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3.9 out of 5 stars
James Bond 007: GoldenEye - Nintendo Wii
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191 of 204 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2010
Goleneye for the Wii has some high expectations to live up to. The original N64 game was a classic, revolutionizing the FPS genre on consoles. Could this Wii game of the same name be just as important?

I think your enjoyment depends on just how into modern FPS you are. Personally, I absolutely loved Goldeneye Wii. But that's because I love the Call of Duty games...

Finishing the single-player campaign and logging in dozens of hours into the multi-player game is an ENORMOUS amount of time for me to invest in a game, in fact the last time I can think of spending that much time gaming was when Modern Warfare 2 came out. Which makes sense, since the game is so similar to that series.

Goldeneye isn't at all a remake of the Rare game. Everyone throws out "re-imagining", but that doesn't really explain it. The game is completely new, relying only on elements of the movie script to move along the gameplay. Eurocom uses a few familiar locations to invoke memories of playing through the N64 title, and then promplty throw you off with completely new level designs. The game is definitely its own beast.

The single player game is very fun. There's four difficulty levels, and it follows the mission structure Rare made famous. On the lower two difficulty settings only one or two missions are required per level, and they are usually simplistic (like "follow the bad guy" or "get out alive"). The higher two difficulty settings, including classic mode, involve more missions, and while you can finish levels without completing everything, you'll be unable to move on with that specific difficulty. I've been playing it on 007 difficulty (the equivalent of Secret Agent in the original) and have had to redo missions when missing something.

Goldeneye apes a lot from the Call of Duty series. The single player is very cinematic, the gameplay is almost exactly the same (from the constant location icon, to the look down the sight of your gun, to the icon indicating you're crouching), and the multiplayer might as well be called Call of Duty: James Bond. But is that such a bad thing?

Yes, the game is much more cinematic than the original, but it's VERY well-done. The voice acting is superb, the animation is excellent, and the pre-scripted events in the game just make it feel so much more alive than the original. And while you may or may not like the pop-up targeting, replenishing health, and down the sights view, you don't have to play that way. Eurocom had the great sense to make Goldeneye extremely flexible, and that's very much appreciated. Classic mode might be for you, and there's a wealth of more traditional control options available.

That said, I'm a big fan of the COD games, and I enjoyed playing Bond in that style. What separates Goldeneye from, say, Modern Warfare 2 is its reliance on stealth gameplay. I always thought the original's focus on stealth gameplay was a bit artificial, I never felt overwhelmed when setting off alarms or having enemies call for backup. In this game, it's practically required at the higher difficulty settings. This game does great job of allowing for different play styles. There's usually more than a couple paths to get around enemies (including a large number of vents) and you'll really have to take advantage of silencers on your pistol and sniper guns. The game also allows for melee stealth kills, which work great. Sneak up behind an enemy (by crouch-walking), and then snap your nunchuck forward and Bond will pull off a cinematic, and silent, kill. It works VERY well and gives the game its own feel.

The enemy AI is certainly better than the original, which is to say it isn't brain-dead, but not the best in the world. That's partially because there's a focus on stealth; because the game encourages you to sneak up and silently take out enemies, sometimes a fellow adversary a couple feet away might not even take notice. Again, it's not that big of a deal. It always feels like the AI smartens up once a large firefight ensues. Backups are called in and they become aggressive about taking you out. They'll flank you, throw well placed grenades to smoke you out, use cover, etc...

While not as deliberate as in something like Gears of War, Goldeneye has a pretty well implemented cover system. There's barriers around everywhere, and it's always smart to crouch behind them and pop up for a couple of shots. The best part, of course, is that most cover options are destructible, forcing you to constantly search for a better cover option. It's nothing super new, but it's really obvious that more attention was given to this game than most other third-party Wii games.

I've tried using three separate control schemes: Wiimote + Nunchuck, Classic Controller Pro, and the GC controller. And while the CCPro was instantly familiar and well-done, the Wiimote + nunchuck ultimately won out. There's a number of preset sensitivity preferences, of which I used "Experienced 3" - the highest sensitivity. On top of those presets, you can customize the sensitivity further. I upped the sensitivity of movement while looking down the sight of the gun, as well as the turning axis (which helps making a 180 turn while in multiplayer matches).

