So you got caught outside the Bunker and taken to the Archives where your interrogated by Miskin before Ourmove comes in and kills him with bonds gun. Then he takes Natalia for an unexplained reason. Why does the original game and movie make more sense than this one now? Well this level vaguely resembles the one from the original. You chase Ouramova and Natalia through the whole level. I’ve begin to notice at this point that the game is starting to rely on these sequences where you wait for an elevator or door to open while waves and waves of enemies pour in to kill you. It’s a cheap means of extending the play time and just leaves you frustrated when enemies suicidal tendency to rush you end up getting you killed more often than you would expect. Not a fan of this one.
Like in the film and to a lesser extent, the N64 game, this level is Streets but you’re rarely on the streets. The description for this level should read “ultimate destruction” as you pretty much roll down a linear path through Saint Petersburg blowing everything up. This isn’t even a James Bond game. The enemies launch helicopters, jet fighters, Humvee, you name it, in an attempt to stop you. This would never happen to James Bond whether in a book, film, etc. This is a Call of Duty war zone. You eventually chase them to a train yard. I get a headache. We move on…
Depot and Train, this one is. What can I say about this one? You shoot your way through a train yard until you reach the train of which has been derailed. When you finally make your way onto the train you shoot your way through two whole cars and on the 3rd we have the scene where Ourmove and Xenia trap you in to escape. For those keeping track, the big Janus reveal hasn’t happened yet as it does in the source material so the story’s making less sense than ever. So knowing this game you either smart phone hack or shoot your way to safety. Yeah you shoot the belts off the the trap door and get out of the train car as it fills with smoke from a grenade explosion. Natalia knows where they are going from hearing them talk while kidnapped and the show goes on.
So this is supposed to pass for the Statue level from the original game. It’s better designed than the original in my opinion. Extremely liner and stealth based but at least you don’t get lost. Ya see, this game is at it’s best when it’s allowing you to make your own choices in a stealth situation. It’s just too bad that there arnt more creative ways to dispose of the enemy or an option to bypass them altogether. This whole level feels like it’s here just to be like the original game. Nothing happens in statue park proper besides the sneaking. It’s not until you sneak your way through the entire level that a cut scene plays and Alec is revealed as the main antagonist. So they knock you out, put you in a helicopter and leave you to die in the destructive way you remember form the movie. This time the bad guys just take Natalia from level to level because shes good with computers and a reason for Bond and the players to get emotionally invested. I guess. It’s as shallow as it gets.
Okay. I actually liked this level. For the most part. It was fun to sneak my way through it and hack motion sensor turrets with the smart phone to fire on enemies. It felt like there was a right way to play it and it was very easy to do that. I really didn’t care about the story at this point. Basically your flying a plane via first-person cut-scene to Nigeria to investigate a solar power plant when you get shot down. The rest of the way is on-foot and you have to shoot your way through. Typical. The fight with Xenia is completely done with context sensitive button presses and while it’s more cinematic, it’s so easy it boarders on pointless. Again, this sequence could have been a cut-scene, but I guess it’s the nature of things at this point to keep you in first-person. Like they had to pay Danial Craig so many thousands for each second of in-game face time. Anyway…
This is a bit of an amalgamation between control and caverns. The architecture and general layout bares a passing resemblance to both levels. I would prefer the originals of course but at least they are still trying right? It starts outdoors where you snipe guys from a distance. It’s kinda hard to talk about this one. Everything is so redundant by this point in the game your just going through the motions. You get captured at the end of this level and are taken to Natalia. Easily the most forgettable level in the game.
The final level. So you escape the clutches of your captors and have to defend Natalia as she works to hack her way to the Goldeneye satellite and mess with Janus’ plans. Luckily, shes a complete bullet sponge this time and you can drop bad guys at your leisure without having to worry too much about failing the mission via NPC death. Then it’s time to chase down Alec and finish this. The game makes it very obvious that it wants you to take a certain path by having the walkways give out as your running on them which prompts a button mashing session as you to climb back up every time you fall via trail and error. It’s a good idea to rain cover fire at the enemies while running to the next way point rather than sticking around to fight them. Your on a time limit see, so use those checkpoints to your advantage. After the chase you eventually have to fight waves of enemies as Alec absorbs damage until you press a button to trigger the final scene where you fight Alec through more context sensitive button presses and as you can imagine, Bond saves the day.
Okay, so the game is over. I’ve played all the way though it and came full circle with my grievances and experienced Goldeneye both past and present. So what did I think of Goldeneye Reloaded? Well, I’m left with one particular question. Why did they do it this way? I see all the resources in place to what could have been made to be a good if not great throwback to gameplay from a bygone era of shooters with the presentation of a FPS built from the ground up for current gen consoles. It’s not Call of Duty, it’s not Halo, it’s not even really James Bond as we knew or have come to know him. It’s a failure on nearly every level.
The graphics are decent at best, the presentation is sloppy, the music feels ripped out of a current Bond movie and while you think that would be a good thing but it feels out of place in such an action heavy genre. On top of all that, it’s living in the wide shadow cast by both the original 1997 N64 title and the recent success of the Call of Duty franchise. What that means is you get a game that calls itself a great first-person shooter, sounds like a great action movie, looks like a Wii game and plays like a beta build of one of Activisions annual AAA Call of Duty titles.
If I was to give this game a score I would give it a generous 6/10. Nothing is what I would call broken but it’s ultimately uninteresting. The multiplayer might prove to be a better experience but no matter how open-minded you come into this game it’s just so difficult to shake the feeling that there are better first-person shooter games, better James Bond games, and generally, just better games to play in your time.