Nathan Weller On November 30, 2011 at 1:27 pm

GoldenEye 007 Reloaded ScreenshotUnfortunately, I never owned a Nintendo 64. It was the envy of my middle school years, but out of my grasp. Thankfully, my friend had one, and, as was mandatory for the day, a copy of Goldeneye. We would play four player splitscreen on a 27 inch tv, and we liked it! Oh, how far we’re come. In 1997, Goldeneye launched to great success and still pops up on videogame charts whenever sites need some filler content with their “Top 100 Games” lists. Rareware, before they were known as Rare, and before their subsequent absorption by Microsoft, had a hit on their hands. This all leads us to realize the thick rose colored glasses that we’re all wearing when it comes to this game. We review GoldenEye 007: Reloaded for the Xbox 360 from Activision.

While GoldenEye 007: Reloaded is another version of the classic, it will be difficult to bring back the feeling of the original. Eurocom attempted to rekindle the fire in 2010 with the launch of GoldenEye 007 for the Wii, where they tweaked the story and brought it closer to the current generation graphics-wise. For the 360 and PS3, they’ve gone further and added in a few more features with Golden Eye 007: Reloaded. One of the most noticeable are the HD textures and effects. While the Wii may be “current generation”, we all know it’s the red-headed stepchild to the PS3 and 360 graphically. Online multiplayer is available, for up to 16 players in a room. For this review, I ran through the 360 version, however Playstation Move support is available in the PS3 version. No Kinect features, here.

The single player campaign will be familiar to those who played the original, however it will look visually quite different. Storage space and vast computing power allow for a greater variety in eye-candy, so the more blocky levels of old are gone, leaving lush and fully re-imagined levels in their place. The increased power of today’s consoles also allows for more voice acting, featuring the current Bond, Daniel Craig, and Judi Dench reprising her role as M. Craig’s likeness is also in the game, as the old Pierce Brosnan is nowhere to be found. Cutscenes are slick, and the introductory movie at the close of the first level is worthy of appearing in a Bond film, complete with a Nicole Scherzinger rendition of Goldeneye.

An onscreen HUD gives good enough visual cues to let you know where you need to head next, but unfortunately this let me run-and-gun my way through several levels. Regenerative health only compounds the issue, encouraging you to deal with a few enemies, then hide for a moment to regain composure. While the game tries to coax you into using some stealth in the early levels, in the end it seems almost easier to deal with the horde of enemy AI as soon as you so much as bump into one, setting off an alarm. The enemy AI isn’t the greatest, seemingly all-aware of my location and running directly towards me, they sometimes take cover, but will typically not stop until they get to fire a few shots off. Your best bet will sometimes be to run to the next checkpoint to reset the AI’s angry-o-meter. AI animation isn’t great, as I did have one goon who got stuck on a door, and after he was dispatched, he fell into the door until disappearing. Enemies do fade after being killed, which probably helps the game keep its Teen rating, however this would not be a great game for young children as this isn’t really wholesome fun for a nine year old.

Load times aren’t bad, until you get to any point in the game where you get stuck and need to keep reloading upon death. While it takes a few seconds, having only flubbed a quick time sequence of button presses only to have to wait another 10 seconds to get back into it can be annoying. Otherwise, moving between levels is smooth and the briefings from M help pass the time. Musically, the Bond theme is alive and well, and some of the soaring soundtrack will pop up here and there during the game. Portions of it can grow repetitive as certain scenes or cues will kick off a piece of the soundtrack that you will get to hear many times, especially if you keep messing up that level.

Single player campaign can be completed in a few sessions, as it is very easy to get into a flow of going through levels. While you are mainly on foot, there is an interesting tank sequence and a few quick time events scattered throughout the game. Weapon selection is good, with weapons scattered about and obtained from enemies, along with variations on guns that add different sights and aiming options. Ammunition is plentiful, and while you can carry three weapons total, one of them will always be your trusty silenced Walther P99.

Completionists will have the task of attempting to find all of the Janus emblems scattered throughout the levels. I only found a few in my playthrough, but those who explore levels more completely will be rewarded. Several times I noticed multiple routes through a level that would help if you are looking to sneak instead of being a one man army. Also adding to the replayability is a new Mi6 mode, similar to the Black Ops mode from Call of Duty. In it, levels separate from the single player campaign are offered with different winning scenarios, ranging from stealth to your speed through a level.

The meat of this game, for some, will be in the multiplayer. Those who remember the original game will want to relive the hours they spent with their friends splitscreening it up into the night. Thankfully, the four-player splitscreen option is alive and well. Six modes on 14 maps offer a decent amount of variety, and you can choose from Goldeneye characters in addition to some classic Bond villains for your character. Some maps will be familiar to those who played the classic. There’s just a lot more going on in them! Purists will be happy to see the classic health option which ditches the regenerating health for the original’s health and armor option.

Xbox Live multiplayer is also available for sixteen players, however it is limited to only one person locally. In the age when you can bring in guests to your Halo, Call of Duty, and Battlefield games, this seems like a huge miss. If I’m already having fun with 3 other friends in the same room, why can’t we all go and try our skills as a team against another 12 people? Online multiplayer offers 13 modes on the same 14 maps, however three modes are locked until you have leveled up enough to use them. Yes, Reloaded has a leveling system that allows you to unlock new toys and abilities as your playtime increases. Due to the glut of blockbuster FPS games that have just arrived, I did have trouble finding some populated games on the lesser played game modes, as a majority of the players were sticking with the classic deathmatch “Conflict” and team deathmatch “Team Conflict” modes. This doesn’t bode well for the future of this game, as the other established FPS brands of modern day seem to squash all competition. There’s always that local multiplayer as a fallback.

Classic Goldeneye fans may love the game for the dose of nostalgia it offers, so I can’t fault anyone for that. However, the FPS genere as a whole is crammed with big-budget titles, especially this time of year with the recent launch of the latest Call of Duty and Battlefield games. Those titles obviously overshadow much of the field, and drain away players from the Goldeneye multiplayer servers. If you’ve got a good group of friends to invite to a match, great, but otherwise you may be grabbing the people near your console to be targets when the online community dries up.

So many years after the original, there are likely new gamers for which this Goldeneye will be their first, and for those it should still offer a good experience that still mirrors parts of the movie. Others who grew up with Starfox and Sonic may be a little more skeptical of a remake, but it still gives some classic gameplay while bringing the game into the current generation of FPS shooters with new options and play types. While I usually steer away from the $60 titles anyway, Goldeneye 007: Reloaded offers a more budget priced experience with a healthy dose of nostalgia.


Decent single player harkens back to the original game while adding more flair. Local multiplayer is good, but you can’t go online with your friends unless they’re on their own Xbox at home.


Better than the N64, but repetitive animations abound.


Classic Bond themes and star power vocal work sprinkled throughout.


In the end, another shooter that has the same name of a shooter you once played. A tough sell among a crowded genre.

Click here to buy GoldenEye 007 Reloaded Online for the Xbox 360 from

Click here to buy GoldenEye 007 Reloaded New or Used for the Xbox 360 from

Comments are closed.