Pointer controls take a little getting used to, especially getting your pointer hand to sit still, but once you've figured out that sweet spot (like I did above), the controls can't be topped on a console. Whether looking down the sights of my gun or mowing down enemies on the fly, the shooting feels silky smooth. As long as the frame-rate is running just as well, which it is 90% of the time.

Unfortunately, there is that 10% in which the game stutters. This usually happens when there's not only a ton of enemies on screen but also when some fancy particle effects are being used. In one way you'll appreciate the effort to make this game look good, in another you'll just wish the game had been created with optimized gameplay in mind. Again, drops in frame-rate are fairly rare, and if you were a fan of the original...

The multiplayer may be the best FPS experience on the Wii. Like Call of Duty, the game features an XP system that rewards players for kills, wins, and a whole bunch of conditions met. First time playing the complex? Here's +25XP for ya. Assisted in a kill by finishing it with a grenade? Here's an extra +20XP. It always feels like the game is constantly rewarding you in the beginning, probably because of how unbalanced you'll be against more experienced players.

Obviously the more XP you earn, the more you'll level up. Leveling up leads to unlocking better weapons, stat boosts, and "gadgets" - Goldeneye's version of perks. These include gun modifiers like silencers (that will keep you off enemy radars), different sights, etc... The highest levels yield the best extras, like fan-favorite proximity mines. You can even customize you character with multiple "loadouts". Nothing I've said will be new to you if you've played a COD game since Modern Warfare.

None of these features would matter if the levels weren't well-designed and the matches ran smoothly, and so far so good. While I can't yet say if the maps are as memorable as the original's (that will warrant dozens more hours in gameplay) my suspicions tell me they aren't. They're a bit generic, and the levels that aren't meant to resemble the original's slightly resemble the original Modern Warfare's least popular maps. Not a big surprise there. With a max of eight players online at once, the maps typically run a bit small, which may be fine for fans of the original, but will disappoint anyone who became a FPS fan following the original Halo.

Luckily though they are small, the maps are fairly well designed with numerous access points, decent camping spots, and recognizable features that help in familiarizing yourself with the maps. Again, you might be disappointed if you're expecting maps from the original. Nothing is as good as the Temple,Facility, Complex, or Archives, though some replacements (Facility and Archives) are still pretty well done.

The multiplayer modes are also worth mentioning. While Conflict and Team Conflict are your standard deathmatch modes, there's also Golden Gun mode, Heroes mode, Goldeneye mode, etc... all fun and unique modes that really do separate Goldeneye from Halo and COD. You'll also be able to unlock a few hardcore modes that lower health and lose the radar. There's a lot of game here.

Of the dozens of hours I've put into the game so far, the majority have been dedicated to the multiplayer. Matches typically run smooth, which is somewhat rare for Wii games not made by Nintendo. I use a WiFi connection rather than the USB ethernet dongle, which is what I've always been told is a contributor to choppy online play, yet Goldeneye runs smooth almost all the time. I've only had a couple of matches run choppy, both of which took place in the nightclub level (which may be a factor, as the lighting is a bit hectic), but the game was still playable, there weren't any delay in input and on-screen action, simply a slower pace. I've also yet to have a dropped match, though when the host does leave the game after a match you might as well back out. The game will attempt to reassign a host, but it takes a bit, and usually fails since everyone else drops out.

I didn't intend for this to turn into such a long review, but there's just so many things to talk about when the topic is Goldeneye Wii. I think it's a great game. By far the best FPS on the Wii, which just seems right - Goldeneye on a Nintendo console. The game is a complete package with a very well produced single player game and a very deep multiplayer that should satisfy until the next big thing comes along. And let's be honest, it might take until Wii 2 before we see another high-profile exclusive Wii FPS worth buying.

Ultimately, the only people who should be cautious approaching this game are those who don't like FPShooters and those who only want an exact remake of their beloved Goldenye. This isn't that classic, but it's probably the best Bond game since the original Goldeneye. Judged solely on its own merits, it should be in every Wii owner's collection.
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52 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2010
The Classic is back.

007 Goldeneye for the Wii is the classic redone, only this time with the controls that we all know and love from Metroid Prime 3. It remains the same solid FPS that we all grew up with, with a few improvements in storyline and graphics (relatively speaking).

