GoldenEye Reloaded Review
GoldenEye Reloaded - Just another GoldenEye game?
It's funny in a way that game makers keep milking the original GoldenEye N64 title. EA first with GoldenEye Rogue Agent and recently, Activision with GoldenEye Reloaded. I will say that if I had to choose between Rogue Agent and Reloaded, the most honorable use of the name GoldenEye goes to GoldenEye Reloaded. More on that later. GoldenEye Reloaded was originally an exclusive for the Wii, now it's available for the Xbox 360 and the PS3. My review is focused on the Xbox 360 version. I hope to give you a solid overview of what to expect from GoldenEye Reloaded.
The point of a review is to help you decide whether or not to invest your money in buying a game. With that in mind I will get the misconceptions out of the way right away. This is not the original GoldenEye from the Nintendo 64. What you have in GoldenEye Reloaded is a loose, very loosely based story on the original movie and or N64 game. I'm through a good chunck of the single player campaign and what I can say to the original fans of the N64 version, you will only get glimpses or reminders of the original game. Don't try to find the similarities in the levels. You may have seen a screenshot of the original N64 game damage/health display. You will only see this in the 007 mode and is not something you see normally. That was a small disappointment to me. However you will notice some similar gameplay trademarks like shooting out cameras, rescuing hostages in the frigate, and other throw backs. It's more of a sprinkling than a big serving of GoldenEye N64 throwbacks.
Single Player GoldenEye Reloaded
The story moves well and right from the start you get the familiar Dam level. Others that I've experienced in the campaign are Surface, Facility, Frigate and Bunker. Understand that it's mainly the location you will see a parallel with. The look and feel might be similar but your navigation through the levels will not cause you too many flashbacks to the original. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. It's a different game, a different era, and a different game developer. Perhaps they were unable to recreate the levels as the original design because of copyright. Who knows. If you're a fan of the original N64 GoldenEye I simply want to caution you. It's going to give you the odd flashback, but not much more. That doesn't mean it's not fun or worth buying. It's just that the name is the most similar part of it.
With the comparison part of the review out of the way, let me give you my review of GoldenEye Reloaded. What struck me about this game is that a lot of time and effort was obviously put into it. It's like a movie and typically I don't care about story lines, but this game did impress me in that way. You really get into the 007 world in a big way.
I like to play shooters agressively. I did find however that GoldenEye Reloaded does reward you for using stealth. How so? You die less if you play smart. The AI is quite impressive and the bad guys do take cover and work together to take you down. If you've ever played Splinter Cell then you will see some similarities. There are element of the Splintel Cell gameplay that show up in GoldenEye Reloaded. Understand that you don't HAVE to be stealthy. If blasting through baddies if you're idea of fun, then certainly you can play this game that way. There is no shortage of bad guys which does throwback to the original Nintendo 64 game. The health system allows you to regain health in a short period of time. If you take cover you can regain full health. If you sprint, your health will not regenerate. When you are taking damage, your screen gets slattered with blood. As you are nearing death, your screen becomes very bloody. At that point, a couple more hits means you're dead. While you recover, the blood will slowly clear from your screen.
One aspect of GoldenEye Reloaded which I loved was the incredible number of guns! You name it, it's in there. In fact at one point I wanted to know what was the best gun to use but the resources for this game online are not great. You may need to buy an official game guide if you want clarity on what weapons are the best choices. I don't want to understate this fact. This game kicks butt in the weapons department! For a while when EA has the Bond franchise you could argue that the killing of FPS aspect was shunned upon. That was a softer gentler Bond. That was then, this is now. Shooting is something you will get in heaps and heaps. It reminded me that shooting aliens in games like Halo is somewhat blah.
If you play a lot of first person shooters from the current generation, you will be right in the groove with GoldenEye Reloaded. What I did like was the gameplay mechanics of taking cover. You can duck behind an object. Press the scope button and you stand up while holding down the scope button. This allows you to fire off a burst of gun fire and quickly take cover again. Trust me with the number of bad guys you often are dealing with, you will need to take cover often. There is nothing overly unique to the gameplay in GoldenEye Reloaded which should be a blessing to some but a disappointment to others. To me, I like the controls as they are. A few other gameplay mechanics include sprinting, which is done by pressing the left thumbstick button. You will tire and slow down but certainly you can get a fair distance while sprinting. The melee is performed with the right thumbstick button. This isn't my favorite melee button placement and I obviously need some practice before this becomes natural to me. It may be a non issue to you depending on your comfort level with the Xbox 360 joystick.
If you can, run GoldenEye Reloaded through a nice surround sound stereo system. A huge enjoyment I had was in the sounds. It's very cinematic and with the surround sound blasting, you really feel part of the action. Back to the guns for a second. The added layer of enjoyment for me was the variety and accuracy of the different guns. Just amazing! I would typically not rave about sounds or music in a video game, but the fact that I love the music really says something. More than a lot of games, the soundtrack does add a tremendous amount of suspense and tension to the game. This is really noticeable in multiplayer.
GoldenEye Reloaded Multiplayer
I've had a bit of time in GoldenEye Reloaded multiplayer with both online and split screen. There is tremendous amount of depth in the multiplayer settings and loadouts. You can swap out primary and secondary weapons, in addition to your gadgets. The Remote Mines will give you a blast from the past since you can just throw them and trigger with a simple press of the digital pad. It's great for some "old school" Remote Mine kills which you likely enjoyed in the original Nintendo 64 GoldenEye. I haven't yet spent enough time playing on Xbox Live and how customizable the loadouts are. I will say on a local game it's very impressive and very fun. Since me and my friend were new to the game, we had some incredible split screen games with radar off. When we spend some time using various weapons in multiplayer, it seemed like there were some balance issues. As an example, the rocket launcher seems incredibly futile considering how limited the ammo and reloading is. A few of the shotguns and submachine guns can overpower a much lesser skilled opponent who has a more standard or default weapon. The point is that in multiplayer, you need to ensure a fair balanced playing field. If you take your pick of weapons, he with the best pick and not the best skill will be winning those battles. Fun yes, but can be frustrating. I certainly didn't want to tell my buddies that my shotgun was way overpowered and was the reason I was winning by double digit kill counts!
Speaking of the multiplayer levels, there are many. It must be said though that some names might be from the original game but there wasn't anything about the level that reminded me of the original. A bit disappointing but again, I'm sure that Activision cannot use any of the original levels or make them similar to the original N64 GoldenEye multiplayer levels. That's too bad, but it doesn't take away from the enjoyment. Most of these multiplayer maps provide terrific cover and sniping spots. Running around in the open is a sure way of dying over and over again. Sniping was very very enjoyable and the levels were such that you couldn't easily screen watch in split screen multiplayer games.
If you're a fan of the original N64 game and are hoping that GoldenEye Reloaded will take you back to the original you will be disappointed. Yes, you will have reminders of the original game and a few elements are evident, but overall this is simply a different game by a different company. With that said, there is enough in this game to recommend it highly. You're going to get your money's worth from it and I can honestly say thanks to Activision, that James Bond games have become cool again. I'm hoping for big things in upcoming Bond game from Activision. They have created a video game that plays like a movie and is full of stealth, suspense and tension. I hope you consider buying it. If you do buy it, let's talk multiplayer strategies on our forum.
GoldenEye Reloaded Official Trailers
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