GoldenEye 007 Review

By Kevin Kelly - Posted Nov 11, 2010

Wii, Nintendo Wii. Yes, it often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to FPS titles, but GoldenEye 007 proves that this wasn't just a quick cash-in on a beloved title. Developer Eurocom put a lot of work into this title, and it pays off many times over.

The Pros
  • Great FPS Action On The Wii
  • James Bond and GoldenEye Both Live Again
  • Multiplayer Is As Addictive As The Original
The Cons
  • Why Did They Replace Pierce Brosnan?
  • Online Multiplayer Frustrations Abound

GoldenEye 007 Wii Review:

If you’re a gamer, you easily fall into one of two camps: either you’ve played the classic N64 game GoldenEye 007, or you haven’t. It’s just that simple. If you played it, and have a heart beating in your chest, then you loved it. At the time, it was the quintessential FPS gaming experience on any console. Then came the multiplayer that was addictive, and defined multiplayer fun for a generation. Plus, since it was the day and age before online gaming, you had to do that all via splitscreen. Yet, nobody complained.

So Long, Brosnan. Hello, Craig.

Back in 2006, Nintendo North America President Reggie Fils-Aime talked about bringing this game to the Virtual Console. But rather than slapping a port together, there’s actually a completely revamped edition now available. It’s been upgraded around the board, and they’ve excised Pierce Brosnan (from the movie GoldenEye) and injected Daniel Craig throughout the game. In fact, only Dame Judi Dench remains from the film, with new actors filling in throughout. Purists beware.

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So, What Exactly Are You Getting?

Yes, the game has been revamped and recast. But will you recognize it? Definitely. This is still GoldenEye, after all. It’s based both on the movie of the same name, and the previous game, and you’ll recognize things immediately, especially at the beginning when you link up with 006 and have to infiltrate a facility. Those same old familiar guard towers are back, but the graphics and sound have been cranked way up.

It feels like a crutch to say “Well, it’s good for a Wii game,” but as a word of warning to people just diving in to the video game scene, you’ll definitely notice the jaggies in this game. But from a Wii standpoint, it’s a standout title that offers great graphics in conjunction with fun gameplay, while not losing sight of what made the original so addictive. 

The Man With The Golden Game?

With the game built on a modified version of the engine used for Visceral and Eurocom’s Dead Space: Extraction, you’ll get multiple missions that roughly follow the path of the film and the game. They’ve added a few Daniel Craig-esque innovations and changeups, like some slow-motion, crashing through plate glass windows while firing, which is better suited for this rough and tumble Bond. Almost every mission offers a stealthy option that has you sneaking around corners and through vents, or you can charge in guns blazing and hope to survive.

Speaking of guns, there are a multitude of weapons you’ll encounter throughout the game. Over 25 different weapons from the Bond universe are included, including the Golden Gun in multiplayer, and this Bond’s favored Walther P99 serving as his go-to handgun with a silencer attachment. While you can perform stealth takedowns in the game, there’s something satisfying about sending a few rounds thumping into an enemy soldier.

If setpieces are one of the indicators you look for in a game, after completing the first mission you’ll be fleeing from an enormous installation that is coming down around your ears. Enemy soldiers will likewise be fleeing, or trying to stop you from escaping. It’s a great (and mercifully short) interlude that highlights exactly how much fun this title can be and why it retains and expands on that whole “James Bond feeling”.

Controls Get Shaken And Stirred

GoldenEye 007 gives you a lot of options in the control department. You can use the Wiimote/Nunchuk combination, the Zapper, the Classic Controller, the Classic Controller Pro (which is a great addition to the game), or a GameCube controller. After trying everything but the Zapper, the Classic Controller was definitely my favorite. Yes, it can be fun to aim and steer 007 with the Wiimote, but you’ll get frustrated with aiming enough to make you ditch if for something else.

The Classic Controller, which should be a key component of your gaming arsenal, makes things much more intuitive, and there are multiple customization options for the button layout (and movement and button controls for all of the other control options). I quickly found that “Goldfinger” was the best button layout for my style of gameplay, as it put the knuckle buttons into the standard aim and shoot configuration, which is definitely my favorite way to play.

Multiplayer Madness

This is where things stumbled for me, but not completely. I tried several different times to connect to online multiplayer for this game, at multiple locations. Not once would the game connect, and instead I would get an error saying that the profile I had couldn’t go online. I tried changing the name, connecting and reconnecting, and banging my head on a wall. Nothing worked. It was a real bummer, because you can play with up to eight players online.

However, local split screen for up to four players works just fine. In fact, it works so well that our test match that was meant to take about ten minutes ended up taking up more than an hour. Plus, everyone who walked by and witnessed wanted in on the action. If you’re looking for a local multiplayer experience that fun to hop in and out of, this is your baby.

Is It Licensed To Kill?

You might feel like you should be after playing through this game, and with multiplayer, time trials, unlockables, and cheat codes yet to find, GoldenEye 007 is a game you’ll be playing for a long time. Wii owners represent a special breed of gamers, ones who remain fiercely loyal to their console, and for those that are looking for a FPS experience that comes close to mirroring (if at not least rivaling at times) some of the games on the heftier consoles.

Original GoldenEye 007 fanatics are going to be disappointed at the removal of Pierce Brosnan as Bond, which was likely done for image licensing reasons, but Daniel Craig delivers a solid voice acting performance, and the opening credit sequence with his likeness and Pussycat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger recording the classic Tina Turner title song is incredible. This is definitely James Bond, and thankfully he feels right at home on the Wii.