GoldenEye 007 – N64
Platform: Nintendo 64
Release Date (NA): August 25, 1997
Genre: First Person Shooter
Nerd Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Reviewed by Dovahkyle
Well, I am finally getting around to this one, the first FPS I have ever played, besides DOOM, but this game was actually good. My parents wouldn’t let me own this game, because there was realistic blood (ha, maybe for its time), but they were right to protect their young children. Anyhow I was allowed to play it at my cousin’s house, so I did, every chance I got, this game was easily the Halo of its time.
Forget being able to hold 2 or 3 weapons at a time, how about as many as you can imagine? Grenade Launchers to Silenced PP7s, this game was loaded to the gills with tech and weapons typical of any of the great James Bond movies. The split screen multiplayer was a whole new world to us, as the only games we had played on the N64 before this were Super Mario 64 and Wave Race 64, which were both great titles in there own genres but the multiplayer in Goldeneye was at the top of it’s game.
Not to mention the in game cheat menu, this created many good times, like the Have All Guns, Infinite Ammo or Paintball Mode, I’ll dabble in these with greater detail later. But the real kicker was the difficulties, when the game is started, the player only has the choice to play through as “Agent” difficulty, once the game is completed, the “Secret Agent” difficulty is unlocked, then the “00 Agent” and “007”. These difficulties don’t simply make the game harder by pumping in more/tougher baddies, it was as if the AI for the enemies actually became more intelligent at higher levels.
Being that it’s a one player campaign mode (come on James Bond works alone) we did allot of win/die trade off to beat the game. This was great when we started getting to the higher difficulties as not only does the game become harder, but the mission becomes allot more elaborate, whereas on “Agent” the mission is to repel off a dam, on “00 Agent” the mission is to Neutralize all alarms, install covert modem and intercept data backups…then repel off the dam, so death was certain in some cases, and we actually became pretty good. I can’t however pick this game back up, because I have been reprogrammed by the dual joysticks and the single stick of the 64 controller just doesn’t do it for me anymore.
As James Bond the player will complete linear, mission based levels, with multiple objectives. There is no freedom to move outside of the mission zone, but there are sometimes alternate ways of reaching the objectives, maybe through a small office or underground. The tactics of most of the missions are based on stealth, using silencers or sniper rifles to take out the enemies silently or even disabling alarms and security cameras can help.
The weapons are too many to count so I will just name a few, the game uses real guns, and just changes their names, and also some fictitious ones: PP7 Special Issue, modeled after the Walther PPK, this is the J.B. weapon of choice and sometimes is equipped with a silencer; DD44 Dostovei, modeled after the Tokarev and probably my favorite gun in the game, maybe it just has the illusion of being more powerful because it’s so stinking loud; Moonraker Laser, right out of the movies, this laser gun can shoot right through doors; AR33 Assault Rifle, obviously looks just like an M16A, this is a devastating fully automatic killer; and lastly the Phantom, modeled after the Spectre, this sub-machine gun is powerful and has a high capacity magazine. These are just a few of the gargantuan list of weapons available.
As for gadgets we have all kinds right out of Qs lab, again too many to list here, but here is a few: Camera, straight out of the movie Moonraker, this will be used a couple times to photograph important objectives; Plastique, oh yea buddy, C-4, time to blow the whole place up; Watch Magnet Attract, sounds just like what it does, right out of Live and Let Die, this watch can pull guns, keys and even ammo to the player; and the Watch Laser, this gadget is fun, not only is it used to cut off hinges of doors, but it can also be used as a weapon, booyah.
There are many games for multiplayer as well, up to four players on split screen, besides the normal deathmatch: You Only Live Twice, this gives each player the ability to die once, and the last man standing wins; License to Kill, one of my favorites, this causes each player to die from just one bullet; The Man with the Golden Gun, a single Golden PP7 is placed on the map and whoever finds it has the ability to kill the opponents in one shot; and The Living Daylights, this is essentially “Odd Ball” from the Halo series, where a single flag is placed and the person carrying the flag the longest wins, although this person cannot use any weapons while holding the flag.
The cheat menu, once this is unlocked, there are numerous cheats, too many to count, so here’s a few of the favorites: Have All Guns, this is pretty self explanatory, the player gets all guns; Infinite Ammo, yea no more scrounging for bullets or grenades; 2X “weapon of choice”, this cheat allows the player to duel wield a selection of guns; invincibility, uhh…I don’t think I need to explain this one; and my absolute favorite, Paintball Mode, really just makes different colored paint marks instead of bullet holes, pretty fun stuff.
The game closely follows the story of the movie, Goldeneye, as most James Bond games do. The slight variances to allow more in game content as typical for movie-to-game situations. Unlike most movie-to-games, the James Bond series never disappoints, I love them, not just First Person Shooters, but stealth, gadgetry, and actual thinking is required to complete missions. The movie was not one of my favorites, but the game was it’s redemption for sure.
Stupid N64 controllers, my God, I hate these things, as The Cubist noted in his article of Worst Controllers, I don’t have three hands people! Of course at the time the controllers were only comparable to the PS or Sega so they seemed cool because there was a joy stick. It definitely took some time to get used to (something which I don’t think I could do again), but I have so many good memories playing this title with my brother and cousins.
The graphics at the time just blew my mind, I couldn’t imagine how any game could get any more real. This was in ’98 so you can imagine what I had to compare it with. The “realistic” blood was really just red marks that would show up on the enemies clothes, but this was still too real for my Mother to allow. The music is classic James Bond tunes…the whole time, so if that theme song isn’t stuck in your head now, it will be after hours of this game.
I would have to give Goldeneye 007 a high replay score because of the difference in missions when difficulties are upgraded. Not to mention the multiplayer allows for non-stop fun with friends over and over again. I remember finishing the game, and then turning around and doing it again, the 007 mode lets the player set custom difficulties, like enemies are faster, tougher, weaker, etc… So the user could essentially play a different campaign every time.
My general assessment of this game is great memories. I know this doesn’t live up to the current 7th or 8th gen shooters, but this game was a turning point for me as before this title I was majorly a platformer and run and gun fan. Although the controls suck, I will someday have to force myself to relearn them so I can enjoy this classic FPS title once more.
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