With Goldeneye Wii, one of the biggest fears we had was that they would ruin a classic, and should have left well enough alone. Well, let us start off this review by saying that there is nothing to worry about in that department. While a lot has changed in the transition, there are still plenty of nostalgic moments. From the second we booted the game up and saw the opening cutscene, we knew that this was the game we’d been waiting for.
For starters, Goldeneye Wii is genuinely fun to play. It maintains the classic shooter feel of the N64 version, without trying to include too many modern mechanics. You run, you shoot, and it’s great. There are multiple paths through each level, as well as stealth kills and some gadget challenges; but those don’t ever get in the way of a game that is action packed at the core. Many modern ideas have been brought into the game (recharging health, only carrying three weapons), but it is still very much the Goldeneye you remember.
The story is a bit different from the classic Goldeneye. Pierce Brosnan has somehow been replaced with Daniel Craig, and the story reflects the new Craig style of bond. The changes to the story are fairly significant, but that only left us wanting to know what was going to happen next. Key moments are maintained from the original story however, and it works surprisingly well.
One gripe we have with this game are the graphics. This is not so much the devs fault, as it is the limitations of the Wii. There are lots of pixels showing on screen, and sight lines are kept intentionally short. Yet framerate still stutters when there is a lot going on the screen. While this was never really gameplay impacting, it was definitely noticeable several times throughout the game. That being said, there are lots of nice touches included in the game, such as particle effects and blur that are rarely seen on the Wii and do look great. The amount of effort that was put into making this game look amazing is impressive, and makes us wonder what it would look like on a more powerful console.
Like all other Wii shooters, the controls are a major challenge in this game. Activision did a pretty good job of pleasing everyone, supporting every type of controller available for the Wii (including Gamecube) and tons of customization options. That being said, we were still disappointed with the motion controls. This, again, has more to do with he limits of the hardware and less to do with the game itself. Just simply turning around is difficult while using the Wiimote, and it really takes you out of the action when you’re struggling with the controls. We actually ended up playing through the game with Gamecube controllers.
GoldenEye’s online multiplayer is a ton of fun. There are several different game modes available that give players different objectives to go for. The online game is different from the offline multiplayer. For starters, players don’t have the option to choose their character and instead are given a generic character to play as. In the online multiplayer, players can choose from several preset, or custom, loadouts.
Players are also given experience based on kills, kill streaks, head shots, melee kills, and much more. Getting more experience will advance a player to the next level. Certain levels will give players access to more online multiplayer modes and different items and abilities that can then be used in custom loadouts.
While this is all fun, we just kept getting the feeling that this isn’t very GoldenEye. When one thinks of the Nintendo 64 classic, you remember guarding body armor, using proximity mines, starting with a crappy gun and having to use strategy (like throwing mines on an ammo box and then taking it) and wit to get to the good stuff. This game has a more modern feel that we think takes away from the name GoldenEye and tries to be it’s own game which we feel, in some ways, is misleading.
There is a Classic Conflict mode that players can eventually unlock once they reach a certain level, but to get there is going to take a long time. From what I’ve heard Classic Conflict mode plays more like the Nintendo 64 GoldenEye game but I have yet to get it. Leveling up starts fast but gradually slows down to a snails pace and will probably take over 40 hours of play for players to unlock everything available to use online.
One other downside to online play is it is not compatible with Wii Speak. Even if you add a friend through the game’s Friend Code system there is no way to communicate. In a world where headsets and multiplayer trash talking are the norm, it is in this aspect that Goldeneye actually feels the most like it’s N64 predecessor. However, while we have pointed out some of the negatives to online play, we still had a damn good time with it and often found ourselves saying, “Just one more game.”, before calling it quits.
Overall, Wii would highly recommend this game. The gameplay is solid, the presentation is impressive, and replayability is indeed high. Most importantly, the game is just insanely fun to play. Wii couldn’t put it down from start to finish. If Wii were you, Wii’d give it a go.
Here’s The Rundown:
+ Pushes the Wii hardware in almost every way
+ Old school style fun
+ Feels like GoldenEye
– Framerate and pixelation issues
– Frustrating control issues
– Does’t feel like GoldenEye