Review by PyramidHead87
"I waited almost 2 years for THIS?"
When I first heard about the game in GI Magazine back in mid 2002, I was in for a shocker. I thought this was going to be the exact follow-up to the N64 classic. And, after the blast fest known as Everything or Nothing, I knew for a fact that EA knew what they were doing...or did they?
I rented the game last Christmas, but I was very skeptical because I started reading early reviews and it wasn't looking too hot. Knowing that maybe I could still manage my way around it, I popped the game into my PS2 with my hands pressed against the controller, expecting the upgraded version of the wild ride that infected N64s everywhere back in 1997.
The graphics are nothing better or worse than standard. Don't expect the slick detailing like in the other Bond games, or most of the other FPS's out there for that matter. At least the guns are big, which makes them look dangerous when you wave them around in front of you. After seeing numerous screenshots of the game, I thought the graphics looked cool and the gun models, too. But maybe those pictures were taken from the Xbox version, because the PS2 version didn't look hot to me. Also, every enemy in the game is the same...a SWAT ninja with either a handgun or an assault gun. There are also airborne prototype things that shoot you from up high, with the only real way to take them down is to use the Rocket Launcher.
Oh, that's what it was called? I thought it was just noises that served no motivation. Handguns sound like peanut blasters, assault guns sound like rapid-fire water guns...but the voice acting is actually good, with the likes of such actors/actresses as Christopher Lee, Judi Dench, and Famke Janssen (at least I think she was in here, since rap sheets for the game seem to say someone else's name). The musical score is also done by some guy named Paul Oakenfold...and the reason I say "some guy" is because I've never heard of him before. It didn't really matter to me anyway since you can barely hear the music unless you have your television up really loud and the SFX volume down really low.
Oh, here we go...my experience with the game is that I played through the first 10 minutes of the game, had a great time, and as I continued through the rest of the game, I saw that the WHOLE THING was built around that 10 minutes. This was absolutely one of the most repetitive games I have played in my lifetime, and the reason why I read reviews BEFORE setting out to look at new games (I almost tricked myself into getting the Blade games for PS1 and PS2, before reading about how dumb they were). The game is pretty much like this...you start a level, spend 2 minutes getting acquainted with the long and grueling battle ahead of you, and start going into rooms in ridiculously linear levels until reaching the end point of the stage. No innovation, and no originality. Oh, and you duel-wield different sets of weapons despite the fact there are only about 10 weapons in the whole game, as compared to the original Goldeneye's 50-or-so weapons. And you get four eye powers that you collect throughout the game, but you'll almost never need them since shooting things works just fine. You'll "need" your eye powers at least once or twice throughout the game. There's also some E.V.I.L AI theme going with the enemies, but I never noticed since the enemies were still about as smart as blocks of ice.
It sounds good on paper, but as a game, it never came together, especially since I want GOOD storytelling in my game. You basically play a disgraced MI6 agent who gets kicked out of MI6 for letting James Bond die in a VR-simulated mission in Fort Knox. Just like that, "Goldeneye" (that's the guy's name...real clever, EA) is let go, and decides to join Goldfinger in his quest for world domination against Dr. No. One thing good here, two things wrong: the good thing is that Goldfinger's posse vs. Dr. No's posse is an interesting idea. The first bad thing is that you're fighting MORE bad guys...doing the same **** that James Bond could be doing. The other bad thing is that even though you're a bad guy, you never do anything "bad." Shooting people in the head and throwing people off ledges is the same things that almost ALL video game heroes do. Even Solid Snake and Sam Fisher get their jollies by shooting people and the head and tossing them off high ledges. That's about it for that.
Pros: Interesting concept, great voice cast, things oftentimes go boom, innovative use of the four eye powers, and you can duel-wield weapons.
Cons: GoldenEye moves slower than any old people I know, the four eye powers are useless and can be left alone for a period of time without worrying about them, AI is still stupid no matter how many times E.V.I.L AI is raised in this game, boring level design, and an obvious cash-in by EA to capitalize on the classic name.
Here's the deal: rent this game and see how you like it first. If you end up returning the game earlier than usual, then heck...I don't blame you. If you want innovation in your games, check out EA's older James Bond titles or any of the "award-winning" FPS's out there.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 07/21/05
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