Jeremy Jastrzab
24 Jun, 2010

E3 2010 Feature: Goldeneye 007 Hands-on

Wii Feature | You asked for it. We got to see it.
A serious question for you; why does the gaming community seem to be so obsessed with remakes? Can’t we let sleeping dogs lie and appreciate the past gaming glories for what they were? Apparently not. And Activision knows this. How else would you explain the resurrection of one of the the most famous names in gaming, GoldenEye. The game that laid the foundations for the console shooter and made split-screen gaming popular is being rebuilt for the Nintendo Wii. At E3 2010, we had a chance to take a good look at it.

GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64 was easily the best game to ever represent the mercurial MI6 agent, James Bond. However, since the original release in 1997 from the once legendary developer Rare and Nintendo, the licensing agreements got a little messy, to put it lightly. So, GoldenEye 007 for the Wii will have to have some changes made for it. Most obviously, Activision’s Bond, Daniel Craig, will be taking the helm with both his voice and likeness, while Judi Dench will be appearing as M. Other minor characters from the most recent Bond movies will be appearing as well, such as Tanner.

It's snowier than we remember.

It's snowier than we remember.
British developer Eurocom has been set the nigh impossible task of recreating a legendary title. Still, while their efforts over the last decade are a shadow of their works from the 90s, they do have experience with Bond, in the video game exclusive, 007 Nightfire and the movie tie-in Quantum of Solace. They had a few other decent titles such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Dead Space Extraction, but the rest of their recent record leaves us weary. At their presentation of GoldenEye 007, there were four primary development objectives outlined for us:
  • Give players a choice on how to play
  • Give players a chance to really play like a secret agent
  • Update the architecture in the game
  • Keep the multiplayer faithful
Before we go through each of these objectives, it ought to be noted that the presentation has been overhauled as well. In an attempt to modernise the game, players who have gone through Quantum of Solace will recognise the mission briefings in GoldenEye 007. They are more fleshed out and detailed than that underrated movie tie-in, which is certainly appreciated and doesn’t really leave the impression that this game is a direct port. Hopefully, it will be better directed than the slightly slap-dash efforts in Quantum of Solace.

Our demo took us through the initial Dam level, which has been given a significant visual and modernisation overhaul. In relation to giving the players more choice, the developers have tried to update the game play so that it is more in line with recent shooters. This also applies to how Bond moves and heals, as he’s more nimble than he was 13 years ago and now has regenerative health. Your choices are mainly whether to take on the scenarios quietly or with all guns blazing. If players cast their minds back to the original game and early on you reach a lookout tower surrounded by guards. It was shown to us how you could tackle the game by either sneaking around and taking guards out quietly (you now have stealth attacks as well as silenced weapons) or by causing a ruckus.

That tower looks familiar.

That tower looks familiar.
Another scenario had required players to try and stop guards from trying to sound an alarm, which would have sent more guards for them to fend off. Further changes include cinematic moments, such as a helicopter being sent to you just as you’re trying to get into the dam. Further, we’re told that the missions will be longer and much more involved. Early indications definitely point to this.

The majority of the mission had 006 at your side, and though it wasn’t mentioned, could this possibly imply co-op action? Overall though, the development team’s first two objectives seem relatively well represented at this early stage. While we’re loath to continually press the point, the way the game plays seems to have reasonably strong ties to Quantum of Solace as well as evident inspiration from Call of Duty. Some aspects that have yet to have been explored are how the various Bond gadgets will come into play, as QoS didn’t really use any.

While the visual improvement over the N64 is a given, this Wii version is unlikely to blow your socks off. However, the developers seem to have strayed from the original style in favour of one that is more reflective of how the locales in the game actually looked. While it was harder recognise the common areas, the architectural integrity was definitely appreciated. Hopefully this will extend to the rest of the game. Some may feel that the game could still look better on the Wii, but the sound is uncanny mix of the old and updated. There are more voices and more chatter, but at the same time, the gun sounds were eerily familiar.

It's wetter than we remember.

It's wetter than we remember.
Onto the final development objective: multiplayer. This was the only time that we managed to get our hands on the game. Multiplayer could be played with up to four players on through traditional split-screen and up to 8 online. All the classic multiplayer maps have been revived, as well as 16 classic Bond characters, including everyone from the original game. All the classic gameplay modes will be on hand as well. The balance of the game seems to have remained as it was in 1997, as Oddjob still seemed to have a distinct advantage… Finally, the game can be played with both the Wii Remote and Nunchuck, or the Classic Controller but there is no planned support for Wii Motion Plus.

Aside from potentially improving Activision’s bank balance, it’s hard to ‘win’ with recreating something as classic as GoldenEye 007. They’ll be damned if it’s too similar, and damned if it’s too different. In the very least, the developers do seem to have got their basics in order, and some of the modernised changes at least make sense. Either way, at the end of the day, nostalgia can be a very powerful tool of persuasion, Mr Bond.

Related Goldeneye 007 Content

Goldeneye 007 Review
10 Nov, 2010 James Bond has returned.
GoldenEye 007 Wii launch trailer
31 Oct, 2010 One to watch.
GoldenEye 007 - Tank level trailer
27 Oct, 2010 Daniel Craig couldn't reverse park to save his life.
3 years ago
I'm probably even more excited now.

It looks like they're aware of what they're trying to do, and seem to be accomplishing something that' sknown, but also updating it to fit in with "todays" FPS.
3 years ago
I really wasnt a fan of Eurocom's effort with The World Is Not Enough on the N64. They tried alot of new things to make the title an improvement over Rare's Goldeneye but the ultimate failure was the fact that the game had lengthy loading times..

Loading times on a cartridge..

I'll say no more. I'd love this to be a great modern homage to a classic that is so reverred, but I won't hold my breath incase of a major disappointment.

I am guessing that they don't have the rights to use character likenesses apart from M. I was hoping to see Sean Bean's likeness as 006, but from the teaser trailer it appears to be a generic 'faceless' character in the role which is a shame.

EDIT: Looking at the screenshots, the character models wearing the ponchos look shamefully hideous. I hope this game plays better than it looks.
3 years ago
Jaws wrote
I was hoping to see Sean Bean's likeness as 006, but from the teaser trailer it appears to be a generic 'faceless' character in the role which is a shame.
From what I remember being mentioned and from what we saw, Alex Trevelyan (I think that's how you spell it) was in the game, but Sean Bean is not. I'm guessing that this is all tied up in the licensing fiasco.
3 years ago
It's a shame, but dems the breaks I suppose when licensing is a problem. It's good to see that classic controller is an option. I would rather play through the campaign using the classic method as opposed to the point and shoot, which I dont really enjoy for FPS shooters.

I hope the game plays nothing like Quantum of Solace for the Wii..
3 years ago
<Insert rant about 1986 soviet soldiers using 2009 model US assault rifles with desert colours>
3 years ago
PALGN wrote
from the once legendary developer Rare
Fair go. Rare still commands respect among gamers. Nostalgia fills in the rest.
To me they still command legendary status icon_sad.gif
3 years ago
Not for me. The last good game they made was Starfox Adventures. icon_cool.gif
3 years ago
I Came
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