One of the most popular genres in gaming today is the First Person Shooter genre, or FPS for short. First person shooters have been around for a long time, but a certain FPS for the Nintendo 64 released in 1997 is generally considered the most revolutionary game in the genre. That game is Goldeneye 007, based on the James Bond film, “Goldeneye”. This game has been applauded for it’s revolutionary split screen multiplayer mode, but is the game still worth playing 20 years later? Let’s find out.
Goldeneye 007 has two main game modes: Story mode and multiplayer. The story mode is relatively simple, complete the mission you are assigned. An issue that comes up here is that the levels have no real distinctive landmarks, making it easy to get lost. There is no arrow that points you in the right direction, and sometimes I swear I’m doing exactly what the mission states, but the objective is extremely specific. This might be a problem with my cartridge, but it seems that sometimes I can mess up the mission and there’s no way to fix the issue without dying and starting over. That being said, when the missions are simple enough and you aren’t getting lost, they can be very fun. There are several different weapons that you can find or take from enemies that pack a punch and are fun to use. Some weapons can be dual wielded, but unless you flip through your weapon inventory until you dual wield two of them, you won’t know which ones can be dual wielded. The boss fights and cutscenes are arguably the most confusing part of the game. When in a cutscene, a character will stand there and text will appear on the screen. The cutscene will continue until the text ends, but you can move during the cutscene, making it confusing whether or not the cutscene is over or not, because the text usually ends abruptly and you are thrust into an action scene. This is an issue because usually after a cutscene, you’ll get ambushed by several enemies, and since you can move during the cutscenes, you can put yourself in a position to get killed almost immediately. Goldeneye has several gameplay issues that really make the single player mode a chore. The multiplayer mode of the game can be very fun, with it’s several different modes of gameplay and different playable characters, but there are also some issues here. The framerate of Goldeneye 007 is already pretty terrible, but the splitscreen cuts it in half, making the splitscreen gameplay noticeably slow. When I was younger, I’d play multiplayer with my father, and he would often complain about feeling nauseous from the bad framerate and graphics. Though a revolutionary game, the gameplay today has not aged well.
The controls of Goldeneye are strange. They work very well for the N64, but if you’ve played modern shooters, they’ll take some time to get adjusted to. There is no second analog stick on the N64 controller, meaning that the game usually auto-aims for you. As long as you spray bullets, you’ll usually kill everybody, but the controls become awkward when sniping and other precise firing is required. Since the game only auto-aims for close range firing, you’ll have to use the manual aim if you want to be precise. To aim, the R button must be held down, then the analog stick can be used to aim a crosshair to fire anywhere on the screen. The problem with this is that you can’t move while doing this, making aiming break stop you dead in your tracks. The controls of Goldeneye 007 can be alright, but aiming is hell.
The graphics and music of the game are nothing special. The character models are all extremely blocky, making it sometimes hard to tell who you’re talking to. This has hindered me in the game, as I’ve accidentally killed my teammates because I thought they were enemies. Along with the ugly character models, like I said before, the level graphics are very unremarkable. Everything looks the same, making it easy to get lose. Other than that, they look fine for the time, as the N64 was still a new console. The music is great for the time, having a rock sound for the majority of the game. Though the quality of the music is good, I can’t really remember that many of the tracks, and when I think of the game’s music, I only really think of the first level’s theme. The graphics have aged horribly, while the music is just okay.
Goldeneye 007 changed the FPS genre. That being said, most of the following FPS games did nothing but improve on the formula that Goldeneye brought. I cannot say that in 2017 Goldeneye 007 is still a good game. Goldeneye 007 has not aged well, and it shows.