GoldenEye 007 (2010 video game)
GoldenEye 007 is a 2010 first-person shooter video game developed by Eurocom and published by Activision for the Wii video game console, with a handheld version for Nintendo DS developed by n-Space. It is a modern reimagining of the 1995 James Bond film GoldenEye, and a remake of the 1997 Nintendo 64 video game GoldenEye 007. The game was officially announced by Nintendo at their E3 2010 conference presentation. The game was released on 2 November 2010 in tandem with another James Bond game, Blood Stone. Although not as critically acclaimed as its original Nintendo 64 version, the game received positive reviews from critics. A remastering of the Wii game was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles in 2011, re-titled as GoldenEye 007: Reloaded.
Although Pierce Brosnan starred as Bond in GoldenEye and was featured in the 1997 game, subsequent Bond actor Daniel Craig's likeness and voice are featured in the 2010 game and the plot has been modified to match the style of the first two Craig reboot era films which also meant the exclusion of Q and Moneypenny who were brought back to the franchise in Skyfall two years after Goldeneye for the Wii was released. Judi Dench, who has portrayed M since GoldenEye, reprises her role for the game, though in voice only (along with Rory Kinnear as Bill Tanner). With the exception of M, all other main characters from the film have had their appearances and voices altered, though they still retain their original names. Unlike the original video game and movie, the whole story takes place after the Cold War due to the Soviet Union's replacement by Russia, so the story does not jump nine years ahead after the opening sequence.
MI6 Agents James Bond and Alec Trevelyan are tasked by M with infiltrating a chemical weapons facility in Arkhangelsk, Russia, which is believed to be the source of weapons used by a terrorist cell to target British embassies around the globe. The mission goes awry when Trevelyan is shot by General Ourumov. Bond escapes by detonating explosives he had placed throughout the facility before fleeing Arkhangelsk via aeroplane.
Later, a phone call intercepted from Ourumov connects him to Russian gangster Valentin Zukovsky as Ourumov attempts to acquire a helicopter that has been modified to survive an electromagnetic pulse. Zukovsky directs him to an arms fair in Dubai but is unable to stop Onatopp and Ourumov from stealing the helicopter. He is however able to plant his smartphone on board, and MI6 is able to track the helicopter to a remote base in Siberia. Bond is unable to stop the theft of a GoldenEye weapons satellite which is detonated by Ourumov. Bond is able to rescue Natalya Simonova before being arrested by the Russian army.
Believing Bond and Simonova to be responsible for the GoldenEye blast, Russian Defense Minister Dmitri Mishkin interrogates the two in Saint Petersburg, but is killed by Ourumov who abducts Natalya. Bond pursues him to a train and confronts him over his plan for the GoldenEye satellite. Onatopp betrays Ourumov and kills him. Bond is able to help Natalya off the train and goes to a meeting at Statue Park learning that Trevelyan survived his execution at the hands of Ourumov and is now Janus, the mastermind behind the GoldenEye theft and leaves with Natalya, who is instrumental to his plan. Bond is able to infiltrate a solar facility in northwestern Nigeria and tricks Trevelyan into destroying his supercomputers stopping his plan to use the satellite to destroy London erasing evidence of finances he stole. After fighting Trevelyan, Bond is able to overload the facility control room and shoots Trevelyan sending him to his death over the tower. Simonova and Bond escape the base by helicopter, with the couple kissing in the mission's aftermath.
While GoldenEye 007 is a re-imagining of the film, the game does have noticeable differences. Levels have been altered to reflect the game's modified story. According to Craig Harris of IGN, "GoldenEye still retains the basics of GoldenEye's story, but retells it in a way that makes sense with Daniel Craig's interpretation of James Bond." Likewise, the game features modern game elements to coincide with other modern first-person shooters, such as destructible environments, regenerating health, and online multiplayer.
Eurocom has added a few updated features while retaining some features from the original game. Instead of a watch, players use a mobile phone to scan documents, take photos, and communicate with MI6. This change was reflective of the initial departure of high end gadgets for the Craig films. The original GoldenEye 007 featured a cheat menu which is available from the start in the re-make. The game updates the AI-Bot system which is built upon Eurocom's previous game, Dead Space: Extraction. Each computer player possesses its own AI-bot system to make them dynamic and challenging.
The game offers players several choices of controllers: Wii Remote with Nunchuk, Wii Zapper, Classic Controller, Classic Controller Pro, or a Nintendo GameCube controller. GoldenEye 007 also provides players using the Remote with Nunchuk or Wii Zapper with the ability to peer around cover by tilting the Nunchuk. The game includes twenty-five weapons based upon counterparts from the franchise overall. The game does not open with any gun barrel sequence like the Craig films prior to the release of Spectre which was the first 007 film to open with it since Die Another Day.
GoldenEye 007 features both offline split screen for up to four local players and online play for up to eight players. There are 10 multiplayer maps. There are four different game modes for offline multiplayer and nine different game modes for online multiplayer. Online multiplayer is provided through the free Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, and though up to eight players can connect to a game remotely, only one local player is allowed at a time. Multiplayer includes characters from the single player campaign, such as James Bond and Alec Trevelyan, as well as classic Bond-series characters including Jaws, Oddjob, and Julius No. Additionally, online multiplayer offers XP progression, unlockables and multipliers.
