Good Day, gamers we have synchronised watches and infiltrated a top development studio at a moment in time where it was about to release a game that would establish itself as one of the greatest of all time. As the Star Struck Gaming editor (Craig) takes advantage of our time travelling and runs off to warn the gaming world about loot boxes it’s down to me to review this classic.
It’s August 1997 and we hold in our hands a game that has not received a review below 90%, a game that ties in with a film which usually means it’s gonna be terrible from the start, but not this game because the game we have in our hands…. Is Goldeneye for the N64.
So you sit at your N64 your hands sweating slightly as you take the game from its packaging, could it really be as good as it says? You slot the cartridge in and you are met with the company Rare logo which has a subtle bond like tune playing then bang the familiar 007 music bursts in to life and the classic white spotlight bond shooting screen moment.
You appear at the level select file screen are you an Agent? Secret Agent? Or a 00 agent? You click your preference and get your first glimpse of gaming nirvana as you swoop and pan over the Arkhangelsk Dam in Russia and swoop majestically in to the back of Bonds head letting you see through his eyes.
You start to make your way towards your objective the music is pounding and fitting you take out your first guard with your silenced Walter PPK and you notice something else amazing, he doesn’t just drop and vanish he reacts not only to where you shot him but also falls like a real person – even his hat flew off to correspond with his reaction from that first shot and kill you are now hooked.
Reactions never seen before
The guard animation and reactions for this time was something to be respected, not only did they walk like proper people, react to areas they were shot, they also worked together to take you out, if you missed a shot not only were you greeted with a brilliant ricochet noise but the guard reacted accordingly. Gone was the stand around, disregarding your army buddy had just taken a bullet to the back of the head situation this guy was gonna come looking for you for pay back.
The graphics and sound being belted out by this game are brilliant, the music just fits perfectly and the different sound to the guns is equally impressive. Tie all this in with the rumble Pak and the experience just got more immersive, Rare has also somehow advanced the draw distance on the N64 when using the sniper rifle. This was brilliant for taking out officers in towers for the stealthy approach.
A game that linked well with a movie!?
The levels tied in brilliantly with the Goldeneye film; every scenario you found yourself in from dropping from the vents and taking out a blissfully unaware officer to having to use your laser watch to escape the armoured train, yes even Bond’s gadgets were used brilliantly including the pause menu being Bond’s watch. Modelling was impressive for the time with all faces of the film superimposed on to the heavy polygon based characters which just immersed you even more.
The game had a brilliant way of blending stealth with action, take out alarms to make things a bit easier but if you failed or that wasn’t your game style you could dual wield and blast your way through the levels. Bullet holes remained in walls, glass shattered, barrels exploded and army officers flew off their feet when caught in the blasts. Also added for extra features were cheat modes from big head mode, to paintball mode to tiny Bond just to make things more interesting.
To add to the Nostalgia side of the game, characters from past films were playable; Baron Samedi, Jaws and odd job all appeared.
Time to connect more controllers
Now we come on to the multiplayer aspect of Goldeneye; I’m not kidding when this could take up a whole weekend day and night with 3 friends, which could then lead to sudden illness making you unable to go to school/work so you could fit a few more games in.
Remembering this was not online but a split screen 4 player with numerous game modes, from golden gun which gave the player brandishing the weapon a one hit kill ability but unable to collect armour.
The multiplayer levels were brilliantly sized; there was never too much running round unable to find an adversary, if you waited you would hear gunfire and make your way in that direction and often running into a serious crossfire of RCP90s, Armalyte rifles and dual pistols.
Proximity and timed mines were also thrown in for a strategy element, the multiplayer was also customisable to pistols only up to no guns involving running around karate chopping everyone. I remember hiding in the library level during a multiplayer session, I was stuck with a PPK where my friends had managed to find various degrees of heavy weaponry, explosions rocked the corridor end to end as grenades were thrown and gunfire sprayed around and all I could do was hope they took each other out – this happened in the shape of a rocket launcher taking 3 of us in one go ahhh great days!
Star Struck Gaming Rating
If you have never played this game I would suggest seeing if any of your friends or friends friends has a copy offer money, sweets, crisps or whatever they need to allow you to play this. N64s are fairly cheap to purchase now and the game collection is still very good so if needs be purchase one (or share and like our page to be in for a chance to win one) this game will leave you shaken and stirred and wanting more!
So now your simple mission is to play this game!!