Goldeneye Reloaded Xbox 360 Review

Goldeneye was probably the biggest surprise in gaming of 2010, nobody expected much from a remake of the N64 classic. But what we got was one of the best Wii games ever, and the best Bond game in years, possibly since the original Goldeneye. Now, with Activision not being able to leave a cash cow unmilked we get Goldeneye Reloaded, an HD remake of a remake.

Anyone who played the Wii game, and if you haven’t shame on you, will know this isn’t a straight remake of the 1996 classic. It’s more of a reimagining, or reworking of it to fit into today’s world. The story and game structure are pretty much the same, but the details have been changed. With the exception of Judi Dench as M, all the characters have been recast and given different motivations and personalities. Biggest of which is Bond himself who, to fit in with current movie continuity, is played by Daniel Craig. Personally he’s my least favourite Bond, but as it’s all played in first person so at least I didn’t have to look at his ugly mug much.

How the story details and characters motivations have changed is an indicator of the sad state of the world today. Values like family and patriotism, the main motivations of the villain in the film, have been replaced with greed. It’s now all about money. Many of the supporting cast are now more capitalistic than they used to be too, with politics taking a distinct back seat to other plot elements. We can’t blame the game makers for the world we live in though, and the changes to story and characters have certainly made things more believable for the modern age.

Gameplay has also had some big changes to fit with the times, and now plays a lot more like Call of Duty, which is unsurprising as it is a major stable mate to it. They’ve managed to keep enough touches from the original game to make it still feel like Goldeneye though. It’s still a good mix of combat and stealth though, and those damned security cameras you love to hate are still there. Another thing that is still intact is the additional missions you get on higher difficulty levels. And, if you’re not a fan of the regenerating health that is now common practice with FPS, you can even play on classic difficulty without it, definitely something for the purists.

Goldeneye wouldn’t be Goldeneye without a solid multiplayer side, and this new version doesn’t disappoint on that front. There is a stack of game modes to choose from, some FPS staples, others more in keeping with the Bond theme. It even borrows from Call of Duty again with a basic XP/perks system to reward prolonged play. Servers seem a little on the quiet side, but that’s hardly surprising considering Modern Warfare 3 just landed. Perhaps some bad timing on Activision’s behalf, releasing two big FPS within a week of each other. Padding things out is a series of MI6 Ops missions to add a little extra. I found these a bit dull though.

The things is, this is exactly the same game we got on the Wii a year ago, and whilst that was great it’s playing in a completely different market now. Part of what made it so great on the Wii was the lack of competition, here competition is fierce, and it just doesn’t stand out as much. It’s still a good game though, and has had a HD touch up so it looks a little better, and runs a little smoother, but it just doesn’t quite match up to other games in the genre in this market. It’s a sad thing when a game like this is diminished because of the competition, but a port, even one as perfect as this, just doesn’t cut it when you move to a bigger market, especially not when it’s a year late.

Goldeneye Reloaded is a perfect port, HD visuals aside it is identical in every way to the Wii game, except one, the controls. On the Wii you had excellent controls, because of the way the Wii controls work, especially for the aiming. But on the Xbox 360 all you have is an analogue stick, and it just feels sluggish in comparison. Even if you’ve not had the pleasure of playing the Wii version the aiming still feels slow compared to other FPS. It’s not a major thing, but it really bugged me after a while. It shouldn’t be a problem on the PS3 version though, as that has Move control options.

If you’ve not played the Wii game then this is worth a rental at least, or maybe wait until its price drops to about £20, then it would be worth it. If you have played the Wii game though, just don’t bother, there is nothing new here, and the slightly shinier visuals don’t disguise the fact you are playing a slightly worse version of the same game.

7 out of 10