GoldenEye 007: Reloaded Review
The good ol’ Bond with a fresh coat of paint.
f you asked a group of 20-somethings what their top 10 favourite games were when they were growing up you would no doubt be suffocated with the nostalgic fumes let off from the this body of men reminiscing about that time they stayed up all night playing Crash Bandicoot with their friends – each seeing who could get the highest score – and then at some point the talk would take an altogether sleazier angle as they each discussed how Lara Croft ushered them into manhood.
Of course, somewhere along this walk down memory lane, the topic of GoldenEye would come up. Rearing its head back in 1997 this, somewhat legendary game, set standards for not only its peers but the future of FPS gaming. With its fantastic multiplayer capabilities, solid storyline, and (at the time) fantastic graphics, GoldenEye was considered more like the golden nugget of the gaming industry. But this review isn’t about the past, let’s fast forward fourteen years and see if the same can be said for GoldenEye 007: Reload.
With this game being a mere ‘remastering’ of the GoldenEye 007 game that came out on the Wii in 2010, it’s safe to say that if you played the game a year ago on the Nintendo console you won’t be missing much as GoldenEye 007: Reloaded is, in laments terms, an HD version of GoldenEye 007. Of course, there are a few other features added on such ‘Mi6 OPS Missions’, and some new multiplayer features, but more on those later.
For those who want to play this game for sentimental reasons, it’s probably best to throw those expectations out the door as the storyline for Reloaded is more of a re-hashing of the original GoldenEye, rather than a shot-for-shot upgrade. Saying this, there are some notable sequences that you may remember from the game and/or movie; such as the notorious dam jump and taking out the guard who is quietly minding his business on the toilet.
The premise of the game is that you, James Bond, get sent to Russia with your good mate Alec Trevelyan to investigate a chemical weapons facility that maybe supplying weapons to terrorist cells who want to attack British embassies around the World. So, pretty standard 007 plot fodder really. During the game you travel to various locations throughout the World – including Dubai for a weapons exhibition – to try and catch the sneaky Russian General, Ourumov and work out who is behind the Janus crime ring.
While Reloaded is a very different game from the original N64 game, it still carries some of the trade mark ideals that made its predecessor so popular. As a spy you can obviously chose to play out each level as stealthily as possible; using your silenced PPK to take out guards, quietly and methodically, so as to keep with the time honored idea that James Bond is a gentlemanly killer. Of course, seeing as you play the Daniel Craig version of James Bond, the game has very little problem with turning from a stealth based mission to a guns a-blazing, 1 man versus a small army style FPS.
With the gaming engine having been re-tuned for the PS3 and X Box 360 versions, the game play is smooth and inviting. While it tends to look and feel a lot like a Call of Duty game, the stealth missions definitely allow for players to step away from the normalcy of today’s FPSs shooters which aren’t happy unless the soundtrack is drowned out by the constant rattle of a AK-47 and the canned screams of deluded henchmen.
With the single player campaign being quite short but filling with its various mission objectives, and round the World field trip, the added ‘Mi6 OPS Missions’ feel somewhat forced and tedious. While the missions themselves come in various forms – some are offensive, while other require stealth – they are generally just a way of padding the game and making it seem as though you are getting your money’s worth of single player game play. While the environments and game play are of the same standard as the actual story line based game, the ‘Mi6 OPS Missions’ tend to point out the fact that the AI is severely lacking in the ‘intelligence’ part. All in all it seemed like the creators had looked at Modern Warfare 2’s ‘Spec Ops’ campaigns and thought they should have something similar. Unfortunately, while it gave a breath of fresh air to MW 2, it comes over a bit stale in Reloaded.
Like all modern day FPSs, Reloaded comes alive during the multiplayer, and this is where some of you would probably get a bit teary eyed and start singing about the days gone by. From offering the usual all-on-all deathmatch, to retro-ing it up with the a GoldenGun Round, where it’s a one hit kill deathmatch, Reloaded definitely has a golden touch – as the original did – when it comes to multiplayer gaming. With up to 16 player online games, there are sure to be some great times running around the various levels as your favourite Bond villain.
All things considered, GoldenEye 007: Reloaded did a good job of staying away from the various pitfalls that were in plain sight while developing this game. They managed to create a game that doesn’t ride on nostalgia alone by becoming GoldenEye 2.0, and they were able to create a modern day FPS that doesn’t turn its back on its roots, which is, in all fairness, the saving grace of Reloaded – a game that won’t disappoint new and old fans of the 007 franchise.