Reviewed by Downtown Jimmy
Dec 23rd 2004
Introduction:Goldeneye is following a tough act by being released close to one of the most anticipated games this year; of course I'm speaking of Halo 2. Like Halo 2, Goldeneye has its own hype and expectations to live up to mainly because it's predecessor is the acclaimed shooter from back in the N64 days. Electronic Arts has expanded the budget on this one hiring in some top talent. Is it enough to capture the craze the original game had? Read on to find out.
The Game:Goldeneye: Rouge Agent is a different take on the Bond Franchise. For the for the first time you get to experience the evil side of the story fighting against the Agents. This feature is pretty appealing and grants a different perspective then they typical super agent 007. The name Goldeneye is actually the name of your character in the game. Goldeneye is appropriately fits the character because he has been implanted with a state of the art artificial gold eye. This former MI6 agent who was terminated because of his brutality is now working in a more natural environment to his personality as a super-villain enforcer. Employed by the classic bond rival Goldfinger you will be involved in a rival between the two villains Goldfinger and the man who took your eye Dr.No.
Goldeneye although said to be for the gamer who wants to play dirty and isn't afraid to do whatever it takes to win comes off a little weak in that department. Goldeneye is a lightweight when compared to lead characters in games such as The Chronicals of Riddick, Manhunt and Grand Theft Auto. Sure Goldeneye likes destroying stuff, and he can use his enemies as human shields, but on the grand scale it's a little weak.
One of the reasons the original N64 Goldeneye game became a hit was because of its multiplayer content. Rouge Agent is filled with a great selection of multiplayer games with the ability to play up to four people on the split screen. Now with EA and Microsoft coming to terms we have Goldeneye on Xbox Live which is a bonus if you're not to busy with Halo2. Overall Goldeneye is a standard FPS comprised of eight levels. There is no continuity with villains from the franchise which might turn diehard agents off.
Rouge Agent plays like any other FPS in the market that has been released within the last ten years. It's not bad thing for those who want that classic feeling of running through areas blasting away at everything that moves. At the heart of a first person shooter that's the basics, run, shoot and repeat. Don't an experience up to par with something like the Xbox best seller Halo, Rouge Agent is mainly housed indoors and you'll have to shoot through some typical level designs. They did mix things up a bit with being about to interact with the environment, but it really doesn't seem like it was necessary. One of the best movements of this is when you hack the giant fire breathing dragon statue to spray fire onto treating airborne attacks.
Overall Goldeneye is as revolutionary as the classic N64 game. What Goldeneye does is provides a exciting bond game within the standard shooter formula.
Graphics & Sound:Goldeneye is your average looking game that holds steady and doesn't stutter through all its heavy action. The overall design is a little dull, although there are some re-creations of cool movie sets. The character models are pretty good when it comes to the 'trademark' characters, but the generic bad guys are too standard like cookie cut outs. Smooth would be a good word to describe the overall graphics feeling of Rouge Agent. I should mention that they hired a bunch of hollywood production designers who have worked on the James Bond series in the past, but tell me it really matter. I couldn't see a vast improvemnt comparing Goldeneye talent to the average Joe game level designer.
Paul Oakenfold the impressive rave-roots DJ has lended his talent to Rouge Agent, but you'll probably be too busy shooting to be hearing the techno beats layed down. The music is good, but seems a little generic even if it's a made by a popular icon. The effects on the other hand are done well and the guns and explosions sound great. The voice work is commendable, minus those cookie cut out enemies. The overall touch of THX makes the game sound dynamite with a surround sound system. It definitely makes a difference to bring the action right onto your couch.
Innovation:The most innovate feature of Rouge Agent is Goldeneye's golden eye; say what! An obvious trademark with a name like Goldneey. The lead character has the ability to upgrade his artifical eye. Each time you drag yourself a few levels you'll be rewarded with a new upgrade to the eye which give Goldeneye a major advantage in combat. The upgrades are pretty cool and consist of the Magnetic Polarity Shield, MRI Vision (ability to see through objects), Electromagnetic Hack (hack anything mechanical-including weapons), and Magnetic Induction Field (Throw people like Psi-Ops). The ideas are pretty original and for the most part useful. You can go through the game not using them, but when you have the power to electromagnetic hack anything metal machine you won't be able to resist the urge.
Like Master Chief in Halo 2, Goldeneye is double hand capable which adds some fun into the mix. There are some cool combos and heavy duty firepower available to the player when duel wielding, plus the advantage of being able to shoot with one hand while the other reloads. This feature is great although not as fluid as Halo is pretty cool. I'm sure every single FPS in the future will be jumping on this feature.
Mojo:Goldeneye does have some mojo even if it doesn't live up to the uber high standards of that old Nintendo game. Goldeneye the character is a great villain and which might even work well in a Bond movie. Rouge Agent always moves at a good pace and reminded me of classic shooters like Rise of the Triad, and the original Goldeneye. Goldeneye isn't as cool the latest batch of shooters, but it passes the time.
Lowdown:Goldeneye: Rouge Agent has been surrounded with some negative press and that could be contributed with its release date. Goldeneye is your standard first person shooter which offers some new ideas over a familiar setting. I suggest renting Goldeneye before you buy to see if it can win a few hours when Halo 2 is taking a break.
Gameplay: 7, Graphics/Sound: 8, Innovation: 7, Mojo: 8. Final:7.5
- Your upgradeable synthetic eye introduces new methods of mayhem as you master an entirely new level of interaction beyond traditional FPS mechanics. With this persistent gadget, you can see enemies through cover using MRI vision, manipulate electronics and weapons using the EM Hack, deflect damage with the Magnetic Polarity Shield, and send enemies flying across the room with the Magnetic Field.
- Revolutionary new E.V.I.L. AIT engine simulates enemy emotions in real time, motivating them to react intelligently to your actions and their surroundings to make every shootout more believable, intense, and unpredictable.
- Exploit over 100 different weapon combinations through the dual-wield gunplay system. With independent left and right weapons and triggers, your two-fisted arsenal can be customized to be lethal in any encounter.
- Go head-to-head with the most villainous of the Bond underworld using the robust melee fighting system. Take a hostage, throw your enemies, or knock them out with one punch.
- Fully integrated single-player, multiplayer split-screen, and online gameplay for the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system and Xbox® video game system from Microsoft.
- Featured game modes include story-based campaign missions spanning twenty gripping single-player levels and over 20 intense multiplayer arenas featuring deathmatch-style multiplayer showdowns and objective-based team vs. team scenarios.
- Fight with and against legendary villains and Bond girls such as Oddjob, Dr. No, Goldfinger, Scaramanga, Xenia Onatopp, and Pussy Galore.
- Travel to famous Bond locations such as the top of the Golden Gate Bridge from A View To A Kill, the Pyramids from The Spy Who Loved Me and the Volcano Lair from You Only Live Twice as well as original locations including The Octopus and The Midas Casino.
- World-renowned DJ Paul Oakenfold composed an original score and created the game's overarching musical personality with hard-driving, rhythmic beats hand-crafted for every mission.
- Hollywood talent roster includes Christopher Lee, who is reprising his role as the villainous Francisco Scaramanga from The Man With The Golden Gun and Judi Dench, who returns as M and has appeared in four James Bond films to date.
- Rounding out the talent behind the game is Academy Award-winning Production Designer Sir Ken Adam (James Bond series), Costume Designer Kym Barrett (The Matrix trilogy), and Character Designer Rene Morel (Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within).