Review by Wolfvie

"One of the most disappointing sequels of all time"

Despite bearing the same name this is in no way a sequel to the N64 classic, at least, it's not a proper one anyway. GoldenEye: Rouge Agent stars a villainous agent working for Goldfinger as he works alongside other popular Bond villains as he attempts to assassinate Dr. No. In addition to the single player mode there's also a multiplayer component both online and offline in a simular vain to multiplayer from the original game with new maps, gameplay mechanics and weapons. Has EA done the unthinkable improve on one of the most critically acclaimed console multiplayer shooters ever made, or have they screwed up yet another timeless classic? Read more and find out.

Story

For once you don't actually play as Bond (as mentioned above), you instead play as the rather generically named Goldeneye a former MI6 agent (with an artificial golden eye possessing several powers, hence the name Goldeneye) dismissed from the agency after the accidental death of a MI6 agent (I‘ll get to that in a minute) and failing of his mission to stop Goldfinger. After leaving MI6, Goldfinger makes Goldeneye an offer he can't refuse and thus GoldenEye is recruited into Goldfingers agency now tasked with the elimination of Dr. No.

For the first time ever you're finally tasked to playing as the bad guy (apart from in multiplayer). While this is actually quite a good idea, unfortunately like the rest of the game it's been executed poorly. The game's story is told through a couple of blatant easy-to-forget story sequences, the futuristic settings and locations feel out of place and seem more akin to something along the lines of Perfect Dark and the game really does suffer from the lack of the series' charming protagonist. If that's not enough Bond actually dies only a few minuets into gameplay, resulting in one of the biggest slap in the face moments I've experienced in a game thus far, thankfully it's non-canon.
4/10

Graphics/Visuals

Not too shabby. The textures while not incredibly detailed are still plausible and the environments while repetitive and samey are fairly good looking. The visual effects are a mixed-bag, the explosions and water effects are laughably bad but the enemy animation is quite good, reacting well to physics and gunfire flopping to the group quite realistically. The character models are decent while there isn't a lot of variation between them and appear quite ugly when close and the frame rate holds well (especially when considering the PS2's limitations) only dropping significantly when displaying many enemies on screen.
7/10

Sound/Audio

Music-wise it's a disappoint compared to past soundtracks of the franchise, mostly just hard-rock that plays non-stop throughout the whole level with the Bond theme thrown in once and a while. The sound effects are poor. Guns lack the oomph of the guns featured in the original GoldenEye and the voice acting while okay, is definitely a few steps down from some of the previous 007 games. Overall I'm disappointed.

Sound: 5/10
Music: 5/10

Gameplay

While it sounds good on paper does it translate well into the actual game? No. The gameplay mechanics at first seemed quite innovative and unique but after a few minuets I soon released my awful, awful mistake. Gunplay is repetitive, uninspired, cumbersome and in many ways just plain old lazy; many elements borrowed from other far more successful FPS games. The weapons while there are a large variety are anything but balanced, players can dual-wield shotguns and some other heavy weapons which lead to some rather unfair match ups, especially when playing the multiplayer component. The game itself is riddled with technical glitches, clipping issues and such all squeezed into one largely unfished game; it could have definitely benefited from at the very least, a few years more in development for me to at least consider it an ‘okay' game.

As for the game's campaign it's a complete letdown. The levels are a chore to play through and the game's AI is undeniably pathetic, despite the use of EA's supposed amazing “E.V.I.L” AI engine. For the most part it's just a mediocre corridor shooter with the occasional boss fight thrown into the mix which just makes the game feel even more tedious. The level design is simply put awful, and a disgrace to the likes of the original Goldeneye. The game's repetitive mission structure is possibly even worse and the vast majority of the levels have you going from point A to point B clearing out the games brain dead AI.

Probably one of the games few high points is the game's ‘Goldeneye abilities' even if they are a blatant gimmick disguised as an innovative new mechanic. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) essentially allows you to see enemies behind cover over a small radius, but of course this is generally useless considering the game's poor AI hardly ever use cover. E.M. Hack probably one of the more useful of the four abilities allows for the player to take control of the enemies firearms jamming it thus leaving them open for a couple of seconds. The Polarity Shield creates a force field like barrier rendering you virtually invulnerable from enemy fire until it runs out, the most useful of the four powers. Finally the Magnetic Field, a power that allows you to send enemies flying with great force. A cool feature but gunplay is just as adequate in terms of taking out the games brain dead AI.

I was hoping multiplayer would be the game's saving grace but alas, once again I am severely disappointed. I'll have to admit it was fun at first but soon became bland and repetitive after about an hour or so or gameplay. Even the online play doesn't do the game any justice after I realised the bland game mechanics have simply been translated over to the multiplayer with a few different maps and severely limited options, thankfully without the appalling AI. There was minimal effort put into making it feel unique or different to any other FPS's available at the time.

I've got to hand it to EA though, they really know how to stuff up a sequel and basically kill off almost their entire remaining fan base. It just doesn't ‘feel' like a 007 game.
3/10

Controls

While a little clunky at first, within an hours play it felt fairly natural. The Left & Right control sticks handle moving as usual, while R1/L1 allow for shooting with right & left hands respectively, triangle serves as the reload button. The cross and square buttons allow for picking up weapons and interacting with the environment (eg: opening doors) and circle is tasked to crouching. The arrow/d-pad buttons allow for the selecting of different GoldenEye powers and L2 activates the selected ability, R2 also is used for melee.
8/10

Now for a quick revision…

Story: 4/10
Graphics/Visuals: 7/10
Sound: 5/10
Music: 5/10
Gameplay: 3/10
Controls: 8/10
Overall: 3/10

Pros

+ Graphics are nice for the most part
+ Very good controls
+ Nice Concept…

Cons

- …but poorly executed
- Gameplay- just downright disappointing
- Single Player & Multiplayer- both major disappointments
- Average Sound/Audio
- Bland Level Design
- Horrendous AI

In Conclusion

Probably one of the most disappointing sequels I've ever played, especially when considering when it‘s predecessor is renowned to be one of the greatest console FPS's of all time. Rouge Agent however, is anything but. The story is a letdown, the sound/audio is mediocre, the campaign is complete unadulterated crap, the multiplayer is a borefest and the game mechanics are just an outright mess. Definitely avoid this one.


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 08/28/09

Game Release: GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (US, 11/22/04)


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