry, or you can run in guns blazing, alert more troops and engage in explosive firefights. The game is thereby tailored to appeal to two different kinds of gamers and it’s pretty effective in making this work, with dynamic scenarios depending on how you react to a situation.
For example, if you fail a covert operation more troops will be alerted and a firefight will erupt, with elite troops being deployed by helicopter to reinforce the area and make your job more difficult…or fun, depending on which way you look at it. It obviously also increases the replayability factor, as does the fact that there are different paths through the environment, each with different amounts of guards.
There’s also some tech involved and you can look forward to hacking the drone units with your iPhone ‒ this is Bond after all so we do expect a few gadgets along the way! The drone units can be turned against the enemy so it’s a good idea to hone your hacking skills early on.
The game will feature four player split-screen as well as eight player online multiplayer options, complete with unique modes as well as a ranking system to get unlockables such as perks and weapons. We got to test the split-screen out using standard FPS-like controls with the Classic Controller Pro, but you can also play using the Wii Remote and Nunchuk if you like.
You’ll be able to choose from 40 different characters and villains from the Bond universe, including eight classic Bond characters such as Jaws, Oddjob and Scaramanga. You can then engage the enemy on five maps in three different games modes (Paintball, Melee Only and You Only Live Twice) but of course you can change your gameplay experience vastly thanks to the 17 game modifiers and 25 different weapons available.
It was definitely great fun running around the map, sneaking up behind the other players to take them out and experiencing the trademark 007 blood seeping down your screen when you die. The game ran smoothly and the control system worked well too. The game also boasts a pretty effective cover system and quick-vault system which makes jumping onto and over obstacles relatively simple.
Overall Eurocom have succeeded in creating an authentic James Bond experience and a worthy successor to GoldenEye 007 on the N64. We look forward to enjoying more Bond action when GoldenEye 007 launches for the Wii on the 2nd of November across North America and on the 5th of November in Europe.