In November 2006, Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime announced that Nintendo was exploring the possibility of adding the Nintendo 64 video game GoldenEye 007 to the Virtual Console, despite a complicated situation in which the game's developer Rare is owned by Microsoft (producers of the rival Xbox 360 console) and the video game rights to the James Bond franchise are held by Activision. He stated, "We would love to see it [on the Virtual Console], so we're exploring all the rights issues. On 7 January 2008, Xbox Evolved reported that an updated version of GoldenEye 007 would be released on Xbox Live Arcade. However on 11 January 2008, 1UP.com reported that a GoldenEye 007 port (as opposed to a remake) had been in development at Rare for several months, but stated that the title would not be released on the Xbox Live Arcade since "Microsoft and Nintendo couldn't agree on the financial side of things". Perfect Dark, a Nintendo 64 title which used the same engine as GoldenEye would later make it to Xbox Live Arcade, however. It was revealed at E3 2010 that a new Goldeneye video game would be released for the Wii in November 2010. GoldenEye 007 is built on a modified version of the game engine from another Wii game by Eurocom, Dead Space: Extraction.
James Bond film producer Michael G. Wilson spoke in June 2010 about Daniel Craig's participation in revisiting the story from the original film. "When we first pitched the game to him, he was really excited about it. He thought the original game was great. Daniel plays a lot of games and... gives us a lot of good criticism. We'll show him what the plan is and he'll suggest changes and get very hands-on." Wilson went on to say that Craig is aware of the original game's impact, but that his on-screen interpretation of James Bond also required changes to the tone of the story and an increased physical nature to the gameplay.
David Arnold, composer of the 007 film scores from Tomorrow Never Dies until Quantum of Solace, composed the game's score. Nicole Scherzinger performs the title song "GoldenEye", a cover version of the film's theme which was originally performed by Tina Turner. The game's script is penned by Bruce Feirstein, the co-writer of the GoldenEye film, who has described several changes made to update the story in the fifteen years since its release; for example, Alec Trevelyan's motivations have changed, as the character's backstory involving a Lienz Cossack father would make Trevelyan seventy-one years old in 2010, while Valentin Zukovsky no longer has any connection to the KGB. Feirstein also cited a sequence of the game set at a Dubai arms fair. Rory Kinnear reprises his role from Quantum of Solace as Bill Tanner, M's Chief of Staff.
The following likenesses and voices are used for the characters:
- James Bond – Daniel Craig
- Alec Trevelyan – Elliot Cowan
- Natalya Simonova – Kirsty Mitchell
- General Ourumov – Laurence Possa
- Xenia Onatopp – Kate Magowan
- Dmitri Mishkin – Ed Stoppard
- Valentin Zukovsky – Alec Newman
Although not as critically acclaimed as its original Nintendo 64 version, GoldenEye 007 has received positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the Wii version 83.67% and 81/100 and the Nintendo DS version 68.82% and 64/100.
Japanese game magazine Famitsu gave the Wii version a 34 out of 40 score, and the NDS version a 22 out of 40. IGN awarded the game a 9.0 out of 10 and an Editor's Choice Award, praising its multiplayer component and its well-crafted story while criticising the lack of voice chat. The reviewer, Craig Harris, concluded by acknowledging that the game—as of its release—is the Wii's best first person shooter. Gaming Nexus gave GoldenEye 007 an A–, stating, "instead of standing in the original GoldenEye's shadow, Eurocom has created a brand new game that is just as compelling and addictive as the original." GameSpot reviewer Tom McShea also praised the game, awarding it an 8.5 out of 10. Joystiq scored the game 4 out of 5. Nintendo World Report awarded the game an 8.5/10, with the reviewer stating, "Frankly, I haven't seen a more impressive Wii shooter." The Official Nintendo Magazine gave GoldenEye 007 a score of 90%. GameTrailers scored the game at 8.6 of 10, indicating that while most aspects are well-done, the game's performance suffers from inconsistent framerates, particularly during splitscreen play. They also derided the menus as "bland" and the "not very crisp" overall picture due to aliasing. Digital Trends' gave the game 8 of 10, complaining of the enemy AI's simplistic strategies and lack of adaptability. While the multiplayer gameplay was highly praised by the reviewer, the lack of voice chat was seen as a significant omission.
GamesRadar, although less positive, were still pleased with the result, awarding the game a 7 out of 10, stating that it was impossible for the game to live up to the original, but that it was still "a damn fine, 'serious' shooter on the Wii, and that's saying something," adding that "even without the limited options for mature action for Wii owners, GoldenEye 007 is a solid game in its own right." In contrast, however, Game Informer was less impressed, giving the game a 6.5/10, calling it "a lackluster game that fails to hit the same high notes of the original, or keep pace with modern shooters".
GoldenEye 007: Reloaded
At the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International, Activision unveiled GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, a remastering of the Wii game for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles. The game features high-definition graphics due to running on a new game engine, an achievement system, new "MI6 Ops Missions", and PlayStation Move compatibility for the PlayStation 3 version. The game was released on 1 November 2011 in North America, and on 4 November 2011 in Europe. Activision has also released a PlayStation 3 bundle called "GoldenEye 007: Reloaded – Double 'O' Edition"; the bundle features the game on Blu-ray Disc, the PlayStation Move motion and navigation controllers, PlayStation Eye Camera, the Sharp Shooter peripheral, and access to the downloadable character Hugo Drax. The bundle was released along with the standalone game.
GoldenEye 007: Reloaded received generally positive reviews. Aggregating review websites GameRankings and Metacritic gave the PlayStation 3 version 75.60% and 72/100 and the Xbox 360 version 73.20% and 72/100. Despite the positive reception, Reloaded was removed from the PS3 Store after a few years for unknown reasons and is no longer available for purchase.
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