-The motion controls make this game so much easier than any other FPS I have played. Please see Halo for example.
-Improved nuance. Ex. The sound of ears ringing when a grenade goes off nearby, or the way the head shifts with the movement of Bond's body
-Bring in the Daniel Craig. While the original GE was done with Pierce Brosnan, the modern Bond is a nice addition to an old classic.
-The familiar: Judi Dench as our beloved M.
-New Weapons: now kill with more ways than ever!
-Options: Go in stealth or guns blazing. Take your pick. Either usually works in any scenario if you're careful.
-Multiplayer: It is incredibly true when they say "bringing multiplayer back to its roots."

-Graphics, dammit! "Metroid: Other M" is a clear example of what can be achieved with the Wii's limited graphics. Or how about Mario Galaxy 2? The machine is better than most give it credit for.
-The graphics again: Seriously, Nintendo, time to go HD. Gamecube graphics + 1 does not cut it anymore.
-A bit of change to the original story. Forgivable, however. It's GoldenEye.

It's a solid FPS for the Wii, something that is desperately lacking. We have Metroid Prime and that's more of a puzzle/adventure than a true FPS. The controls are fluid, the nuance is great, and we have the lovely Judi Dench narrating our mission objectives to us. It is easily the best Bond game since Nightfire or Agent Under Fire for the GCN.

Highly recommended.
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37 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2010
As a teenager I spent countless hours with friends playing GoldenEye for the N64, and to this day I rate it as the second best multiplayer experience that I have ever had on a console (Perfect Dark takes the cake). Naturally I had high expectations for a reboot of the GoldenEye brand, but it seems that I set my sights too high and Eurocom set its sights too low.

GoldenEye for the Wii is not simply a remake, but a reboot. Daniel Craig takes the place of Pierce Brosnan as James Bond (I prefer Brosnan, but it doesn't really matter), and the story has been tweaked to reflect more modern technologies, namely a cell phone that does just about everything. The story is far from cerebral and hardly memorable, except for the scenes and areas you might recognize from the original game. While the single player campaign is enjoyable for the first runthrough if you like gratuitous explosions and dispatching a ton of enemies, it is ultimately short (under 10 hours), unrewarding (unlockables are few and far between), and plagued with annoying quick time events (moments that take you away from the gun action and ask you to press a button or waggle your controller so that you don't die). The thing that kills me most is the lack of replay value in the levels. Yes there are multiple difficulty settings and time trials, but, as far as I can tell after beating the game on the default difficulty setting, there are no mods like in the original game (such as infinite ammo or invincibility). Luckily the controls are outstanding, the graphics, while not great in the scheme of things, look decent for the Wii, and the nostalgia factor is there. And sound... Meh. Voice acting is good, but the synching is not ideal, and the music is simply not as interesting as the original game, despite using the same composer.

Multiplayer is the sole reason to lay down any amount of money for this game. You can play with 4 people split screen, which I think any console FPS worth its salt should do well, and GoldenEye does it well enough. However, where are the options that we knew and loved from the original game? Modifiers are limited, and so are the number of characters to choose from. I don't even think you can do License to Kill mode (1 hit kills) while offline! You also cannot put away your weapon. In the original putting away your weapon not only allowed you to karate chop, but it also made it so that players could not automatically target you. And why the heck is there regenerating health, like just about every shooter has today? If you get shot doesn't it make more sense that you don't suddenly heal? I miss running around like a madman, weapon put away to make myself a harder target, while trying to reach armor. Also there are no weapon sets and respawning ammo; now there are only loadouts (a collection of three or so weapons that you must use together until you die, unless you pick up something a dead player dropped). Really the lack of modes and weapon selection is what bothers me in offline multiplayer. Maps are largely disappointing (not to mention surprisingly dark) and the Facility, my favorite level in the original, is sadly one of the worst.

Online multiplayer is addicting because you VERY SLOWLY earn experience to unlock new weapons and gadgets for your custom loadouts (you pick the three weapons that you use). The games run smoothly for the most part (it gets choppy if you're hosting) but the implementation is miserable. Low level players are lumped together in games with high level ones who unfairly have access to more powerful weapons (presumably because not enough people play the game to warrant a separation of levels), you lose all of your hard-earned experience in a match if the host leaves the game, and you cannot choose your skin (there is one mode that lets you choose what you look like, but good luck unlocking it considering how long it takes to level up). Before a match you get a choice between two randomly chosen levels that you can vote on, so you don't even really get to pick the map.

