Review by Bobo The Clown
"Overated? Probably. Great? Yes."
When the Nintendo 64 struggled a bit after it's lightning fast start, some people started looking around for a savior. Thankfully, Goldeneye came along, and provided ultra-fast and fun first-person shooter (FPS) gameplay for the Nintendo 64 crowd. It's not too much of a claim to even suggest that Goldeneye might have saved Nintendo's year.
Is it revolutionary? For a console, yes. Across ALL gaming platforms, no. Sorry to say, but Windows and even DOS games had been making games similiar to Goldeneye since the time of DOOM. The main differences were adapting it for the console, which requires easier strafing methods and a simplification of keys.
Because this game isn't revolutionary, should it be docked points? Well, no. It's still fun to play, which is the most important aspect of any game, regardless of graphics, sound, or historical impact on videogames. And it did prove that the first-person shooter genre could survive and flurish well on a console, excluding the more ''adventure'' type gaming provided by Lara Croft in ''Tomb Raider''.
In Goldeneye, you follow the plot of the James Bond movie closely. Along the way, you're thrust into exotic locations and the traditional spy situations (breaking out of prison cells, disarming bombs, the usual). No shower or bedroom scene though, which is a bit disappointing for a game with James Bond in it :)
If you haven't seen the movie, then the story is extremely good. If you have seen the movie, then the story is still good, but not quite as good. At the very least, it's an excellent adaptation of a movie plotline to a game, and most of it is incorporated smoothly. No spoilers here; play the game, and you will get wrapped up in the story.
Your missions usually require you to use a variety of weapons to fight (or sneak) your way through the stage, completing objectives along the way. Enemies will try to stop you, and they range from snow troopers to Russian military officers to terrorists. However, most fight pretty much the same, except for the few ''boss'' characters you run into, which usually have much more armor.
There's an aresenal of weaponry that would make an NRA member drool in Goldeneye. From the trusty, silenced PP7 to the loud punishing Soviet Assualt Rifle, there's a wide range of weaponry. The best tend to be the fast firing small assualt guns, such as the Phanthom. Rocket launchers and hand grenades, mines, and other heavy explosives can be used to your advantage, although they are usually used for taking out infrastructures.
The actual firing is handled well, and a bit clunky, but much like that of a real weapon. Each gun only has a certain amount of ammo in a clip, and you must reload or just stand there with an empty gun. This makes ducking out of firefights while you reload essential. For a more precise shot, crosshairs are available, and the option to shift the camera up and down. Goldeneye does this well, although it could have been executed better on a PC.
Goldeneye has three levels of difficulty, and the differences are notable. Agent and Secret Agent modes (easy and normal) both have auto aim enabled (no need to aim your gun as enemies are hit automatically), but 007 Mode (hard) has no such option. Enemy aim improves with each difficulty level and stage that you procede through, and more cunning strategies are needed as you go on.
Goldeneye is very pretty graphically. Despite being released several years ago, it can compare to later generation Nintendo 64 and Playstation games. You have the ability to shoot an enemy anywhere, but there is not much gore involved. You'll only see red stains through an enemy's uniform, nobody coughing up blood or missing limbs.
Sounds are what you would expect in a spy game. It's mainly piano and electronic riffs, meant to freak you out. The effects are strong. There's voice when you come jump an enemy, and sound effects plays a crucial role in the game. If you go storming into rooms with a heavy assualt rifle every enemy in the base will hear you.
The most critically acclaimed part of Goldeneye has been the multiplayer. It's true that havoc on the scale of Goldeneye has never been seen before on a console, excluding perhaps NBA Jam and NFL BLitz. However, there are still some glaring errors.
Slowdown is rampant in multiplayer, but that is to be expected from having four players on one TV screen with one system. However, when you attack someone, only the first hit registers. All other shots after this will not damage the person for about a three second buffer time. This can make multiplayer a frustrating experience, but can be remedied by turning on the ''You Only Live Once'' option (one shot kills).
Is Goldeneye overrated? Yes, horribly overrated. It's still an outstanding game, don't get me wrong. But it's been called the greatest game of all time, and a revolutionary game that forever changed gaming, and any other accolade you can think of. Sorry, but Quake and DOOM were doing what Goldeneye does on the computer long ago, and maybe even better, but the console market just chose to ignore them.
Overall, if you have a Nintendo 64, and you don't have Goldeneye, run out and at least give it a rent. You might be a bit skeptical, but I'm almost certain you'll love Goldeneye.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/21/00, Updated 10/21/00
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