By Sam Coles:
Back in the 90’s first person shooter games were generally bad ports of PC games such as Quake on PS1 etc. It wasn’t until Goldeneye came out on the N64 back in 1997 that changed everything and structured how first person shooter are made even today you can see Goldeneye’s DNA in modern console shooters. Does it still hold up? Mostly no but it’s still enjoyable in parts.
Goldeneye follows the plot of the film more or less scene by scene minus a couple of extra levels that has nothing to do with the film. You go through level by level completing objectives, this was different to other shooters at the time were you would usually go through the level kill everything in sight and reach the exit. In this game you have to complete all your objectives before you could finish the level and you would have to complete more objectives when you play on higher difficulties. This is great as it gives the game a lot of replay value as you can unlock fun cheats to mess around in multiplayer or the singleplayer like big head mode or my favourite paintball mode.
When you unlock the highest difficulty known as 007 mode this game will kick you in the gonads as it is extremely hard as enemies become more accurate with weapons and there is no longer any body armour and it can be frustrating.
The controls can take a while to get use to if you’ve never played an N64 game before but it does have a good auto aim system which you can getaway with using for most of the game but you must get a feel for the manual aiming for headshots for the tougher enemies and bosses.
This also had a really good local multiplayer as the N64 by default had four controller ports so you didn’t need to buy a muli tap like the PS1. It had varied modes like deathmatches, Golden Gun, Licence to Kill and You Only Live Once. It had the tropes of older shooters where you had to remember the map with pick-ups and weapons.
The big problem I have with this game that stops me from playing it these days is that it runs terribly it has the worst frame rate I’ve played it will drop down to single digits when it gets busy on screen especially in multiplayer matches. Most of the time it runs at 20 frames per second at best and I don’t understand how people can say that this game still holds when it performs this badly because game has aged terribly. These are probably the same people who complain about performance with modern games but give Goldeneye a free pass. It’s the only reason why I rarely (no pun intended) go back and play this game as it makes my eyes bleed with the performance.
Goldeneye set the standard for console FPS but to play it today is not good but I understand the legacy it holds. Former Rare developers moved to Free Radical to work on the Timesplitters series and you can tell they worked on Goldeneye even down to the user interface. You can pick up Goldeneye for a decent price these days, but the console and multiple controllers may set you back a bit.