In conclusion, do not buy this game for the single player experience. If you get it, do it for the multiplayer. The linear gameplay in single player, lack of modes, modifiers, and overall options make this game a sad addition to the GoldenEye brand (perhaps one day some cheats will be released--there is a cheat menu--that prove me wrong). While online multiplayer is undeniably addicting if you feel like you must unlock and try out all of the weapons and limited modes, it falls short in many other departments. What made the original game great was tons of unlockables (many of which were incredibly challenging to earn), a non-linear single-player experience, top-notch multiplayer level design, and a HUGE variety of gameplay options. GoldenEye for the Wii does not offer a similar experience.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2010
When it comes to videogames, there is nothing I enjoy more than a good remake of a classic game. I'd rather have a remake of a superb, 13 year old game (like N64's "Goldeneye"), than a new and original but lousy one. This has been done a few times before with great results: PS1's "Resident Evil" was remade (from scratch) for the Gamecube in 2002, PS1's "Metal Gear Solid" was remade (from scratch) for the Gamecube in 2004 (under the name "Twin Snakes"), and PS1's "Silent Hill" was remade (from scratch) for the Wii in 2009 (under the name "Shattered Memories"). This remake of "Goldeneye" is just as good as those. However, this is more than just a remake of N64's "Goldeneye" from 1997. This is like "Goldeneye" + "all the other cool stuff from the James Bond-franchise" thrown together in the mix and shaken (not stirred). Classic guns (including the golden one) and characters from past Bond-movies are playable in the multiplayer mode. These characters include:

-Jaws (That big scary 7'2'' tall guy with metal teeth played by Richard Kiel in "The Spy Who Loved Me" (1977) and "Moonraker" (1979))

-Francisco Scaramanga (Played by Christopher Lee in The Man with the Golden Gun (1974))

-Oddjob (The Hawaiian guy with the lethal hat played by Harold Sakata in Goldfinger (1964))

-Ernst Stavro Blofeld (This is the Blofeld played by Charles Gray in Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Not the Blofeld played by Donald Pleasence or Telly Savalas)

-Baron Samedi (That scary voodoo-guy with the peculiar laughter and face-paint played by Geoffrey Holder in Live and Let Die (1973))

-Rosa Klebb (The dangerous little lady with the red hair and lethal shoe played by Lotte Lenya in From Russia with Love (1963))

-Red Grant (That blond henchman played by Robert Shaw in From Russia with Love (1963))

-Julius No (Played by Joseph Wiseman in Dr. No (1962))

The multiplayer is split-screen just like old times (up to 4 players), but an 8-player online multiplayer is also available. The single player story mode pretty much follows the same story as N64's "Goldeneye" from 1997. The only big difference is that you will be seeing the face and hearing the voice of Daniel Craig, rather than that of Pierce Brosnan. Personally I would have preferred Brosnan. Also, the rest of the cast (except Judi Dench) has been replaced by new "actors". Trevelyan, Ourumov, Onatopp etc. have different faces and voices than you see in the movie. Also here I would have preferred the old cast: Famke Janssen, Sean Bean, Robbie Coltrane etc.. But this isn't enough to ruin the game. Like I insinuated earlier, this is a remake made completely from scratch. This is not the Nintendo 64-game just printed onto Wii-discs. So you will have the pleasure of seeing the best graphics around. You can play this game with almost every controller ever released by Nintendo since the release of Gamecube: The Wii Remote with Nunchuk, Wii Zapper, Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro, and the Nintendo GameCube controller can all be used with this game. I'm a bit old fashioned, so I prefer using the Gamecube-controller. Some parts of the story in this game are actually closer to what happened in the movie than the N64-game ever was. Like in that park in St. Petersburg when the identity of Janus is revealed, this time you will actually be sitting in the helicopter when those two rockets are fired. And you'll have to find a way to escape, just like in the movie. Some changes are made regarding locations I might add. The things that in the movie happened in Monaco, are here happening in Dubai, and what usually happened on Cuba is now happening in Nigeria etc.. I think this game is perfect as it is. Would have been fun with even more than 8 classic characters in multiplayer though. I am missing the likes of Auric Goldfinger, and I wouldn't mind having seen some of the newer characters like Jinx from Die Another Day (2002) and Solange from Casino Royale (2006) if you know what I mean :-). This game also lacks some of the humour that made the original so great. The AK-47 is among the weaponry here (wouldn't be Goldeneye without one) along with MP5 and SPAS 12, but nearly all the weapons have fictional names. Another thing that would improve this game: The original N64-game hidden somewhere like an easter-egg (just like "Maniac Mansion" was hidden in "Day of the Tentacle", and the original "Donkey Kong" was hidden in "Donkey Kong 64"). For example, in a video game arcade cabinet standing somewhere in that nightclub in Barcelona. I would even say this is the game of this decade (the 00s) I have been looking forward to the most, and for good reason. Oh, and unless you have been living under a rock the last 13 years, you know this is a first-person-shooter.

