GoldenEye 007 Review
Gamers worldwide have been begging for a remake of GoldenEye ever since this generation of consoles kicked off in 2005 with the release of the Xbox 360. Well, after five years of waiting, Activision was able to find a way to bring it exclusively to the Nintendo Wii and were capable of doing many things right, while getting a few changes so wrong.
Let’s begin with the obvious: Daniel Craig has replaced Pierce Brosnan as James Bond. Many may cry foul, but let’s not stop there. Activision and Eurocom, the developer, went ahead and modernized the story to break away from the post-Cold War setting. They went beyond that and decided to redesign many of the characters, such as Alec Trevelyan (006), Russian gangster Valentin Zukovsky, and the rest of the cast. I mention these two specifically as both received less than favorable treatment as Zukovsky has received a generic makeover and Trevelyan is nowhere near as intimidating as he used to be.
So, yes, changes have been made and they were done under an artistic direction to make GoldenEye 007 for the Wii more than a standard port of the Nintendo 64 classic. There are several characters – Xenia Onatopp being one of them – that look far better, especially with the upgrade in graphics due to the Wii’s power in comparison to the N64. I’m also in the boat that believes the change of Brosnan to Craig as Bond was a wise decision to keep the lineage of Bond alive and relevant today.
The single-player campaign still employs stealth action, more so than I ever remember from the original. If players that fondly remember the N64 iteration, then it’s recommended they up the ante on the difficulty as the harder difficulties provide more in-game objectives to accomplish while the lower ones are more straightforward than its predecessor.
By far the biggest addition to GoldenEye 007 for the Wii is the inclusion of online modes. Online multiplayer stays in tune with what’s being offered in competitor titles with customizable weapon loadouts, 40 plus character/avatars to play with, and what many have come to expect from first-person shooters. Add in several game types and modifiers and it becomes increasingly apparent that the title is primed to be the most applicable title for competitive Wii players looking for an online experience.
Sadly, it’s not all clear skies and sunny days for the multiplayer. It often took too long to find an online match. When I was able to join a match, there were many times the framerates would dip and the match would become laggy in favor of the host as they racked up the kills. For players wanting to level up and be among the best in the world, it may take awhile to do so with the lack of matches that were found during my sessions.
In addition, the Wii Remote and nunchuk control scheme never felt right when maneuvering, so I opted to use the Classic Controller as it handled much better than the remote and nunchuck combination offered. There’s also support for the GameCube controller, Wii Zapper and Classic Controller Pro options. Of the bunch, the Classic Controller offered the most control, while some of the precision was lost that the remote and nunchuck have as an advantage.
All the control options in the world wouldn’t have mattered if the controls itself wasn’t functional. GoldenEye 007 delivers auto aim that is a nuisance more than it is of any use. After removing the auto aim assists, the gunplay was much more natural and deaths were far less frequent on both control schemes I tested out. Though, the auto aim is a great incentive for players who struggle with the Wii Remote and sensor bar, especially throughout the higher difficulty levels.
Given the changes, the finicky controls at the beginning, and hit and miss online multiplayer sessions, GoldenEye 007 is a title that plays it hot and cold far too much.