The first-person shooter GoldenEye 007, originally released in the ’90s, is returning to the Nintendo Switch and Xbox.
These will actually be two separate variants. On the Switch, the original game will be played on the Switch’s emulated N64 system. It’s possible that the Xbox One version, which will be a 4K “faithful replica,” will look better than the original.
Even if technology has advanced, nothing beats the joy and ingenuity of this timeless classic. And there isn’t, is there? A part of me wonders if GoldenEye 007 is just a nostalgic specter and doesn’t hold up in the modern era.
GoldenEye 007 “genuinely was THE game that you physically gathered your buddies to come to play in person,” PR strategist and lifelong enthusiast Ken Ozeki told Lifewire via email. “For modern gamers, obviously improved graphics might make a difference (as well as selectable characters from the Daniel Craig era of Bond movies)—and maybe more fluid and realistic body movement for the characters as well. Those Russian soldiers on the train obviously moved kinda strange in N64 graphics.”
Released in 1997 on the Nintendo 64, GoldenEra GoldenEye 007 was a first-person shooter. It had a few distinct selling characteristics. One was its usage of the N64’s analog control stick, which enabled unprecedented control over aiming your weapons and let you do so while on the run.
You could also instantly zoom in when using a gun with a scope. These are bread and butter elements in today’s first-person shooters, but at the time, they were novel and intriguing.
Upon its 1997 release, “GoldenEye” became an instant classic, according to Oberon Copeland, tech writer, owner, and CEO of the Very Informed website, as he explained to Lifewire in an email. “The unique gameplay set it apart from other first-person shooters of the period, which typically had the player merely running from enemy to enemy while shooting them.
Instead, GoldenEye favored a more tactical playthrough, with players encouraged to sneak about and use cover to their advantage.”
In addition, the game’s split-screen multiplayer mode was a major selling point. Not only could you play against a friend, but you could also look inside each other’s point of view to set traps or avoid them.
The game featured an okay story and above-average visuals for its day, but the AI of the non-player characters was terrible. The multiplayer mode was the main draw.
“The one problem of the game is the adversaries are incredibly stupid,” R. M. S. Thornton, a writer, and continuing GoldenEye player told Lifewire via email.
Alterations Made in the Present Day
The test of a classic game is whether or not it is still interesting to play, despite the technical developments since it was new. The SNES Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Kart are still every bit as fantastic as when they were made.
Despite its age, Super Mario 64 still looks and plays well, while Super Mario Kart is engaging (and much harder than modern games) after you get acclimated to its dated visuals.
And what about 007’s GoldenEye? Despite this, its most notable elements have become industry norms, and everything else, from visuals to enemy AI, has been upgraded.
“The game, in my opinion, is relevant even now. The problem is that first-person shooters have progressed so much that the older games look and feel rather dated in comparison to the newer ones. What this means is that the game’s actual appeal is to those who remember playing it as a child “Thornton remarked.
If you possess a Switch, you can easily find out. Those who have previously subscribed to the Nintendo 64 virtual console on the Switch will not have to pay anything extra to play the Switch version. Also included is online multiplayer, which was absent from the original because there was no such thing as “online” in the 1990s.
The level design in GoldenEye 007 is the game’s lone redeeming feature. The multiplayer settings in several of the games were amazing. Large enough to provide variety, but not so large that you wouldn’t have to keep an eye on your back.
There was a good mix of open and closed areas, so you could plan your attack based on the weapons you found. There were also relatively few blind spots or areas where the first person to arrive would automatically win.
Even if the graphics have improved, that doesn’t mean the level design is better. That’s something that could definitely do with a modern touch.