Wii Got Bond Action
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If you're like me and spent a significant amount of the late 90s trying to kill your friends in GoldenEye 007 for N64, then you too were excited to hear that there is a new GoldenEye 007 for the Wii. Anticipation is a double-edged sword, as is trying to redo a beloved titled from the past. Luckily, Eurocom took the time and really did it right.
Perhaps the best thing about this game is that it is more an homage than a remake. As the first mission opens, Daniel Craig's image pops up on the screen, not Pierce Brosnan's, which right away sends the message that this is the new Bond for a new game.
From the beginning, the game is tight and tense the way a good game should be. It's not truly an open environment, but you have a lot of room to explore each area. As in the original, you have a plethora of weapons to start with and then pick up as you kill various bad guys. Unfortunately, as in the original game, the bodies disappear as you kill them. I'm not a fan of this in any game, because bodies are an easy way for me to track where I've been, but that's a small quibble.
Don't think this is all about shooting either. After all, James Bond is a spy. Stealth is rewarded in this game. The more quietly you move through the game the more successful you'll be. There are several options for silent takedowns, the easiest of which is sneaking up behind a bad guy and doing a quick neck snap.
During the primary mission, there were a few occasions when I had difficult with the Wii remote allowing me to turn the way I wanted to, but I never actually got stuck and shaking the remote a little bit corrected the problem. Had I wanted to, I could have dragged out my old Game Cube controllers and used those.
This game has more customization available than most games. There are options for how tightly you want to use the Wii remote, options for using old controllers, as well as options for difficulty. All those options are a little overwhelming actually.
Playing this game as a first-person shooter is an entirely satisfying experience. The action is tense but well paced so that you don't ever feel like you're just following a path like a rat in a maze. The soundtrack is all Bond and great, the story is interesting and the missions are fairly challenging.
To be honest, though, single player wasn't what interested me most about this game. I wanted that split screen multiplayer experience. That was the best thing about the old game and that's what I most wanted from this game.
It did not disappoint.
The offline multiplayer game comes in three flavors: Conflict, Golden gun, and You Only Live Twice. Conflict is just spy vs. spy, in other words shoot your friends before they shoot you. Golden Gun is Conflict with the added component that if you find the Golden Gun you have endless ammo and five points toward elimination instead of one. You Only Live Twice is what it sounds like. You can die twice before being dropped from the game.
Sitting in a room with up to three of your friends trying to get them before they get you is a lot of fun, and unlike in the online version, you can talk all the smack you want to.
Online has many more options for game play than local play has, including several options for team play, but there is no chat function, which I found kind of boring after awhile. Of course, the fact that I kept getting killed could have been part of that. Online play allows for up to eight players at a time, unfortunately, only one player at a time can be local. I see this as a real problem for this game, because the social aspect of chatting while you try to kill each other is loads of fun.
Overall, I see this game as a win for Wii. Personally, since I also own a PS3, I usually play first person shooters on that, but if you have a Wii and have been looking for a real shooter for that platform, this is it. Go forth and purchase.
Game reviewed on a Nintendo Wii.
Marie Flanigan has been a devoted gamer since she got her first Atari 2600 for Christmas long, long ago. These days, she splits her gaming time between PS3, Wii and a Mac. : firstname.lastname@example.org.