Goldeneye 007: Reloaded is nothing like the game of old. Literally, there is very little, if anything, in this ‘remake’ (and I use that term lightly) that is overly familiar to the N64 version. However, the game does not suffer because of this as it does not pretend to be a remade game. Instead, it takes the plot of Goldeneye, along with the characters and setting, and places them into a modern, present-day environment: Pierce Brosnan is gone and Daniel Craig is in, there are no laser watches (unfortunately), and instead there are smartphones and the irritating hack known as Natalya is less of moving target practice (praise the lord). The end result is a decent enough game but cannot be taken as anything more than a bog-standard first-person shooter.
From reading the title, you may be thinking ‘What is this guy talking about?’. Well it’s simple to explain – Goldeneye plays, looks, feels and controls exactly like a Call of Duty game. That is not an exaggeration either. The control layout is exactly the same (only minus a jump feature which, frankly, is bizarre), the campaign plays like a CoD game with quick time events and slow motion sections, the multiplayer has loadouts and weapons exactly like you know what and the only thing that separates this game from the franchise it’s copying is the name. That’s not to say that I don’t think the game plays well as, in my opinion, it’s more than an acceptable game, but the emulating of Call of Duty is obvious to anyone with eyes. It’s not difficult to understand why Eurocom decided to take inspiration from/copy the biggest franchise on the planet, but it makes them look lazy as a result. It would have been much more preferable for them to have developed their own style.
The game is broken up into three sections: Single player campaign, multiplayer and ‘M16 Ops’ (Spec Ops, anyone?). Although I have yet to complete the campaign, I can tell you that it is nowhere near as lengthy as the N64 game which is a shame as there is a lot of potential for the Goldeneye plot to have a very lengthy campaign. However, from what there is, the modernization and up to date nature of the story plays fairly well. The voice acting is of an above average standard with several characters voiced by their respective actors, the graphics are ok (nothing special, by all means) and the fluidity of the gameplay is great. There are stealth sections where you can choose to sneak your way to your next objective or go in all guns blazing. Sounds good? Wrong. The stealth sections are an absolute walk in the park as bodies disappear after being killed (which makes it impossible for others to detect them), the AI is so poor that they don’t even realise when you’ve shot one of their buddies and there is no challenge to be had at all. Other than that, the shooting mechanics are fantastic and each guns feels unique and ‘weighty’.
I haven’t had much of a chance to try M16 Ops but the good thing about this mode is the way in which you can customize each session. You can set the number of enemies, their health (and yours), and vice versa. The easier you make it, the less stars you will be rewarded but it still makes it accustomed to your skill or style of play. You can also, if I am not mistaken, enable cheats in this mode. If not in this mode, then definitely in the campaign. Fans of the old game will probably be familiar with paintball mode, or big heads etc. I haven’t tried these out yet but I look forward to doing so.
As I mentioned earlier, the easily recognizable traits that Goldeneye has taken from Call of Duty prove to be somewhat detrimental to the game as a whole. I, for one, cannot play this game without thinking about how much it has taken from CoD. It’s a good enough game but it’s not easy to get past this. The last James Bond game I played (Quantam of Solace) was similar to this game and that most definitely took inspiration from CoD as well, but it still managed to feel different and unique. Goldeneye doesn’t and if Eurocom are going to develop another 007 title in the future, I sincerely hope they stop looking at what others do well and start thinking about what they, themselves, can bring to the table.
Another big part of the package is the multiplayer. 4 player split-screen MP is available to those who enjoy that, as well as a fully fledged online multiplayer. As with the rest of the game, the multiplayer plays exactly like Call of Duty, with the loadouts and weapon customizations, as well as the game modes on offer and so forth. Unfortunately, the game suffers from an extraordinary amount of lag that can vary from hardly noticeable to full force teleporting across the map. I don’t quite know why this is, given that the game doesn’t have a very large community of players, but there it is. Other than that, the game is extremely fun but I don’t get the feeling that it’s the sort of game that will keep you coming back months after release.
One problem with the multiplayer, and I’m sure that it’s not just me that has this issue, is the massively overpowered shotguns, and to a certain extent, sniper rifles. Shotguns can kill you across amazing distances with shocking accuracy, and sniper rifles kill you in one shot, whether they shoot you through your carotid or through your small toe. There is very little reason to use any other gun and this is a big issue, especially on the smaller maps that have plenty of corners for people to surprise you. It’s most probably not going to get fixed, either, which is even worse.
To conclude: Goldeneye 007: Reloaded is a Call of Duty game in every way except in name. It takes so much from the franchise that it’s hard to pick out any elements unique to them and although the game plays well most of the time, it cannot be taken as anything except a cardboard cut-out first-person shooter. Eurocom have done a decent enough job but lets face it – most of the game they created was copied from elsewhere. Word of advice – for the next James Bond game, please bring your own ideas to the table.