|System: Wii, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Eurocom||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Activision||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: November 2, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-8||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
For many people, Goldeneye represented the best game of the Nintendo 64's era. Forget Mario 64 and The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Those may have been instant classics, but if you wanted a hardcore experience with plenty of shooting and an unforgettable multiplayer experience, you didn't have to look too much further than Goldeneye. The game had some pretty simplistic shooting mechanics, but in today's shooter-heavy landscape, the formula for the N64 game, while it feels nostalgic, hasn't aged well. However, Goldeneye for the Wii is a completely different beast and manages to both capture the original's spirit as well as provide a modern experience that both newcomers and veterans of the franchise can appreciate.
Although I was tempted to check out the multiplayer portion of Goldeneye first, I decided to check out the story mode first, since that was the part of the game I knew the least about. When the game started, I recognized the first level immediately, and I was slightly disappointed, as I figured the rest of the game's story mode would be a recreation of the original Goldeneye. However, although the narrative of the first level is nearly identical to the N64 version, the similarities stop after that. The first level is a nod to longtime fans.
Of course, the game is still based on the Goldeneye movie/novel, so you can expect major plot points to stay the same, but the way they are handled has changed, which is quite refreshing. The game has also updated the game to feature more modern situations and settings (I won't give too much away, but let's just say it's not all about the Russians anymore) and has also replaced the ubiquitous gadget watch with a sleek new smartphone. Even though players familiar with Goldeneye know how the situation with 006 will ultimately play out, the new elements of the story as well as Daniel Craig's presence as Bond really breathe new life into the narrative and make it worth playing all over again.
Aside from the changes in story, there are several other key changes you'll notice in Goldeneye's story mode. First up is the shooting, which has been modernized and feels a lot faster than it did in the original. The game also has a fully-customizable control interface that lets you play the way you want. For old-school fans, the classic/GameCube controller works the best, and the dual-thumbstick controls get the job done with precision not seen in the original. If you want to go the motion control route, the Wii-Mote and Nunchuck duo work surprisingly well, as well as the Wii Zapper control option. But no matter which control option you use, you can switch up things like button mapping and strafe speed, so if you don't like the way a particular control scheme works, you can really only blame yourself, as the customization options here are robust enough for players of all preferences.
Another big difference in the gameplay is the implementation of a more modern structure. Instead of having a life bar and a single weapons slot, Goldeneye on the Wii allows you to carry up to three weapons at a time (with James Bond's signature P99 handgun as a permanent staple with infinite ammo) and also uses the more modern damage system that alerts you to low health with increasingly bloodshot views (that clear up after only a few seconds). However, if you are nostalgic, you can play the game on its hardest setting, which will see the return of the non-refilling health bar. And, true to the original, if you select this mode you'll have to find body armor items in each level to refill your health. It's definitely harsh!
The story mode in Goldeneye is certainly a selling point and would be worth the cost of admission alone. However, what most fans are excited about is the multiplayer. And trust me, it doesn't disappoint. The original Goldeneye was something of a local multiplayer staple in its day, and before the advent of "party" games, Goldeneye was the title you got together with your friends to play. Goldeneye on the Wii takes this concept to new heights, as the added online functionality breathes new life into this concept and adds plenty of modern conventions to keep players engrossed in the online experience.