Saturday, August 21, 2010

Revisiting GoldenEye 007

GoldenEye 007 is one of the rare first-person shooter games that I own for a console system. Oh, wow, I just made a pun and didn't realize it. How clever I am.

...But I digress. I am traditionally terrible at playing FPS games on console systems because my beautiful aim is hampered by holding down a button to go into targeting mode or needing to use two control sticks at once to move and look around (or in my case, spin around in circles and shoot my feet).

I almost won't play an FPS game unless I've got a keyboard and mouse in front of me, but GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64 has the perfect combination of elements for which I'll allow an exception.

GoldenEye is perhaps my favorite (and possibly first) James Bond movie. The N64 adaptation offers a wide variety of memorable weapons, gadgets, challenges, locations, enemies, destructable objects, ways to goof around, and bonus cheats. Who hasn't enjoyed decorating the walls with paintball splatters or mowing down thugs in the Facility with dual RC-P90s? And the multiplayer mode is legendary.

I'm horrific at the harder difficulty modes due to my lack of precision with console FPS games, but the game is otherwise so brilliant that I can't help but love it.

When I saw that GoldenEye 007 is being revamped for the Wii, I felt a surge of geek excitement that I haven't felt since at least the announcement of Mega Man 9. Strange, considering I'm not the world's biggest Bond fan and GoldenEye isn't a game I've ever thought of as one of my all-time favorites. However, seeing that one picture made my heart leap:

I've always been the kind of gamer to focus on the gameplay first and graphics last, but seeing that sweeping view of the first level brought back a flood of fond memories and helped me to instantly appreciate just how much I do love the game, even if I rarely dust it off anymore. The screenshot also, in some strange way, fulfilled a wish I've had since I first picked up Perfect Dark, another N64 game of the same ilk.

I always believed that Perfect Dark had the potential to blow away GoldenEye's multiplayer, if for no other reason than the incredible level of customizability. The one thing that held the game back was that the graphics were so complex for the time that the multiplayer was occasionally sluggish, and being able to identify friend from foe from ammo crate was often difficult, especially with 4-player split-screen action on a modest-sized television.

GoldenEye seldom suffered from that problem with its comparatively simpler graphics, but I wondered how great Perfect Dark could have been on a more powerful console. Seeing that one screenshot of the new GoldenEye gave me a pretty good idea.

Now I was excited. With all the multiplayer options that come standard with any given modern game, GoldenEye's stellar multiplayer could potentially gain all the stabilizability of Perfect Dark with none of the technological drawbacks. And it would look darn pretty, too. Equally exciting was the prospect of an improved control scheme.

It may shock you to know that I look forward to trying out this game with a Wii remote. Seriously. Unlike Metroid Prime 3, I feel that motion control would enhance the experience because GoldenEye is all about aiming and shooting, period. Platforming really lends itself better to a traditional controller.

Even if the Wiimote idea turns out to be a terrible one, I could still play with the limited-edition golden Classic Controller that you can apparently buy with the game. Amazing how you can paint anything gold and make it that much more appealing to Nintendo fans (myself included).

Whoa. I've got chills.

The most interesting part about this is that the game will be a retelling of the original, starring the voice talent of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace's Daniel Craig as James Bond. I've heard of remakes, but this sounds like Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, and Karl Urban playing Kirk, Spock, and McCoy in a re-release of Wrath of Khan with snazzier special effects.

That's the closest comparison I can come up with--I can't think of anything else that's ever been done before like it. I still prefer Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig as bond, but I'm very interested to see how this will turn out. I just hope the design of Bond's character model grows on me a little more--the closer to totally realistic the graphics become, the more critical I am.

Who knows? Maybe there will be a reskin option to look like any of the different actors who've ever played Bond. Imagine Peter Sellers coming at you with a grenade launcher. Multiplayer gold, right there.

Take a gander at the official GoldenEye website. I'm not yet convinced this'll be as good as or better than the original, but good Gustav Graves, does this game have potential.

Oh, and before you go, make sure you've looked at our super-easy contest!


Scott said...

Was that "paint anything gold" comment a reference to the Zelda II and World Championships cartridges?

Matt said...

Anything as good as "Goldeneye 64" at least deserves a second look from me if they're making a remake.

In all likelihood, I'll be disappointed. But still. I like the idea that they're at least trying. If they pull it off, they'll remind everyone that - back in the day - this was the shooter people were playing with three random friends for eight hours at a time.

Flashman85 said...

Scott: Bingo!

Matt: I think it's a rule that we HAVE to be disappointed by this kind of thing. Even if the ONLY thing that was changed at all was the look of the game--that is, JUST the graphics--we'd still be disappointed if things didn't look perfect.