Matt Keller
03 Jun, 2006

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Review

DS Review | Ian Fleming rolls over in his grave.
A certain degree of the Nintendo 64’s mainstream success can be pinned on one game – GoldenEye 007. The game was the definitive multiplayer experience of the 32/64-bit era, and set several precedents for all other console-based first person shooters to follow for years to come. While I was a marketing student, I’d hear day after day about the importance of brand names and the other associated hot air. Much to the bemoaning marketing executives everywhere, consumers sometimes (albeit rarely) develop an iota of sense, and can strip a brand name away from the service that is offered; just take a look at Napster.

EA learned this the hard way in the Christmas of 2004 when they released GoldenEye: Rogue Agent. The game was thrown together haphazardly in 9 months, its sole purpose to cash in on people’s memories of Rare’s N64 masterpiece (memories which were getting a little hazy, since GoldenEye 007 was about 7 years old at that point). Consumers responded with their feet; the game cost EA dearly when they were forced to drop the price of Rogue Agent mere weeks after release. A few months later, EA decided to release the game relatively unchanged on the Nintendo DS. Due to a real ‘hit and fade’ release in Australia (the game was quickly discontinued), PALGN has taken quite a bit of time to get a copy of Rogue Agent. We wish we hadn’t bothered.

One of the most ridiculous things about GoldenEye: Rogue Agent is the plot – which is so silly and implausible, you’d think a child of five had written it. Players take on the role of a disgraced 00 Agent who gets caught up in a conflict between early Bond villains Dr. No and Auric Goldfinger. After losing an eye, the agent receives a golden eye (hence the name) from his employer. It’s no ordinary eye – it gives the user special powers, but not the ability to see this plot is stupid and this game is a scam. Throw in the usual mish-mash of clichéd nonsense that the trendies at EA LA think is cool to complete this turdish compound. What's worse, the DS version of the game doesn’t even have any of the fancy cutscene work of the console game, just a bunch of text and some flapjaws that are meant to be your superiors.

The only way to make someone play the game

The dull premise is just the beginning. GoldenEye: Rogue Agent’s level design and mission structure are just outright wretched. The levels look and feel like someone has taped a bunch of shoeboxes together, converted them to a digital form and textured them (albeit poorly). The mission objectives are almost spectacular in their ability to be utterly generic and blatantly unexciting. As though that wasn’t bad enough, most of Rogue Agent’s control systems are outright useless, almost bizarre in their design. Thankfully, developer Tiburon had the insight to hijack the control method used in Metroid Prime: Hunters (which was still a demo at this point), which makes the game playable, even if some of the most basic concepts, such as picking up a weapon, are poorly executed.

Even with a solid control method, the basic gun play of Rogue Agent suffers from a lack of responsiveness on behalf of your foes. With such rigid movement and a lack of weight, it’s really quite hard to tell if you’ve managed to hit your opponent. Gunfire often passes through solid objects, making your duck move utterly useless. The game doesn’t even make use of your “golden eye”, which is probably a good thing, because the different view modes of the eye are quite hard to distinguish on the bottom screen’s HUD.

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent is quite short, which is probably fortunate, given its unpleasantness. Most players could probably see everything the game has to offer in about 4 hours, should they be able to tolerate it for that long. The game does have a multiplayer mode, which is accessible through a single cartridge (albeit greatly limited), as well as a bot match mode. The bot match isn’t remotely enjoyable – the AI is severely lacking in their understanding of movement and return fire; they will sit still in the middle of a fire fight, making them almost completely insignificant. The game has a bit of unlockable content, like some training levels, but they’re hardly worth the extra effort.

The goggles do nothing!

Tiburon have actually managed to accomplish a reasonable level of visual presentation in Rogue Agent, with the game retaining much of the style of its console brethren. Of course, the console game wasn’t exactly creative in its appearance, meaning that players will be treated to a lot of grey and brown textures. Animation is abysmal; characters move terribly and have shameful death sequences. The framerate of the game is a little haphazard when the action heats up or the game has to render a lot of explosions. Despite the reasonable graphics, Rogue Agent’s sound is absolutely atrocious, with low quality sound effects and music that’ll make you want to take a drill to your temple.

To be fair to Tiburon, they took on a project that had very little in the way of merit, but regardless of that, Rogue Agent on the Nintendo DS is still a terrible game. Weak level design, boring missions, a hilarious plot and poor mechanics make GoldenEye: Rogue Agent really quite easy to pass over – though you’d actually have to go pretty far out of your way to track a copy down, if you were so inclined.
The Score
The DS version of GoldenEye: Rogue Agent was doomed from the start, given the terrible game upon which it was based.
Looking to buy this game right now? PALGN recommends www.Play-Asia.com.

Related GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Content

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Preview
20 Jun, 2005 PALGN slips past the cameras and takes a quick look.
GAME STARS LIVE: EA unveil new Goldeneye: Rogue Agent screens
02 Sep, 2004 'I have them in my sh-' * insert crude Sean Connery joke here *
Goldeneye: Rogue Agent Preview
25 Jul, 2004 Bond. James Bond.
1 Comment
7 years ago
WOW sounds AWSOME!!!!!!

i wont be getting this game.
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