P.S. Is it just me or did they stop making games like "Goldeneye"(N64) and "Ocarina of Time"(N64)? Miss those times....
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2010
You should know what you are getting with Goldeneye for the Wii. This is a sort of remake of the Goldeneye story. Although many characters and events from the movie are in the game they are done so in a more realistic "Daniel Craig" way, and thats great. The controls take some getting used to if you are using the nunchuk and remote. For a Wii game the animations are great. From a bad guy running away and shooting at you at the same time, to an enemy stumbling because you shot him in the leg. The only downside to the game is that the graphics make it hard to see enemies. In the second level you are in a dance club and must fight your way out, the problem is that the environment is blue and dark and you have enemies shooting at you from everywhere. Its just a small annoyance in an otherwise fantastic game.
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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2010
This game has been nonstop fun since the moment I popped it into my Wii yesterday. I am astounded by just how great the game looks and how well done the story has been thus far. The writer(the same one who scripted the original movie) has remained faithful to certain elements of the story but added a fantastic 21st feel to everything. There is nothing quite like running away from something to the James Bond theme playing faithfully in the background like you have so many times in here. At times, it's almost like you are playing a true James Bond film right there on the Wii. Many folks will truly enjoy the fact that the game lets you play it seamlessly on either the Wiimote/Nunchuk, Classic Controller(Pro), or even the Gamecube controller. The controls on any controller are a bit tough to get used to at first, but once you do, you should have a 5 star gaming experience.

Please note I haven't had a chance to venture into multiplayer, but I'm sure it's just as amazing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 3, 2011
What made the original GoldenEye 007 so golden? "Was it the controls? Was it the first of its kind on consoles?" Ever since those questions flashed on the screen with its unveiling at E3 2010, gamers have been eagerly anticipating the release of the game, and for good reason: It is a remake of one of the most revolutionary first-person shooters ever - way before Halo or Call of Duty. The original 1997 game was developed by Rare (the same company who also made "Donkey Kong Country" and "Banjo-Kazooie") and licensed by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 platform. It received phenomenal praise across the gaming community and went on to sell over 8 million copies. But with success comes exploitation, and when Electronic Arts (EA) picked up the Bond license, they too tried to dip into the golden pot of what Rare and Nintendo did years ago. EA released "GoldenEye: Rouge Agent" in 2004, but the game was met with mediocre reviews that criticized it for being just a shameless cash-in on the beloved game.

Rare was bought by Microsoft, who shared the Nintendo vision to port the GoldenEye game for the Xbox Live Arcade and Nintendo's Virtual Console. That plan was ultimately scrapped though, since Nintendo and Microsoft could not come to terms with the financial aspect of things - Nintendo still holds the licensing rights to the original game.

Now that Activision holds the rights to the Bond license, Nintendo gave them permission to remake the game with Eurocom becoming the developer, and they did a fantastic job with it. So for any readers out there questioning if this remake is a simple cash-in, put those worries to rest. I can safely say that Bond is back and he is better than ever in this re-imagining of the classic Nintendo 64 game.

The greatest thing about GoldenEye 007 for Wii is that Eurocom actually cared about this game, and it shows. This isn't some simple retelling of a decade old game. Eurocom hired the original writer of the film "GoldenEye" to rewrite the story for the game to fit modern times. The inclusion of Daniel Craig as James Bond is probably the biggest change of all to the story, and the writer makes the Bond character much more aggressive.

Remember in the original film/game when Pierce Brosnan runs to the edge of the dam and then bungee jumps off of the dam a thousand miles high into the lower facility? Well Daniel Craig does that by activating his parachute on the surrounding guards that are trying to capture him and leaps without anything on him.

