Sooo.. like a great many now-old people, I played the original GoldenEye 007 back on the N64 in the day, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I think I finished the SP campaign at least twice, and also put in a lot of Multiplayer time with my friends of the day, sneaking around the complexes and stealing a glance at their quadrant of the screen.
I skipped the PS2/XBox era remake/reimagining/re-whatever, Rogue Agent, because, well, frankly, shooters were pretty shitty on the last generation of consoles if you had access to a PC. These days, they’re acceptable, and in rare cases, better. Which brings us to GoldenEye Reloaded 2011 edition.
Now, this iteration of the game is clearly superior to the PC version, since there’s not actually any PC version. See what I did there? Anyway, as a shooter, this one fits thoroughly in the “not too bad” category, alongside other decent-but-not-amazing shooters as Resistance: Fall of Man, and.. well, probably some other ok but forgettable games I’ve played, enjoyed mildly, then put aside and forgotten existed.
I’m not going to give away the story, but it’s essentially an updated/rewritten version of the original film, with Daniel Craig’s mug in place of Brosnan’s, and Judi Dench’s voice as M (who she actually played back in the original film of GoldenEye in 1995)
Basically, the shooting action is CoD-lite. The weapon selection is decent, with a variety of modern weapons all given generic renames, and with somewhat random attachments slapped on, such as ACOG, Reflex sights, red-dot laser, silencers and grenade launchers. I enjoyed the shooting to a degree, though the game suffers a little from almost requiring quickscoping, but maybe that’s a broader limitation of console shooters. The tank level pays homage to the original and the film, and is nothing special but not terrible either. It’s not on rails, at least!
Graphically the game is decent, but nowhere near cutting edge. I’m not that much of a graphics whore anyway, so I don’t mind things not looking amazing as long as they’re good or solid. It pretty much did what it says on the box.
There are some flaws and annoyances. The side missions are sometimes a little vague, and also repetitive (hack/take photos of macguffins with your smartphone), and the “collectable” do jour in this game are silly looking “Janus” faces hidden in places like the undersides of shelves.
The game seemed to have a decent length for a modern shooter, though I couldn’t tell you how long in hours, since I tended to play this in short bursts a couple of times a week at best over a month or so, though when I finished it I was certainly glad to have done so – so much longer and I’d have gotten a bit bored with the whole thing. I understand the Wii version is slightly longer in the final stages, but then, you’d be playing a shooter on the Wii, and no-one wants that, do they?
The game’s final sequences are a little challenging, but they’re the annoying kind of difficult rather than the fun or rewarding kind, most of which just need you to figure out where to stand/run or in the final parts, memorise the boring QTE-Lite. Shit, if you’re going to QTE me to get through an animated sequence, just let me watch the cinema without needing to look out for when to press “LT”.
The Multiplayer. Does it rank up there with the classic gameplay of the original N64 game? Well, honestly, I didn’t try it. I don’t have a Live Gold sub active right now, and in these days of CoD and Battlefield ruling the multiplayer roost, along with your Halos, while every other shooter gets a shitty MP-mode tacked onto it by the marketing department who thinks it’s a necessary bullet-point for the box – which no-one ever plays, it would probably be a wasteland devoid of players and a waste of time. Especially now, a full year, almost to the day since the thing was released.
Overall, GoldenEye 007: Reloaded is a decent shooter. It’s not a bad game by any means, but it’s not amazing by a long shot. I picked it up from the bargain bin, and had a decent time’s worth from it. I doubt I’ll go back and play through it again (the pile of unplayed stuff is too big) nor do I think I’ll bother looking at the MP. Having said all that, I don’t regret buying or playing through it. If you see it around and feel like a Bond-themed kill-em-up, you could do a lot worse.
Verdict: Bargain Bin.