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RETRO REPLAY ► GoldenEye reloads and shoots for Xbox 360 and PS3

The Gadget Helpline: RETRO REPLAY feature will bring you a weekly throwback to the days of old school gaming and will present a little history on the new wave of classic titles currently getting a revival on our modern gaming gadgets.

Refined. Recharged. Reloaded – GoldenEye is Back! One of the most addictive shooters and highly regarded multi-players in gaming history, this James Bond spin-off is set for a true comeback on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 this Friday (November 4th). So we thought what better time to review the previous mission and brief you on the original for Nintendo 64? – Now pay attention, 007..

Full Title: GoldenEye 64
Original Platform: Nintendo 64
Release Year: 1997
Publisher: Nintendo

Goldeneye 64  was one of the earliest first-person-shooters developed for a console. It was developed by Rare and published by Nintendo as an N64 exclusive in 1997 – two years after Pierce Brosnan made his debut as Ian Fleming’s legendary fictional spy, James Bond, in the film of the same name. The game followed events and featured scenes from the movie in a (now somewhat crude) 3D free-roaming environment in which the player controlled Agent 007 through missions and performed tasks required a variety of collectable weapons including a very cool zoom-able sniper rifle and those famous Bond gadgets including laser wristwatch and at one point the player even controls Bond inside of a tank.

The plot of GoldenEye 64 reflected the movie a hunt for the mysterious ‘Janus’ and the GoldenEye key which would be used to alter and destroy Earth’s satellite systems.  Missions took place in a range of familiar and exotic locations, as we can only expect from a Bond adventure, from the weapon building Facility where Bond needed to find switches and keys to complete certain tasks before escaping the exploding plant, there was also the streets of St. Petersberg and the Cuban Jungle and a climatic shoot off on the Dish. Various weapons were required for completing specific missions, and could be collected from fallen foes. For example there were some obstacles that couldn’t be knocked out by a standard Walther PP7 – but a rocket launcher would do just fine!

Characters from the movie appear in polygonal pixel form, including Robbie Coltrane’s Valentin Zukovsky, Sean Bean’s 006 Agent Alec Trevelyan (watch that guy!) and Bond love interest Natalya Simonova, played by Isabella Scorupco. Unfortunately none of the stars voices appear in the game play, but faces are crudely donated to the virtual similes.

Limitations of the era’s graphics were beside the point, combined with the gimmick Rumble Pak, GoldenEye 64 was highly intoxicating and inspired hours of unhealthy game play at a time and we could never forget that epic multiplayer experience which is still acclaimed as one of the finest multiplayer features ever. And we couldn’t disagree.

The four player split screen was a benefit of the Nintendo 64 console and allowed pals to free-roam environments in the game in a selection of multiplayer challenges from a capture the flag style game, to a simply good old shoot-off. The 4-person mode also let gamers use previously locked characters including classic Bond villains such as Odd Job and Baron Samedi and weapons such as Scaramanga’s Golden Gun – which unlike other handguns that needed to pick away the life of an opponent was a one hit kill shooter. You could of course be sneaky and use remote controlled mines, or hide in a vent and sniper rifle your chums one by one until you were the last man standing – and the most unpopular friend that day!

There were, of course, those very entertaining cheats that allowed everything from ‘Big Head’ mode and paintballs in place of standard bullets – which proved for much hilarity and fun.  

Nintendo and Rare attempted to follow up on the success and reception of the popular GoldenEye 64 for utilizing its gaming engine in a ‘sequel’ – a title unrelated to Bond called Perfect Dark, that despite its critical acclaim never quite cut it after the movie tie-in. The Bond license itself was snapped up by Electronic Arts in 1999 and then Activision. Both companies publishing games related to as well as unrelated to movies in the franchise and most recently a Daniel Craig as 007 adventure entitled Blood Stone, which borrowed the GoldenEye 64 style and combined it with stylish cinematics, real actor dialogue from stars such as Judi Dench as M. The game also featured cutting edge graphics and a killer title theme performed by Joss Stone.   

There was also the 2010 reappearance of GoldenEye for Nintendo’s Wii home console – cleverly titled GoldenEye 007. The graphic limitations of the Wii didn’t really do the game much justice. Satisfied with a revival of the classic on the best multiplayer home platform today – gamers were still hoping for a bit more. It was time to Reload.

GoldenEye Reloaded comes to ‘serious consoles’ this week – bringing the original game play sharp new graphics on both Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 and now the popular multiplayer element has gone big. Using Xbox LIVE and Playstation Network the massivel multiplayer potential allows for gamers to play opponents all across the globe, with an optional 13 modifiers for hits taken, accuracy of fire and that much loved paintball mode. The only downer is – yes, Pierce has been replaced by the likeness of current 007 Daniel Craig. Apart from that, we’re really looking forward to Friday!

James Bond will Return…

Here’s a play through of the first mission of the original GoldenEye 64:

Check out the new GoldenEye Reloaded launch trailer:

In the last RETRO REPLAY we took a look back at Grand Theft Auto III ahead of its ten year anniversary and a joyride onto mobile platforms! 

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