Comic-Con 2010: Goldeneye 007 PreviewBy Stephen Johnson - Posted Jul 22, 2010
I have seen the Future of Wii shooting games, and it's the Past, man. At its Comic-Con 2010 event this year, Activision set gamers up with an experience familliar to older gamer cats: Four dudes sitting on a couch, blasting the hell out of each other in GoldenEye 007. This time around, it's on the Wii and not the Nintendo 64, but the experience of split-screen multiplayer in the Bond universe will bring back many fond memories as well as remind you how far gaming has come since the original GoldenEye was the rage nearly 15 years ago.
I played classic "Golden Gun" multiplayer mode with G4's Kevin Kelly, Patrick "Scoop" Klepek and an Activision rep -- remember "Golden Gun?" A deathmatch style game where the titular firearm allows for one-shot kills to anyone man enough to pick it up? Anyway, the new GoldenEye pretty much instantly transported me back in time to endless nights spent with pals, roaming around GoldenEye's maps and lighting each other up.
While online shooters can be seen to provide a "better" gaming experience to players who are really into their kill/death ratios, if you're more concerned with games being fun than hardcore, split-screen multiplayer is the only way to go. GoldenEye will offer "modern," fully online multiplayer, but the split-screen is better--Until last night, I'd almost forgotten how much more awesome it is to trash-talk in person as opposed to over a headset. Suffice to say, there was a lot screaming, good natured cursing, laughing and "did you see that?" coming from our section of Activision's press event.
Activision wisely seems to have adapted an "if it's not broke, don't fix it" attitude in regards to GoldenEye. There were few major innovations displayed at Comic-Con -- just a solid shooter on well designed levels, with classic James Bond villains as the players. They did add a tally system after each match, with different accolades being bestowed upon players (Most accurate, most grenades used, most kills, etc) as well as negative "achievements" (Least accurate, bullet magnet, etc.) for people who suck. So post-game bragging is heavily supported. One important change, however: While Oddjob is in the game, he has been balanced with the other characters. You can still throw your deadly Bowler of Doom, but unlike the N64 version of Oddjob, you're not an unshootable killing machine due to your small size -- no need to create an in-house, "You can't play as Oddjob!" rule anymore.
If you're new to split-screen, it will take a bit of getting used to. Having only a corner of a display to look at it is a little jarring at first, but it will quickly become second nature, as will the strategies made possible by glancing at your oppositions' view window.
In keeping with the game's older style, the controls seem a bit sluggish at first. It's likely a slower shooter than you're used to, but once you get into rythym of the game, it feels right, especially if you enjoyed the original. The game wisely offers classic control mode as an option, so no need for motion elements to confuse matters -- again, if it's not broken, why fix it?
GoldenEye 007 comes out in November for the Wii.