Goldeneye 007 review

Goldeneye 007 has finally arrived on Nintendo Switch and Xbox Game Pass, 26 years after it quickly became one the the best first-person shooters on consoles. This was one of the original split-screen first-person shooters bringing together folks on couch co-op, and laid the groundwork for others like Halo and Call of Duty to take the genre forward. It’s back, plus the Nintendo Switch has online multiplayer, so today let’s dive into the details.

Goldeneye was arguably many people’s favorite N64 game, and one of the only really good adaptations from moves. Many Bond games have come and gone since, and not many have lived up to the high-bar set by Goldeneye in 1997. Gameplay, graphics, online multiplayer have all evolved with dramatic speed since then, so would Goldeneye still hold up today, or will it be a quick trip down memory lane and then done.

Immediately the Nintendo logo and title screen bring back a lot of memories. Jumping back into the game the graphics and control scheme immediately jump out. The N64 was all about it’s Polygon graphics, and the Nintendo Switch stays pretty much true to the original. Back in the day this was a groundbreaking title, but the textures, colour palette and low-polygon characters still have some charm.

It’s a smooth game to play in terms of feel, albeit with a control scheme that feels very counter initiative. Unless you have a N64 controller for Nintendo Switch, it’s going to feel a little wobbly to control when you first get going. I had to play through the first level 3 times to get the hang of the control mapping to the Switch Pro Controller. While nearly all modern shooter use the dual analogue stick control scheme, here you control the movement with the left stick and the camera with the right stick, to a certain extent. Shooting is the left trigger, when normally it’d be the right trigger, plus you have a few action buttons like reload, open doors.. that kind of thing. Give yourself a moment to get orientated with the controls, especially before you jump into multiplayer.

Goldeneye 007 includes campaign and multiplayer. The campaign is good fun, following the plot of the movie pretty much spot on. The levels are fairly open, meaning you can explore and the difficulty options can be tweaked if you are finding it tough to get through levels. Difficulty isn’t just about enemies and damage either, extra objectives have been thrown in there for you on the harder difficulty, adding an extra dimension to the game.

Multiplayer is where the game shone for many players back in the 90s. This was before everyone had superfast internet in their home, so if you wanted to play multiplayer back then, you had to go round someones house and play PVP on the couch. The four player splitscreen remains here, and it’s still great fun. Multiplayer has five modes, all with good variation and unique gameplay mechanics. Normal is the standard deathmatch, player versus player. You Only Live Twice, is where players have 2 lives before being eliminated in the match and License to Kill means one shot kill. The Living Daylights is a capture the flag mode, plus there’s The Man With the Golden Gun.

One golden gun is on the map, this is best for one shot kills, and once you have the golden gun other players have to kill you to get their hands on it. This all leads to some really exciting play, often with other players ganging up on the golden gun carrier. Together with the various game modes there are plenty of stages, and there’s a decent roster of characters from the game too. Compared to modern shooters, it’s all fairly basic, but you have to remember this was the one of the first, and set the table for the arena shooter that would go onto dominate the next 20 years in gaming.

Goldeneye 007 is available on the Nintendo 64 Switch Online mode, and you have to have access to Nintendo Switch Online plus the expansion pass to access the title. Nintendo continues to put in decent benefits into the Expansion Pass, and access to Goldeneye will no doubt motivate many to either take up a subscription or renew.

I played Goldeneye a lot back in the day, and I’ve played arena and campaign shooters ever since. Those games have come a long way since 1997, and yes, it’s a little tough going back to Goldeneye at first. Once you get your head wrapped around the control scheme, then it becomes much easier and soon it’ll be second nature. if you can get your hands on a N64 controller for Nintendo Switch, then that’s going to likely be the best way to play, if not then I’d recommend some practice.

Goldeneye was never going to be as funb as it was back in the day, but it’s a faithful recreation. This is something fans have been wanting for years, and now we have one of the best N64 games back in our virtual collection. If you can see past the graphics, wonky controls, you’ll see why this game was a huge hit for Rare back in 1997, and why it laid the groundwork for many games that came after it. It’s smooth, it has some great moments of action and the multiplayer still has the power to take your breath away with it’s frantic gun, especially if you’re playing the with Golden Gun. Personally, I love it, and I think you shoudl check it out.