Rare - 1996
Machine: Nintendo 64
Genre: First Person Shooter
Everyone was dubious about the prospect of a video game version of a rather ropey Bond movie. The fact that it was going to be a first person shooter on a home console made it all the more likely that this game was going to be poor. Fortunately, Rare were on top, top form and the game is worthy of classic status.
The single player game is broken down into stages that roughly adhere to the storyline of the film. These stages are broken down into mission objectives... the harder the game setting, the more objectives that you have to achieve. Stealth tends to be the best strategy, and the silenced pistol is more of a friend than an AK-47 Assault Rifle... If you let off a few rounds of a REALLY NOISY WEAPON, the baddies come a-running to see what the fuss is all about.
Each stage is really well designed with plenty of variety in the missions and the weaponry that you are allowed to implement. In addition to guns, you can pick up body armour that takes some of the sting out of those bullets... Be warned: on the hardest '00 Agent' setting, this game is HARD... the baddies become better shots, and they can take loads of damage before they stop bothering you. And you can only save your progress after you've completed the stage... tough, but fair (Did you ever see James Bond save his position when he was running around with Pussy Galore? There's an innuendo in there somewhere).
The graphics are really quite impressive, especially in the animation department. Shooting a baddie in various places produces different results: Shoot them in the leg and they go limping off to get help, while shooting baddies in the head produces a suitably agonising death, much better 'acting' than a crappy film extra could achieve. The one player game is well worth playing, although I suppose it has been superseded by Half-Life which, as it happens, borrowed quite a lot of ideas from Goldeneye... (Remember that Goldeneye is on a home console which was -and is- cheap as chips in comparison to a PC).
One of the most famous aspects of Goldeneye was the multi-player mode... it really is excellent. Rather than playing multi-player Quake on-line, Goldeneye allowed you to shoot your mates (figuratively) in the SAME ROOM for minimum expense (LAN fans)... All looking at the same TV screen makes a big difference and, for my money, a far better multi-player experience... you can see your friend's face of horror as you shoot his character in the face... you can all laugh together as someone sets off a series of proximity mines... great fun. Rare tried to improve the multi-player game in their follow-up, Perfect Dark. They didn't manage to do it... they made it too complicated and the levels weren't as well designed. Keep it clean and simple, boys and girls. Just play Goldeneye to see what I mean.
Bubbaray 08 Apr '03
Goldeneye at Detstar - A fab fansite with loads of screenshots, info and tips.
Wikipedia's Goldeneye 007 page - Lots of great information.