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GoldenEye 007

Rated T for Teen

Platform:

Nintendo 64 (N64)

Publisher:

Nintendo

Developer:

Rare

Released:

August 1997

ROM Size:

96 megabits

Players:

One to Four Simultaneous

Genre:

3D Action/Shooter

Save:

Cartridge (4 slots)

Optional:

Rumble Pak

 

 

> Final Rating: 4.8 out of 5.0

Introduction

Much like Rare's other recent effort, Blast Corps, GoldenEye 007 is a pleasant surprise that is well worth the wait. Being the best movie-to-game translation ever, GoldenEye 007 lets you assume the role of James Bond. Unlike other first-person shooters, though, this is not a "kill everything in sight" kind of game.

Gameplay & Control

What separates GoldenEye 007 from the other games in its genre are the spying elements and the different mission objectives. Depending on which difficulty level is chosen, a number of objectives must be completed before moving on. For example, let's look at the objectives of the first level. On the Agent (easy) level, the only objective is to "Bungee jump from platform." On the Secret Agent (medium) level, you must do that and "Neutralize all alarms." On the 00 Agent (hard) level, you have to complete both of those tasks and "Install covert modem" and "Intercept data backup." Furthermore, spying elements actually come into play. Failing to take out security cameras will sound off an alarm if spotted, or using a high-powered noise maker, such as a rifle, will have numerous guards coming after you.

 

These little touches only help to bolster the game's play mechanics, longevity and fun factor. However, in my opinion, there are some discrepancies in the level design. For instance, I believe the first half of GoldenEye 007 is incredible. But as soon as I hit Statue Park, the game started to go downhill a little. Although it is obviously following the movie, I started to get frustrated at some of the level designs, particularly those which are dark. I also wish the sniper rifle would be used more after the first several levels. This doesn't bring down the game that much, though; in fact, some may even appreciate the added challenge and variety. I also should note that the game picks up again toward the end.

 

Control in GoldenEye 007 is rewarding and precise—that is, once you get used to it. There are several different control schemes, everything from a Turok-like scheme to a Mario 64-like scheme to a scheme with two controllers. With the control, you have the ability to shoot, switch between weapons, zoom in on a target, open doors, etc. Unfortunately, there is no jumping in the game. Although it wouldn't really be necessary in the regular mission mode, it would have made the multi-player mode better if you could jump down and surprise someone or take a shortcut from higher ground. The game features Rumble Pak support, too, but it's not as impressive as, say, MRC or Star Fox 64.

 

And just how good is the multi-player mode, after all? Well, it's obviously not on the same level as a networked computer game because of the smaller screens and the ability to see each other, but it's still the best four-player game on the N64 (as of this review). Rather than being an afterthought, it's easy to tell that some planning was actually put into the mode. For instance, the multi-player boards were specially designed for deathmatch action. In addition, there are tons of options to tweak to keep the mayhem fresh. It's so much fun.

Graphics & Sound

Aesthetically, GoldenEye 007 looks fantastic. First of all, fog in the game is virtually non-existent. Second of all, the character animation is fabulous; characters will clutch where they've been shot and will die in numerous ways. Third of all, there are texture-mapped faces on the characters that give the game even more personality. On the other hand, the game does slow down at times, though this is not a big problem, and there are some clipping problems in which a character's gun will appear through a door. Despite these shortcomings, GoldenEye 007 is arguably the best-looking game on the system so far.

 

The use of sound also helps to escalate the GoldenEye 007 experience. Even though the background music is all based on the Bond theme, it's nowhere near as repetitive as one might think. The sound effects fit the game very well, too. Hey, you might even get nervous from hearing doors opening and closing in the distance. About the only thing GoldenEye 007 is missing in this department is voice.

Conclusion

Despite its quite untimely release, GoldenEye 007 is, without a doubt, one of the best games ever made. There's something for everyone here. With the numerous objectives and difficulty levels, the one-player mode has enough replay value to keep even seasoned veterans happy for some time. And the four-player deathmatch will certainly keep you and your friends glued to the TV. While the game has a few minor faults, they can be easily overlooked. In fact, the most disappointing thing about GoldenEye 007 is the lack of copious amounts of blood. But hey, Nintendo wanted to make sure the game got a "Teen" rating. And when a game is this good, I can certainly live without it.

 

Graphics:

4.8

Sound:

4.5

Control:

4.4

Gameplay:

4.8

Lastability

4.9

OVERALL:

4.8

 

DOWN THE ROAD

Wow. What a game. This might, in fact, even be a case of when I didn't talk up a game enough. GoldenEye 007 is easily one of the 10 best games ever made. It has one of the best single-player modes and one of the best multi-player modes of all-time. How can you get much better than this? There is tremendous replay value not only in the multi-player deathmatch but in the single-player mission as well. I'm afraid I can't say much else other than every gamer needs this game in his or her library.

 

Review by: Scott McCall

First Reviewed: September 10, 1997

Appendix Added: December 6, 1997

 

 

 

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