Review: With one EA punch, the Goldeneye has now turned Black and Blue.
Goldeneye will be forever remembered as one of greatest First Person Shooters of all time! The old Nintendo 64 game had style, the single player game was action packed and who could forget the awesome multi-player mode? Even though EA Games was in no way responsible for the success of the original Goldeneye, they will be the ones who make the sequel to the Nintendo64 legend since they've got the James Bond 007 license now. It seems kind of shameless, yes, but since EA owns it they can do whatever they want with James Bond and his movies, plus they have been making some solid games in the series like Nightfire and Everything or Nothing. With Goldeneye making its long awaited return, EA is making sure this is a whole new game - one where you get to be a renegade secret agent whose unique powers come from his special eye. EA is easily one of biggest and best game developers in the business, so it baffles me how average this title is.
The Bond video games have always been about being this stylish secret agent who takes out sinister world conquerors with the most advanced weapons - all while beautiful women love him. In Rogue Agent however, you play a man who lost his one eye thanks to classic Bond villain Dr. No, and you got the nickname Goldeneye. You and James Bond team up early in the game, but things get out of hand early into the mission and Bond gets killed. British secret service MI6 blames you for Bond's death and you're relieved of your duties. However, Goldeneye is instantly recruited by classic bond villain Goldfinger and he doesn't like Dr. No very much either.
I know everybody loves being the bad guy; just look how popular the Grand Theft Auto series has gotten, eh? In Goldeneye RA, however you never really feel like you are this evil spy since you are taking out other evil nameless guards. The game never feels all that edgy and the story tends to drag on and on before anything really exciting happens.
Sometimes the guards will do some dumb things like stand still while you shoot at them in plain view, most of your enemies still like to use area cover for protection, they constantly move around back and forth when being shot at, they alert other guards about your where-a-bouts, and many other annoying features. Unfortunately when you have a huge bunch of semi-intelligent enemies mixed in with a very iffy aiming system, it makes for a real bad combination. The game isn't really that difficult since you can take a lot of damage and your health will gradually fill up again, but the game play can be very frustrating at first, especially when you get some of the cooler - but limited - eye power ups later into the game.
The Goldeneye can even take hostages if they get surprised, or weakened enough, and use them as human shields so they get shot instead of him. Once you are done with the guy you can just throw him off a cliff (or throw him into an invisible wall and watch him get stuck in mid-air) which can be kind of bad. It can be a lot of fun when it works, but of course it only works on the weakest guards. Goldeneye does control very well, so you can perform many of those cool moves. Like holding two guns at once? No problem, but I didn't like how heavy weapons will actually slow the player down. Realistic yes, fun no!
If Goldeneye RA wanted to look like the original, it was successful. Just like the Nintendo 64 title, this game features some of the most bland, blurry textures ever seen in an Xbox FPS game. Sure, when it was on the N64 these types of visuals were state of the art, and to be fair, this game runs at a much higher frame-rate - but this is on the Xbox! This is where big boys like Halo 2 play, and there is no reason this game should look this bad.
As if the bland and outdated graphics weren't bad enough, the music also falls flat. It's great that EA was able to get so many of the original actors to do the voices, and the techno music by Paul Oakenfold (from DDR Ultramix fame) is included, but you'll only hear the good stuff in the intermissions and not in the all important in-game scenes.
One shining moment for Goldeneye RA is the huge list of options for the multi-player. Rogue Agent will not only support split screen for up to 4 players like the original did, but EA also included Link and Xbox Live options for up to 8 player fights. The problems in the single player still remain in the multi-player, but it is a good idea that EA also added traps to the maps to liven things a bit.