Review by BimmyandJimmy

"The best FPS...No, The best game EVER created"

Let's see, what can't be said about Goldeneye that hasn't already been mentioned to date? Goldeneye 007 for the Nintendo 64 is without a shadow of doubt the greatest video game I have ever played in my life, and I'm not alone in my option. Virtually every single top ten FPS game list that has ever been written has included Goldeneye near or the number one position, hailing it as not only one of the most inspirational FPS games out there, but one of the best designed and memorable as well, and personally speaking from the heart, I have never, EVER have had a bad experience with Goldeneye and can find nothing wrong with this Xanadu of the FPS world. Hell, even by today's standards, the game even plays better than even the latest crop of FPS games released in the last decade, but that's what you get when developers keep releasing the same mediocre crap each and every year; the FPS games of the 90s just seem better as this decade progresses, and that undeniably is the sad, hard-hitting truth.

GRAPHICS
Good lord almighty. The graphics in Goldeneye 007 are just amazing, and clearly pushes the N64 capabilities to its maximum capacity.

The character models look very good and are probably the most realistic character models I have seen on any N64 game. To compare, the common problem that most character models shared ever since the console was released were sharp and unsubtle polygons which stuck out immensely. This game however, fixed this problem. Every single character in this game has been carefully crafted, limiting the number of any unwanted polygons and imperfections that might hinder the graphics. They're also highly colored and detailed to match, so much that they just seem to give off a subtle likability and joyfulness. For example, the variety of outfits that each and every character wears changes from the last level that you have played on, creating a great, refreshing sense of variety. It's just amazing how much detail the developers put into this game. It just seems to connect with you in a personal way.

True, there might be some problems with the characters from time to time, the most popular criticism being the blocky heads on the more common of enemies, but most of the time, I personally don't realize that their heads are even that blocky, so it's no problem with me. Another problem might be that the body parts of the characters appear through doors or walls, depending on their present situation (for example, them dying). Again, it might look fake, but so what; there are many other games out there that have the same problem.

The backgrounds in this game are just as breathtaking and detailed as the actual sets from the movie, right down to every last little detail. Trust me, when I say if you saw something in the movie, chances are it's in the game. The lighting in this game matches the color of each level perfectly. There are some levels where there is a lot of fog and the colors and lighting is dark to match, while others are clearly visible from a distance, usually showcased as indoor levels. It adds a lot of variety to the game and it's incredibly refreshing. Now, most gamers argue that the fog trick in most of these N64 games is just a gimmick to hide the frames from the rest of the game so it looks seamless. I disagree, because I believe that it matches the locations perfectly. Russia is a very foggy place, and I can only imagine the lack of visibility in a Cuban rainforest.

SOUND/MUSIC
The audio in Goldeneye 007 is magnificent. The sound, while not all that original, gives the game a sort of 1970s kind of Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry kind of vibe, the music is exiting and the quality is clear as crystal. There is nothing I could find wrong with the audio.

They really put a lot of effort into the sound. The guns sound real, the characters make realistic grunts when bullets hit them, and the background sound effects give a real scope and imagination to the game. These are just a few examples of the hundreds of other things that you will hear in Goldeneye 007. The variety of sound in this game is astonishing and you will not be disappointed.

As for the music, the game has a great variety of Doom inspired heavy metal riffs, industrial/electronic style songs, sweeping symphonic melodies and much, much more, all of which are action packed and will keep your heart racing at every single second of playtime. They also fit the mood of the levels exceptionally. Depending on the level that you're playing on, it helps the visuals set the mood for the level, so in one level it might sound slow and scary, while others might sound fast and exiting. I guess the only problem with the music is that all of the songs are just the James Bond theme set to some style to fit the mood of the level. Sure, it might seem lazy, but all these remixes of the James Bond theme song just sound really good.

GAME PLAY
This is where Goldeneye obviously shines, and to help me organize my thoughts, I have divided this section into separate parts.

CONTROLS AND ANYTHING THAT I CANT PUT IN SINGLE PLAYER OR MULTIPLAYER SECTION:
The controls in Goldeneye are spot on, and depending on your playing style, you can change the settings to your preferred liking. As a small trivial and clever extra, each set of controls are named after the bond girls from the movies. No matter which setting you have it on, the controls are smooth and hardly any problem at all to get use to. Strafing is a breeze and very durable, even if people often complain that the N64 controller is a little hard to use. You can easily cycle throughout your weapons list using the A button and actions with the B button are quick to maneuver and hardly slow the game down.

The games menu system is also very easy to use. You pick your file, you choose a single player or Multiplayer game, you set your skill level and your off, and don't worry about having a memory card, because Goldeneye 007 has a battery pack built in, and from what I seen, it never erases on you, and my copy of Goldeneye is going on 14 years.

