Welcome to Bond. James Bond... or to be more precise Franken-Bond. GoldenEye 007: Reloaded is a mad scientist’s vision of a fantasy conglomerate of everyone’s favourite super suave spy. Modelled on the N64 classic that pretty much revolutionised the first-person shooter genre, developer Eurocom has taken the best aspects of each iteration of the iconic lady's man and shaken (not stirred) them all together into one tasty looking package.
Taking its key plot-points from the Brosnan-lead GoldenEye film, with key villains Alec Trevelyan and queen of the thigh-master, Xenia Onatopp, a modern day M, one kick-arse Craig and a focus on the groundbreaking N64 sensibilities is a definite winner in today’s cutthroat FPS market. While it may not stack up graphically to titles the calibre of Crysis 2 it does offer the complete Bond experience to Xbox 360 and PS3 owners for the very first time.
As you work through the 8-10 hour campaign you’ll find it hard to not get a little misty eyed. With each increase in difficulty you’ll have additional secondary tasks to complete before hitting the next waypoint. These are not an option and will result in a failed mission if they are all not completed. It’s a brilliant design and ensures that upping the ante leads to different gameplay experiences and gives GoldenEye 007: Reloaded decent single-player campaign replayability. There’s even a Classic Bond mode which ditches the modern day convention of a regenerating health bar and lets you kick it ye olde school with health packs as your only form of respite.
As you gallivant around the world on Trevelyan’s trail you’ll be able to approach skirmishes your
way. Those who prefer a stealthier approach will be treated to a variation of melee takedowns as they sneak in all whisper-quiet like, and a reduced level of resistance. If you’re a run and gunner, make your entrance with a bang and alert the scores of low-level henchmen. Then mow Trevelyan’s goons down as they swarm you in response to the call to arms. Infiltrate like a ghost or decimate like a berserker. The choice is yours and each reaps its own rewards.
New to this reboot are the next-gen console exclusive MI6 Ops missions that kind of play out like a one-man horde mode. Those lone wolves out there will find great satisfaction in these stand-alone fire-fights. The premise is quite simple: either exterminate all without remorse, defend a specific area for an allotted time or be quiet as a church mouse as you make your way past a slew of none-the-wiser goons. The AI here can be a little spotty at times, even respawning in the exact same spots as their recently deceased brethren, but is pretty decent for the most part.
Enough with the prattling on about the single-player kozeeii mate, what’s the deal with multiplayer? Glad you asked. For years Nintendo faithful have had one round in the chamber to fire at PC and console gamers, shouting from the rooftops “well you ain’t got GoldenEye now, do ya?” Not anymore. The fiendishly addictive and Bond-er-iffic (yep, it’s a word. Look it up) multiplayer doesn’t disappoint with a multitude of variations on traditional modes such as Death Match and Capture the Flag.
Golden Gun is an easy winner with the iconic weapon providing single hit kills to its owner, Heroes will have one team member deal extra damage, have greater lead enema resistance and gives a health boost to team mates in the vicinity so it’s in your best interests to watch their back. As you’re making your mark on multi you’ll play as an number of Bond’s foils, though it would have been nice to choose your own Bond favourite and see Connery go head to head with Moore and see who takes the title of spymaster supreme.
As Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 duke it out for FPS supremacy, take time out and give this reboot a whirl. It offers a different kind of multiplayer and a robust smattering of solo missions to keep any international man of mystery occupied for hours on end.