The Arrival of the New GoldenEye is Imminent
Oh my GoldenEye, how I’ve missed those days. The game was a keystone in the world of multiplayer console gaming, and it’s been a good 13 years since its original release for the N64 system in 1997. Almost a decade and a half later not much has changed.
UK-based developer Eurocom (Dead Space Extraction) and publisher Activision are about to release the newly revamped GoldenEye 007 (available in North America November 2 on the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS and in Europe and Australia on Nov. 5 and 3, respectively).
This “re-imagined” GoldenEye does seem to be very promising with its recreated plots, detailed levels, and 2010 era FPS gameplay all the while dressing in a vintage coat.
- New environments mean new single- and multiplayer experiences -
The single-player mode starts off on a quaint trip to infiltrate a Russian base to foil a host of chemical weapon niche terrorists ending in a dramatic truck escape with a newly cast 006. The new gameplay updated for today’s Bond offers two tactical options for realizing the mission objectives. A stealthy hunting trip is the sly option to try out. It’s based on Bond’s all-in-one smartphone gadget, whose sales I hear are also suffering from a “death grip” problem. With this tactic, players seek out the appropriate hiding spots, and avoid infinite enemies by minimizing terrorist hassles using melee attacks and a classically handy, silenced P99.
Following the footsteps of current FPSs, there is also the shock and awe path starring the destructo power of blond Bond’s iron balls. Let me repeat that from the developer’s take, “we’re basing [the game] in the world of Daniel Craig’s Bond, rather than Pierce Brosnan’s and this means a grittier, more cinematic feel with large explosive set pieces and more emphasis on Bond’s physical strength”. Moreover, given the weapon choices (25 in all including the Pavlov ASR, MJR-409, Ivara Spec-R, and the fabulously flamboyant Golden Gun), it’s hard not to imagine wading through missions trigger-happy.
Continuing with the current FPS trend, the environments in GoldenEye 007 are entirely destructible, able to provide cover in those moments when a safety “blood vision” alerts you to stop and do your super-agent tantric healing. Regardless of the path chosen, the reconditioned AI will be well trained in attacking tactics such as flanking and destroying the very wall you first destroyed to provide you cover. Damn you ACME Corp! Additionally, bosses such as Onatopp and Trevelyan both come preloaded with extra tricky custom AI that should prove heartwarming when playing the game on the hardcore difficulty.
- Enemy A.I. will far surpass the rudimentry coding of the original -
So this is the jumping point into an immersive, multi-leveled plot featuring ten maps including a dam, nightclub in Dubai (to replace the anything goes atmosphere of the original Monaco level), the statue park, a secret jungle base set in New Cuba i.e. Nigeria, and tank rampaging St. Petersburg. On a peculiar note, this last level has generated so much buzz being quoted as “epic” that I’m happy to assume at least a third of the level-developing time was spent on this one in particular. Combine this with a four-player local multiplayer or eight-player network play and we’re definitely closing in on familiar territory. This is especially the case given the choice of 50 different characters (including classics Oddjob and Jaws) and 17 game modes that the developers have thrown in as a playability air freshener kit (e.g. paintball mode, melee only, team and individual deathmatch, you only live twice, etc.). Hopefully this will provide a long entertainment value akin to Call of Duty and Halo.
To most of us original GoldenEye gamers, we are at a dilemma of whether to embrace or ostracize the new reincarnation. The fact is that the original GoldenEye was such a great success not just because of the game itself, but because of the time and place it hatched. A world where massive multiplayer games consisted of a room of at least four overly caffeinated kids at family reunions or sleep-over parties. It would be as impossible as it would be unfair to evenly compare these two games that were formed in different worlds. Yet, this new game features enough gripping tales of international mischief, calculated violence, chases, betrayals, and overall 007 smoothness to be strangely comforting.
At the very least, we can rest assured the British dialogues of danger are soothingly spoken by none other than Daniel Craig and Judi Dench. Even David Arnold, the original writer of the GoldenEye film script, signed on to update the game story. Nailing these details may not be make or break issues but it can certainly entice a crowd and perhaps ignite a well planned marketing pitch…how very clever of you Mr. Bond.
Don’t you love it when your ex comes to visit with a fresh makeover after a decade? “Baby I’ve changed. No, not too much, just sexy enough for another go around?” Sure.
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