Review by Gruel
"The N64 is no longer a kiddie system with this release!"
This game is based on the hit James Bond movie of 1995, Goldeneye! And Nintendo's most famous 2nd Party developer, Rare Ware, is in charge of making this game. This game changed the N64 forever, it debuted how good a game can be produced on the N64, plus it was one of Nintendo's own published T rated game because of the blood and death animations. Is this game worthy of the James Bond license, or is it just a lousy game adaption of a movie like all of LJN's old NES games? Well, let's get onto the review and find out.
These aren't the graphics for your usual 1st person shooter. All graphics are polygonal, unlike im most previous 1st person shooters like Doom and Duke Nukem where it was mostly sprites. The characters are detailed great, and you can easily tell who's the enemy and the hostage. The level design in the game is another thing worth mentioning. You got interactive environments like doors that open, and gun traps and all. The cinemas just look spectacular. The best one in the game is where Bond Bungee jumps off the Dam. The enemy animations are cool too, they react to wherever you hit them. Like let's say you fire at them in the hand, they'll grab it for a few seconds and wiggle around in pain. And say if you shoot them in the neck, then they do this little animation where they grab their neck gasping for air. Plus blood ''stains''(no, not juice coming out of the body) pop up wherever you hit them.
The only drawback is that sometimes you can see characters through walls, and it gives the game an awkward feel at time. There's a lot of slowdown, if the game's loaded with 10 enemy troops firing at you simultaneously, also there's a slow frame rate in multi player with 4 players on screen at once firing at each other at the same time, but it doesn't drop down that bad, I'd say at least somewhere from 15-20 frames per second.
Just about every stage has it's own background music,(except the Jungle which is just silence with monkey's and birds making noise to add to the suspense of hidden enemies) and it's faded out just right so it won't interfere with game play. All the sound effects are pulled off great, like the gunfire sounds great, even the silenced guns make a noise and your computer opponents don't even react to it because it's ''silenced.'' I really get a kick out of the death groans of the enemies when ever you kill them.
The only thing I wished they could've added to the game is voice acting. Those dumb text boxes are too distracting to read while playing the game, plus it would've been so cool hearing James Bond talk and all that, but instead you just gotta read some text. Come on Rare! Think of all the deaf people!
This is way different to most Doom-style games, the story follows the movie. There are 3 modes of difficulty: Agent, Secret Agent, and 00 Agent, plus a hidden 007 mode once you beat the game where you customize enemies health, accuracy, etc. There are about 25 levels in the game with 2 secret one's. You gotta beat each level with the 3 levels of difficulty to beat the game. To beat a level you need to do complete all your objectives, for example, make sure no innocent hostages or scientists are killed, rescue your co-hort Natalya, retrieve special computer software back to your HQ's, etc. Each level gets harder, with the difficulty ramped up, like there may be more objectives to complete, and enemies will have more health and better accuracy. This is a very innovative 1st person shooter from Rare.
The artificial intelligence of the computer is the thing that surprised me in this game. I mean my opponents hop and dodge and duck out of the way of the incoming bullets I fire, when I was use to in old games, just the computer walking straight at me eating all the bullets I pump into them. Even the hostages got a mind of their own. For example, the scientists, you fire at them a couple of times in the hand(make sure not to kill them) and they no you're not here to rescue you'll and they'll start firing at you or throw grenades at you. I think this was a first for 1st person shooters.
And the best thing about the game has to be the multi player mode where any where from 2 to 4 players can play in 12 different levels of the game, but only 11 levels with 3 players and only 9 with 4 players(unless you got a Game Shark). And you can play from a variety of different scenarios named after previous 007 movies like ''You Only Live Twice''(Self explanatory), ''The Living Daylights''(Flag Tag), ''License to Kill''(One shot from any gun is instant death), and ''The Man with the Golden Gun''(One Golden Gun is hidden in the game, and it can only be used by one person). Plus there's also the standard Normal free for all and team battle modes. You can start off choosing from 7 different characters, but once you beat the game on Agent level you have 32 selectable, and if you input a code, you can update the total to 64! For each level you pick you can also pick the specialty weapon for the game, and set health handicaps, and set the time(or frag) limit for the game. And at the end of each round each player gets awards for their style of play.
The game made use of the Rumble Pak, to make you ''feel'' the game. Also if you beat all the levels on a certain difficulty within a certain time limit, you'll enable a cheat. There are lots of cheats, like to start off a level with a powerful gun, or infinite ammo, etc. And the multi player was the best of it's time when it came out for the N64, and it still is a blast to play today! Especially with 3 of your buddies.
+: Spectacular computer AI, awesome single player mode, and it has one of the best multi player modes ever!
-: Lot's of slowdown occurs with too much action on screen, no voice samples in the game.
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 9.7
Replay Value: 9.5
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 9
Simply one of the best shooters on the N64. The game has a great single player mode, and one of the best multi player modes on home console ever! The game still sells good today, plus it's a Player's Choice title and can be picked up brand new for just $39! So either get this game which will completely blow you away and show you the true power of the N64, or wait until Perfect Dark comes out.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 05/18/00, Updated 05/18/00
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