The multi-functional wrist watch that used to be in the old game is replaced with a smart phone that can take pictures and hack devices. Gameplay is both new and familiar to the original title. Gamers have the choice whether to be an actual secret agent and use stealth to get through levels, or play like the original game where you shot anything that had a pulse. It feels good for a game to give the players the choice of how they want to play, and speaking of game play, the stealth element is the best I've seen in any first person shooter.

The graphics, while not Super Mario Galaxy 2 quality, are still very impressive and done with care and detail. Level designs are unique and filled with rich textures and good lighting. The character model movement in the game was done using "performance capture," meaning everything you see in the game was actually done by real stunt people thus adding depth and realism into the experience.

The presentation is great and works well for the Bond franchise. The menu system is the MI6 interface and everything about it is stylish, quick and easy to use. The sound in this game is just incredible. The voice acting is so superb and the sound effects feel so real. From subtle sounds such as walking on grass or concrete to the explosions and bullets whizzing by your head is all in complete Dolby Surround Sound, so it really puts you into the game. The soundtrack is varied and intense, matching the suspense and action of the game. It even features a re-recording of Tina Turner's "GoldenEye" theme from the film but remixed and sung instead by Nicole Scherzinger from the Pussy Cat Dolls.

Multi-player was where it was with the original GoldenEye, and the Wii remake makes it even better and even more addictive. Taking cues from Halo, and Call of Duty, gamers will have modifiers and gain experience points for each kill.

The various modes of play are thrilling and offer both offline and online play through Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Conflict is the standard death-match with teams or free-for-all, Goldeneye mode is twist on the old capture the flag formula where players have a set a time limit to capture five consoles to position the Goldeneye above the opposing team's base.

In Black Box mode gamers are on teams of either MI6 whose mission is to destroy the box, or Janus who has to retrieve the data in it, and whoever completes their objective first wins. There are a ton of other modes that I could not squeeze into this review but trust me that the multi-player aspect of the game is fast, frantic, and seriously fun to play.

Finding flaws in this game is difficult without nit-picking. The frame rate is kind of choppy when you play online, and during the single player story mode you can't skip the in-game dialog scenes, but that's it. This is the best effort I've seen in third party support for the Wii in quite some time. I strongly suggest readers give this game a shot.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2010
This review contains spoilers!

I was pretty excited to know they were coming out with a Goldeneye 007 for Wii, as I remember how fun the N64 game was. I remember spending endless hours trying to get the cheats and unlock everything. I have to say, however that I probably should have rented this game before I bought it. This game was a major letdown to me. It seems more like Halo or Call of Duty, than Goldeneye 007. In a lot of places you find yourself facing 5-10 enemies, and instead of the sneaking around you did in the other game. There are some areas where you can sneak around, but it gets annoying when one CPU unit alerts all the others. They also changed the levels too much. They even took out some of the ones in the other game. Also, from what I played, there was no Mishkin and no Boris, and no cheats to unlock, as far as I know. The entire overlook of the game is completely different, and sometimes you can even predict exactly what is going to happen in the game. Something that is annoying is that the enemy always knows where you are and can hit you from almost anywhere if you are not hiding. The CPUs are sometimes ridiculous, when they come up almost right next to you without shooting and you can gun them down pretty easily. Other than that, this game is a fairly good one, if you haven't played the original. This game would be a good game if it stood alone, but it does a disgrace to the original game, in my opinion. This game might be a good one for people who like mass combat, like Halo or Call of Duty, but may not be for people like me. Lastly, the multiplayer wasn't too fun for me either. I think they should have added the option of playing against CPUs. So I would strongly suggest renting this game before you buy it, if that is possible.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2010
the main question about this game when it was announced was how closely it would resemble the original. the answer is not very; the changes made to the gameplay mechanics, level design, story, and the huge boost in graphical power all make for something that feels like an entirely new game, albeit one with a few moments of déjà vu. if you were to hand the controller to a fan of the original without telling them what they were playing it would take them a couple of levels to recognize it as goldeneye; if they were playing multiplayer, they wouldn't recognize it at all. that's not a bad thing, however, as the reason everyone wanted a remake in the first place was that the original has aged very poorly.


