Attempting to remake a classic – or in this case, “re-imagine” it as the developers at Eurocom like to say – is always a dicey proposition. Classic games are called that partly because a very wide swath of people had a deeply memorable experience playing them. Usually over and over, as N64 fans did with the multiplayer component of 1997’s GoldenEye 007. In addition to being a ton of fun, it was also seminal in the development of multiplayer shooters.
2010’s GoldenEye 007 pays its due respects to the original game, keeping true to many of the core elements of the previous N64 game like areas, weapons, characters and beloved multiplayer features. The story itself maintains some of the same major plot points and characters from the original game, though updates the Bond universe to the Daniel Craig era, and the major players are all played by their respective actors like Dame Judi Dench as M. But if you’re worried about anything getting mangled in the “re-imagination,” rest easy knowing that the penner of the original game and movie, Bruce Feirstein, is on board to basically re-imagine himself.
You will encounter familiar arenas in both single player and multi, making those amongst us who still run around Facility in our dreams very happy, I’m sure. For authenticity’s sake, there is four player splitscreen, but I’ll be damned if I ever let someone look at my screen again.
Classic characters will also be available along with new models from this new game, because as everyone knows, combining a hilarious menagerie of contestants running around those compact maps is all part of the joy. Baddies like Blofield, Oddjob, Baron Samedi and Jaws. The last character, played by the memorably ginormous Richard Kiel, is so popular that not only did Activision have his iconic (replica) teeth on display at a recent media event in San Francisco, they actually had Mr. Kiel on display. And yes, he’s quite huge, but on the other hand, quite nice as well.
Also returning to the multiplayer experience are 17 different game modifiers – things like paintball mode, golden gun and one-hit melee mode amongst other classics – that will allow you to modify your multiplayer game into whatever you want. No big head, apparently, but rockets-only matches are always a good time.
It makes a lot of sense that an N64 classic should be remade or the Wii, because while the graphics are clearly more refined than they were 13 years ago, the game still has a certain Nintendo simplicity that gave the original game charm that will hopefully carry over until now. This new and improved GoldenEye will be available for the Nintendo Wii this November 2nd.