Tag Archives: James Bond

Goldeneye 007 (Nintendo 64)

Developer(s) – Rare

Publisher(s) – Nintendo

Director(s) – Martin Hollis

Producer(s) – Martin Hollis

ELSPA – 15+

 

Developed by Rare to coincide with the Bond film of the same name starring Pierce Brosnan, and created by a core team of nine people, Goldeneye 007 was received as being on the best games on the system, helping to establish a lot of the standards associated with 3D first-person shooters along with the likes of Quake and Duke Nukem 3D. Although I personally prefer Rare’s spiritual successor Perfect Dark for a number of reasons, there’s no denying that the original Goldeneye is and forever will be a Nintendo 64 classic; certainly one of the best games on the system and probably one of the best first-person shooters of all time. 

 

Graphics – 8.5/10

The game is set across the same locations the film is set in, albeit with a few unique ones added in for good measure, as well as the multiplayer arenas. The graphics for Goldeneye, namely facial textures, have become a meme over the Internet in comparison to today’s graphics, but the fact of the matter is that these visuals were revolutionary at the time, with intricately designed levels that keep faithful to the original film as well as branch out to give players an entirely unique experience at the same time. 

 

Gameplay – 9/10

A traditional 3D first-person shooter, the player is reliant on a range of firearms in order to shoot through hordes of enemies to progress, but it is also objection-based with players having to carry out specific tasks to complete each scenario, which was relatively unique for a game of its kind back then. Doom had features similar to this, but not the same scale. The multiplayer mode has also become insanely popular with gamers over the years with the facility to choose from a range of different Bonds and Bond villains from other Bond films as well as Goldeneye; indeed the character of Oddjob had become synonymous with gaming in general since. It’s a licensed game that not only uses the license but celebrates it in wonderfully extravagant ways. 

 

Controls – 7/10

The biggest problem I had with the game was the controls. Players must rely on the c buttons in order to move the character as opposed to the analog stick, which caused confusion for me at the time and can potentially cause confusion for players looking to try it out for the first time, as FPS games have evolved greatly since the release of this game. It’s an even bigger problem for me, especially when comparing it to Perfect Dark, which posthumously solved this problem by having the analog stick be the means to move around, but that being said, it doesn’t make the game unplayable by any stretch of the imagination. 

 

Lifespan – 7/10

To complete the main game to 100% will take around 20 hours, which for a linear FPS is excellent, especially when comparing it to other games of the genre that would go on to last considerably less time like Halo 4. But beyond that, the multilayer model has provided unlimited playtime to many, many fans of the game over almost 25 years so players looking for a long time will want for nothing where this title is concerned. 

 

Storyline – 8/10

The game simply retells the events of the film, whereby James Bond is tasked with stopping a Russian crime syndicate from recovering and using the secret Goldeneye weapons program. In terms of storytelling in video games, the plot of the film is as well relayed as what could’ve been expected at the time, with much of the film’s dialogue being used and all of the main character’s purposes and personalities intact. In the unique campaign levels, there are certain moments that also add to the overall story in addition, so things are kept relatively fresh in this respect to help it.

 

Originality – 9/10

Speaking of uniqueness, at the time this game was like a breath of fresh air for gamers playing on the Nintendo 64, who at this point would’ve been more used to 3D platforming adventures and quirky racing games. Goldeneye, along with many other future releases on the system like Turok, Jet Force Gemini, or Mortal Kombat 4, would provide players with a multitude of different Gameplay experiences on the system that deviated away from the kind of game that Nintendo would develop internally. The game itself would also go on to become of the most influential games in the genre in addition, with many developers citing it as a major influence on future games. 

 

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Overall, Goldeneye 007 is definitely one of the best first-person shooting games of all time; it’s enjoyable to play, still stands out from many other FPS titles, and as fans patiently wait for the remaster that this game deserves, revisiting this classic still holds up. To this day regardless. 

Score

48.5/60

8/10 (Very Good)

007: Agent Under Fire (Xbox, PlayStation 2 & GameCube)

Developer(s) – EA Redwood Shores

Publisher(s) – Electronic Arts

ELSPA – 15

Developed as an intended successor to Rare’s massively successful first-person shooter based on the same license, Goldeneye 007, Agent Under Fire was released back in 2001, and met with mixed to positive reviews from critics. Although I don’t think it’s anywhere near as good as Goldeneye 007, and despite the fact that many critics have gone on to label it a “standard-issue game, I personally found a fair bit of enjoyment to be had whilst playing, and as a result, I spent a lot of time on it when it was released.

Graphics – 7.5/10

In lieu of the franchise’s tradition, the game is set in a multitude of different locations around the world, and range from locations such as submarines, secret bases office buildings and city streets. Conceptually, the game is as wonderfully varied as any film or game in the franchise. Graphically, it also did a fairly decent job of showcasing what sixth generation consoles were capable of in a graphical sense in the early stages of their respective shelf lives.

Gameplay – 7.5/10             

The gameplay also went beyond an average linear first-person shooter. With many different gadgets to use along the way, such as a decryptor to unlock doors, a laser to find hidden entry points into buildings and to break locks and a jet pack to reach higher ground, it all provided the game with a pleasant amount of variety. Since it all also provided different ways to approach each level, it also came with a decent amount of replay value as well. There are also sequences that involve vehicular combat, which only added to the game’s level of diversity, as well as the intensity to be experienced while playing.

Controls – 10/10

This game was released in a time when the first-person shooting genre was about to taken to even greater heights than before in terms of commercial success, so as to be expected, there are no problems with the controls, especially as the game was developed using the id Tech 3 engine created by id Software; pioneers of the genre with the likes of Doom and Wolfenstein. I also found the vehicular sections to be as simple to control as many of the best racing games that were around at the time, such as Gran Turismo 3, which makes the game seem even more impressive, as it was built on an engine designed specifically for shooting games.

Lifespan – 6/10

The game can only be made to last around 10 to 15 hours, which whilst isn’t great, is longer than many other FPS games released today, and was seemingly about the industry standard for the time anyway. What replay value it offers can add on a couple more hours, but I think they could have easily made this game to last longer than they did by either making the stages longer with ore side challenges to complete throughout or simply having more of them instead.

Storyline – 6/10

The storyline is also typically reminiscent of a James Bond film, but with considerably worse dialogue. In it, Bond is investigating a corporation called Identicon; a botanical research firm suspected of being a front for a weapons-smuggling ring. A mole in the organization named Zoe Nightshade is found out and captured by the corporation and it’s up to Bond to save her, as well as stop their plans. There is also a nice twist to it all presented towards the middle of the story, but the voice acting can range from barely passable to lackluster, making it somewhat difficult to take seriously at times. The voice actor playing Bond also sounded to me like Steve Coogan, and since I’m Alan Partridge was riding high at that time, a program of which I’m a big fan of, it made it especially difficult to take seriously.

Originality – 7/10

Although it was nowhere as innovative as Goldeneye 007, this game is not without its own distinct charm that differentiates it from most other first-person shooters. The side quests in each level give players something to do beyond focusing on shooting every enemy in sight, and the vehicular combat does very well to positively mix up the gameplay, and provide gamers with a very different experience to what they will have been used to at that time.

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Overall, Agent Under Fire is a very decent licensed game made in a time before the sub-genre was taken into greater prominence with the likes of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. Even though it is very easy to draw negative comparisons with Goldeneye 007, it’s still a very enjoyable gaming experience and one that even still holds up to this day.

Score

44/60

7/10 (Fair)