the single player game features extremely high production values, with a script rewritten by the original writer, a score by the composer of the films, key roles played by the film actors, and extensive motion capture to make it all look convincing. the story unfolds much like eurocom's last game, dead space extraction, with real time cutscenes that don't remove the player from gameplay very often. there are occasional dips where the story stops feeling like a playable bond film and veers into typical video game awkwardness, but for the most part the storytelling, acting and directing are all well done, especially over the course of bond's first and last missions with trevelyan.

health regenerates and weapons are limited to two at a time (with bond's p99 as a permanent third choice). enemies no longer behave like cardboard cutouts and can very quickly multiply around you, making direct confrontations much more dangerous than the original (which largely let you run around guns blazing without consequence). regenerating health diminishes the strategy required to reach the end of a level, but at times feels like a necessary addition to make difficult stretches playable; the developers included a "classic" mode without regenerating health (complete with hidden body armor) so that you can play whichever way you prefer.

the levels are entirely new designs aside from the opening dam, which is a recreation of the original n64 level. the art direction and architecture are extremely well done, at times almost rivaling retro studios' work in metroid corruption. from the stormy dam to blizzard drenched siberian forests to a mountainous african jungle, the environments never disappoint.

unfortunately, while the new maps are very competently designed they are also extremely linear, often giving you a feeling of being funneled from one gunfight to another. the worst of this linearity is when the path needlessly closes up behind you after reaching a checkpoint, leaving you s.o.l. if you need to go back and complete an objective you may have missed. there are always multiple little paths to take along the way, however, and choosing one route over another can alter the way the level progresses a moderate amount. like the original, higher difficulties introduce more objectives that will take you into different parts of a level, giving you a fuller world to explore and helping to offset the linearity. the objectives feel a little uninspired compared to the original, almost always revolving around bond's cell phone, but they still go a long way towards deepening the game and giving you a break from shooting people.

the emphasis on stealth is the single largest evolution of the gameplay, with bond's sneaking options expanded far beyond the rudimentary "use a silencer or don't" of the original. guards will respond to any attacks in their eye-line and will go on alert if they so much as hear bond's footsteps nearby. this leads to silently crouching and taking guards out one at a time with either a silenced headshot or a melee takedown, giving the game a first-person metal gear quality. rooms are set up like puzzles with different guards covering different zones and making different rounds through the area, and figuring out the correct order to neutralize them in without being spotted is a fun challenge.

there are a few problems with the stealth, the first of which is bond's glitched p99; the gun shoots much lower than the sights indicate, and when you compensate for this and aim higher than your target, the body of the gun blocks your view of the enemy completely, making it a guessing game as to whether your headshots will connect and often leads to guards sounding the alarms. the fact that a blight this fundamental to the gameplay made it through glitch testing is astounding (the bug was fixed for goldeneye: reloaded). enemies also seem a little too sensitive to your presence in general, sometimes spotting you even when silently moving behind cover and leaving you with no clue what you did wrong.

the hit detection is very poor, with nearby rails and peripheral objects that aren't directly in your line of fire taking your bullets anyway. ducking behind cover rarely prevents you from getting hit, and when the room is full of enemies this often makes you feel like there's no possible way to avoid being shot. luckily the game has a generous checkpoint system to make these segments less frustrating when you die, and these problems aren't annoying enough to ruin what is overall a very good campaign.

the single player game regrettably lacks one of the original game's best features- the cheat menu. like the original there are time trials to complete for each level, but this time there's no reward for beating them and with the extremely high difficulty there's little incentive to try. with linear level design and no cheats to enhance the replay value, the game won't pull you back in nearly as often as the original.


when it comes to controls the game offers options for every wii compatible device, although most players will settle on either the wiimote or classic controller pro. nintendo worked with eurocom to ensure that the remote controls would function well, but the effort seems to have been in vain; while the customization options are expansive and the physics are great, the controls are absolutely riddled with game-breaking glitches. every time you sprint, aim down the sights, vault over obstacles, pick up a gun, or perform nearly any action whatsoever, the dead zone will lock and prevent you from turning. this prevents you from maneuvering or targeting for a brief moment each time it happens, which is obviously a huge problem when playing online. not being able to rely on the game to perform movements as simple as turning the camera is an incredible annoyance, and one can only assume eurocom missed these glitches by doing most of their play testing with a dual analog controller.


