Most of us remember Goldeneye 007 for the N64, a First-Person Shooter that holds a special place in our hearts and reminds us that hard work and impressive gameplay mechanics can make a truly impressive game. Activision recently released Goldeneye 007: Reloaded to remind us of what fueled our love for the FPS genre.
One thing Activision didn’t realize is that they aren’t Rare. More importantly, Goldeneye was a classic, a game that was just more than a name to a popular movie series. However, Activision decided to take a more Michael Bay approach at Goldeneye and rip out everything we loved and knew about Goldeneye and replaced it with one man taking on an army with explosions in the background starring Daniel Craig.
First let me say that I have heard this game is not to be compared to the original, mostly due to licensing issues and inability to acquire those necessary to ‘remake’ the original game. This is not an excuse, Eurocom, the company that developed the game, had no apparent care for making a decent game and just followed the advice (or commands) from Activision which ended up with what felt like a really half-assed quickly made game.
Just to spite those who are unsure of what ‘Goldeneye 007’ was; Goldeneye was a game where you play as James Bond (played by Peirce Brosnan and all his sexy glory) who is looking to prevent a satellite (codenamed Goldeneye) from launching an EMP blast over Britain. After the first mission you find out that your partner 006 is actually behind the attack and after your betrayal, becomes your prime objective. Along the way you must use your stealth and cunning spy skills to avoid detection and quietly get through numerous enemies and long rooms before finally reaching 006 and destroying the Goldeneye satellite.
This is where my first quarrel begins; the plot has little to no resemblance of the original. In fact, I honestly didn’t know who any of the people were except for 006 because it clearly states that in the beginning. I couldn’t tell you if they brought back other characters from that game because everyone was so different and the storyline was so confusing and mind-boggling that I couldn’t make heads or tails of whom was evil and who was a contact. This lead to another problem, Daniel Craig as James Bond; there was no reason why they couldn’t just make up someone, but it looks rather weird when Daniel Craig has already been in two other James Bond related games, both of which were not very good in the least. So to see his poorly rendered mug in the games cinematic was pretty troublesome.
Let’s move on to the more important part; gameplay. The original gameplay was stealth, using silenced weapons to quietly take out security cameras and guards so you could get to your target. Reloaded decided that stealth is for losers and you spend most of your time running and gunning (think Modern Warfare meets horrible graphics engine). Most of your time is either spend running through rooms and taking out a limitless amount of people almost instantly or hiding from all the people who you can’t shoot because they are busy checking the quality of boxes on the ground while shooting their guns over the top of it and hitting you in the face magically.
There were moments where they implemented stealth, but it was always for brief moments and they weren’t well done. The pistol could be used as a sniper rifle (I just head shot people miles away from me like it was a Tom Clancy game) and the ‘pre-rendered’ takedowns just took far too much time to do something I could take care of with a slight point and shoot. Not to mention the lack of worry for triggering an alarm because it only takes a few bullets to kill people so taking out a room full of guys isn’t too hard as long as they don’t hide.
I can distinctly remember spending almost an entire level just running up and using melee to kill everyone without dying. The game had a problem of either being far too easy or far too hard, there was never a middle ground to any of it. Most of the game falls under the too easy part with random encounters suddenly increasing in difficulty. This is normal for a game, a part where you have to hold you own and await for something like an elevator or backup to arrive, but the key here is that this is a James Bond game not Modern Warfare.
One good example of this was a part where I was waiting for an elevator, while waiting for it, more men kept showing up, and I was holding my own, however all I did was stand in one position and kill most of the people, once the elevator showed up I simply got on and continued down to the next area, which suddenly became a nightmare as I died multiple times unable to understand what it was I needed to do and hordes of enemies were pouring out of every door. This was a part where difficulty didn’t need to increase because the hard part should have been when I was holding up waiting for the elevator, but the game has no reasoning why an area is harder than another. After finally figuring out what to do I realized the game was making a simple section overly complicated and a difficult section overly easy which doesn’t make for fun gameplay in the least.
Another change is the replacement of James Bond’s symbolic spy watch which (due to a recent change in technology) was replaced with a smartphone. Only the smartphone was a gameplay element and not a pause screen. Before, the watch could be used to subdue enemies with a silent tranquilizer or an interactive pause screen, now, the smart phone is a clunky mechanic used to ‘hack’ devices or snap pictures for your mission adding a slowed down and clunky feel to the game rather than the smooth and fast paced feel the watch had before.
Other than that, the game was overly short. Only clocking in at around four hours of campaign time in total, if you know what you are doing, and similar to Modern Warfare, the game features a ‘spec-ops’ section along with a dead, almost quiet multi-player section.
Overall the game felt rushed and uncoordinated. There was little to no resemblance to the original game it was named after and the only reason I got why they named it Goldeneye 007: Reloaded was to market off the already popular Goldeneye name. If you have the misfortunate thought of wanting to check this game out you can view our playthrough of the game below to see for yourself the horrid gameplay that awaits you. If you can, avoid buying it, renting it, or even playing it if possible.