The name is Bond. James Bond. BAM! Who doesn’t want to be a badass spy with some badass toys. GoldenEye 007, for the Nintendo 64, redefined friendships all across the world on August 25, 1997. Almost 25 years has passed since one of the greatest movie games ever made. Hell, it was one of the best FPS shooters of all time and it was all thanks to Rare’s (the game developers) great vision for both the single player and multiplayer.
Kids all across the world were in for a treat, when Rare released this game. However, it wasn’t a game that probably wasn’t viewed as a must-have title in the beginning because well…it was based off a movie. Movie games are notoriously crappy. Holy crap, that is an understatement. Especially in 1997, there were a very few games (and I mean few) that were decent enough to play. So GoldenEye 007 already had its hands full with anticipation from gamers. Well luckily, or should I say thankfully, Rare did a damn good job (and that was an understatement too).
The single player experience was amazing. You were James freaking Bond and had all of his crazy spy arsenal and guns. You were sneaking around either shooting people in the head or going all out, blaze of glory style, on your enemies. The storyline was pretty faithful to the movie’s story; I mean there were some changes, but those changes made the game better in every way. If you never saw GoldenEye (shame on you), then you’re going to have to Wikipedia the plot line. Or you can just play the game.
The graphics were amazing (at the time…). The guns and the explosions were fantastic. The levels were well done, not perfect, but were well thought out. There wasn’t an awkward room or unnecessary area. Each level’s layout was utilized in a way to help the player through the level in a consistent manner. The levels were pretty well detailed and had many different locales from the actual movie. Each level was crafted to look like specific areas from the movies and were greatly done. Even the levels that were not part of the movie were well done. The guns had a great look and each looked similar to the real life counterparts. The characters may needed have some more work done to them, but then again you rarely care as your either shooting them or they’re following you to the goal.
The gameplay was perfect for a FPS. Usually, the PC gamers were the one getting the great FPS games, but when Rare came out with this game, it changed the playing field. The Nintendo 64’s revolutionary analog stick helped get console gamers get more accurate (but not perfect as a keyboard/mouse combo) at shooting down their enemies. Because of Goldeneye (and Mario 64), the gaming industry made the analog stick a necessity for every game. The controls were perfect for a console; nothing was out of place nor confusing. You got used to the controls instantly, as you felt it was second nature to shoot down your friends.
The sounds in the game were great as you shoot your silenced PP7 or go all out with the RC-P90. The sound had some great little “Wilhelm Screams” as you shoot down your enemies. No voice acting was recorded, but this was a time where voice acting was rare and cost money for the game developers. The music was recreated perfectly for you to really feel like you are in a James Bond movie. The sound gave an overall feel of realism as you played through the game, but sadly during multiplayer, it was drowned out by the cursing and cheering from you or your friends.
Yes, having friends when this game came out was a necessity. Bring 3 friends to your house and have a battle royale with various characters of the James Bond world. The multiplayer was perfect. There was nothing Rare missed with the multiplayer. They literally thought of everything. You were able to customize what kind of multiplayer game play you and your friends wanted. Then you can even change up what kind of guns, map, auto aim, etc., etc. The customization were something unheard of on a console FPS game. Even PC gamers weren’t given so much freedom for their FPS games. Man, what a nostalgic way to remember all your childhood friends that you shot up and laughed when you karate chopped them to death. Camp at the body armor spawn points or just proxy mine the hallways. Friendships were destroyed as each person tried to become the alpha male. What’s worse is when the game gives you titles of how you played your last match. It ranges from you being the MVP to the worst player alive.
The single player game was clearly overshadowed by the multiplayer aspect. I’m sure many played the single player to not only unlock the various cheat codes, but to post the best times beating a level. The speed runs were great, as many would also try to become the fastest player alive. This game was so good, Activision decided to remake this game for the Wii, PS3, and the XBOX 360. Even with those remakes, Goldeneye still stands tall above the rest and that is why it is still one of the best games of all time. But just having the chance to just shoot ’em up against your friends helped create a lasting and greatest appeal for this game.