the multiplayer travels far from the original game, with splitscreen failing to capture most of what made the original fun. aside from a few game modes (golden gun, you only live twice) and some cosmetic throwbacks like paintball and playable villains there's really not much that much separating this from call of duty; regenerating health is mandatory and weapons are chosen from preset loadouts, which removes all of the strategy of collecting the best weapons from the map before your friends do. the splitscreen loadouts are not customizable and the very best guns are available alongside the worst, leaving little reason to ever experiment with more than a few classes. this leaves the weapon system in an unfortunate middle ground between new and old- all the strategy of the old game is missing and none of the customization and leveling that makes modern games fun is there.

this doesn't mean that the splitscreen mode is bad, but it has a very limited feel compared to other modern shooters. large areas of the maps are blocked off to keep players from getting too far from one another, a limitation that claims some of the best parts of every level. the preset loadouts not only reduce the strategy but also a lot of the spontaneity; when every player starts with the same guns every time it begins to feel like you've seen all the game has to offer after only a couple rounds.

online play is a much fuller experience; the maps open up, the loadouts are customizable, and the number of game modes increases several times over. out of the 10 maps there isn't a single bad one and the quality of their design is just as brilliant as (if not better than) the original. while there are some very large and open levels, the new maps for the most part feel a little more compact and maze-like than most modern shooters. this makes for more chaotic gameplay with players forced to engage each other face to face more often than sniping each other across vast expanses.

there are enough game modes to choose from to keep you from getting bored, and every single one of them truly is fun- heroes mode randomly gives one member of your team the power to kill faster, take more damage, and refill the health of players around him; the trade off is that the other team gets massive points if he dies. black box is a spin on capture the flag where one team attempts to hold the box while the other attempts to destroy it, making for a very different match depending on which side you're on. golden gun returns and is just as fun online with 8 people as it was in the old days.

unfortunately, while the components of good online play are there, the online system is a pitiful and half baked effort that can be summed up in three phrases: lag, host quitting, and noob tubers. lag is so prominent that players will often ending up mutually killing each other in fights no matter who shot first or killed first; the game is so slow to keep up that both players are riddled with shots by the time that one of them finally drops dead.

in the event that the host quits (and it happens constantly), the game returns all players to the lobby with none of their xp or stats saved. considering how long it takes to level up in this game, losing any xp is a frustration, but hosts have a habit of quitting most frequently when you're playing your absolute best; you can expect to lose large amounts of xp and any killstreak records you've accumulated in good matches over and over again simply because the hosts leave when they're being beaten.

then there are problems with constant noob tubers (players who abuse the grenade launcher), hackers, campers, and cheap players in general. these issues are present in any online FPS, but the playing community for goldeneye seems absolute intent on ruining the game with these tactics.


overall the new goldeneye is a solid FPS, but the final product feels like a buggy beta version that wasn't ready for release. the single player offers an experience that plays far better than the original game does today, even if it doesn't always keep it's best qualities consistently up to the same level throughout, and the multiplayer offers hundreds of hours of fun with addictive (if buggy) online play. it may not capture everything that made the original game fun, but what it does capture is the same overall sense of being a well made first person shooter, and it at least feels more aesthetically harmonized with the original than anything since the n64 era. if only eurocom hadn't been so concerned with porting it to the HD systems as goldeneye: reloaded and done proper glitch testing, it could have been a first rate shooter. as it is, that first rate shooter is permanently buried under a messy collection of unfinished code.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
I don't play a ton of Wii games. The ones I do play typically aren't first person shooters. As the owner of a Wii, Xbox 360, and PS3 the Wii simply isn't my go-to machine for hardcore shooters.

However, with the release of "Goldeneye" for the Wii, I simply had to have it. The original "Goldeneye" on the N64 was the game that really got me hooked on the genre, so when I first heard it was being remade, I knew I would have to get it.

I'm glad I did.

The game is really good. I really liked how it all felt so familiar, yet different at the same time. The story was tweaked just a tad to fit more with the times, but it still followed the story of the movie and the original game pretty closely. I loved coming across something that I remembered so fondly from the original game.

I will say that the only thing I didn't really like about the game was the controls with the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. I ended up having to buy a Classic Controller Pro to really have fun with it. If you are used to using the Wii Remote in first person shooter games, this probably won't be an issue for you...but if you enjoy using a standard controller for your FPS games, then know that the Classic Controller Pro does a great job of controlling this game.

Overall, this is a must have package for any FPS fan and any Wii owner.
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