SINGLE PLAYER:
If you choose to play the single player mode, you get one level to start with: The Dam. When you select the level, you get to choose from one of three difficulty levels. Agent for all the James Bonds newbies in training, Secret Agent for the experienced gamer and 00 Agent, which is for the experts only. Besides that, the difficulty in this game is challenging enough to satisfy FPS fans off all ages, but fair at the same time, so you can forget about dying for moronic reasons beyond your control. Why is this game tough? Well, you can thank the intelligent AI and complex level design for that.

Even to this day, the AI in Goldeneye still dazzles me, mostly because of how realistic and intelligent they all are. They will do anything to try and survive, and might even call for reinforcements by either running away or pressing an alarm. Before they shoot you, they will either duck or roll to make you miss and then shoot you with freighting good accuracy. Sometimes, they will even crouch under boxes or furniture to help them survive. Oh ok, so I'll admit, mostly every single FPS game these days has the same basic formula as Goldeneye has, but the reason why I like the enemies in this game more is because at the time, no other FPS did this. Most of the time, it was just blast your enemies to death while they just stood there in games like Doom. In Goldeneye, the intelligent AI will prevent this strategy. Believe me, if you use the run 'n gun method, it will end up killing you in the long run (no pun intended), so sorry to all the people who like to use the biggest weapon and blast all the enemies heads off, because Goldeneye is all about stealth and speed. I like this because that means that your prime gun actually has a purpose. Take the silenced PP7. It's not as powerful as any assault rifle in the game, but is quieter, something that will help your mission dramatically. Although, I'm not going to lie, this game can get pretty hardcore from time to time, what with all the exploding furniture, the catalog of big and awesome weapons to mow your enemies down in a bloody mess, and of course, all those innocent NPCs, like the scientists, that you can have fun torturing with. You know, all in good fun of course.

Trust me, there's nothing better than to send an innocent scientist flying in the air with a well-placed Remote mine or two.

Goldeneye is all about stealth, and you're going to need to use it to complete a catalog of challenging objectives. Most of the time, they include tricky and dangerous things like disarming a bomb or protecting hostages, and many others that either award your stealth or accuracy. Plus, depending on the difficulty you're on, the numbers of objectives increase dramatically.

The best things about the single player mode in Goldeneye are the level designs. In most FPS, usually you just go from point A to Point B without any alternate paths that help you get there. In Goldeneye however, each level is tailor made to showcase every single guard and hidden item that each level has to offer. Each level has many multiple paths, meaning that there could be many ways to get from one point to another, and sometimes, the entrance is often the exit, or there isn't an exit at all. This, to me, allows a lot more freedom and creativity to the game. A minor problem that the levels suffer from is frame rate. Depending on the number of guards or explosions in an area, the game may slow down a little, but usually repairs itself when you blow those suckers to their graves with your machine gun. Besides, at least the frame rate is better than in Perfect Dark.

MULTIPLAYER:
This is the reason why you bought Goldeneye. The Death match mode in this game is absolutely perfect, and while it might seem primitive and lacking in game modes compared to today's games, there is actually a lot more strategy involved in this game's Death match than you might expect.

Take, for example, the maps. Most levels take place inside of buildings used in the game, complete with their many twisting hallways. The maps in Goldeneye might not be as big as compared to games like Call of Duty 4 or its sequels, but they are strategically made to make anybody both a Goldeneye master, and just to have a fun ol' time with three other friends. Every single multiplayer level all have multiple rooms that lead to other smaller rooms. Often, this means better and subtle strategies can be implemented, because you can either lead your opponent into an empty room without any escape, or you can trap you opponent from behind with a well-placed proximity mine.

There are a ton of characters in this game that you can choose from and depending on the level that you play on, they can gravely increase your chances of surviving, as opposed to just filling the character select screen. There are a number of modes you can choose from which range from one shot kill mode (License to kill) to the two lives mode (You only live twice). Of course, the game also has team play, which means that you and a partner can team up and take down two other people, or even have a cheap ass three on one match.
The only drag that the multiplayer mode has in Goldeneye is that you can't actually shoot your characters in a full burst with your gun since the game only allows one hit ever second or two. Often, this means that the game forced you to work on your accuracy, which is actual quite different and refreshing compared to many games released today, but still…

REPLAY VALUE:
There really is a ton to find and do in Goldeneye that it's almost insane if you can find them all. There are many cheats to unlock, many hidden things to find and all the characters to see, and now since there are fan based websites out their which allow you to create your own levels, the game has now tripled in value than it did a few years ago. There is just so much to do in Goldeneye that it has still taken me 14 years to find everything. Now that's replay value!

CONCLUSION
I don't think I will ever become tired with Goldeneye. I know some people these days will probably argue against me that all the newer FPS games are better, or if they really have to balls, to complain at me that the newer Goldeneye game on the Wii is far better, but I'll be ready defend that argument any day of the week and just prove how incorrect they are about this amazing game. If you're a true fan of the FPS genre, then seriously consider picking up Goldeneye right now. I guarantee you will not regret it.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 04/28/08, Updated 03/05/12

Game Release: GoldenEye 007 (US, 08/25/97)


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