Genre: First-person shooter
ESRB Rating: T
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Platforms: PS3, Xbox 360
Goldeneye 007: Reloaded is an interesting title to review. The original remastering of the Goldeneye game was a Wii and DS title, much like many other deals Nintendo struck with third party companies. Unfortunately, people wanted shinier graphics, and Activision isn't one to turn down an opportunity to make more money. Thus, we now have this product. So, it’s essentially a remake of a remake, if that makes any goddamn sense whatsoever.
Reloaded tries to differ itself from the Nintendo counterpart by simply going with the “more is better” approach. There’s a new mission mode with various challenges to try, online multiplayer now holds up to 16 players, new multiplayer mode, and additional maps and weaponry. And of course, prettier graphics.
And yes, the graphics are pretty damn good. Characters have more detail around them, colors are very vibrant, and the various locations have that gritty feeling of being stuck in the middle of Russia. Hell, even the opening cinematic looks damn impressive, being rendered in glorious HD that was built in-house from the ground up. For those graphics junkies that enjoy seeing all of that, you won’t be disappointed.
With the new platforms, Reloaded also comes with expanded multiplayer options. As mentioned before, online games can now hold up to 16 players, and you can choose from a healthy number of game modes to take part in. As you win games and increase your headcount, you can gain ranks, which increase your available loadouts.
Unfortunately, this is also required to unlock additional game modes. Obviously the intention is to get people to extend their playtime by having artificial goals to shoot for, but it just seems like a silly thing to do. Besides that, the leveling process is painfully slow, and unless you’re really good at console FPS games, you’re likely going to end up being forced to grind ranks just so that you can even try those later modes. You would think that they could have eased, or even better, removed, these kinds of restrictions with this version, instead of tacking on silly methods to force increased playtime.
Offline is definitely a more enjoyable experience if you don’t want to have to mess with such things. Like the Wii version, you have access to numerous characters from Bond movies, and you can set a number of silly settings, including the ever popular paintball mode. So, if you enjoyed that portion on the Wii, then you shouldn’t have any major qualms with Reloaded’s presentation. Just make sure you have a big TV that works well with split screen shenanigans.
The other new addition for this version is the mission mode. This tasks the player with taking on various MI6 missions, and your score is based on your overall performance. You can also set various parameters so that you can make these challenges easier, or harder, which also has an effect on your score.
Again, the intention is there, but the execution is off. This is primarily because of the fact that some of the best options, such as Golden Gun and RPG modes, are all available right off the bat, instead of being unlockable extras. So, there’s pretty much nothing stopping Billy McTwit from simply enabling both of those modes, maxing out his health, and plowing through these missions. It kills the point of providing a challenge, instead choosing to cater towards the people that probably won’t even bother putting much effort into the game, much less the singleplayer mode.
While it is true that you can unlock additional challenges by fulfilling specific conditions, these are obtained by making the already available challenges harder, thereby increasing your overall score. The problem here is that you essentially have to max out as many parameters as possible, just to be able to get close to getting those higher ranks. It’s also very difficult to tell how hard you’re making your challenge, since it uses a point system that can end up going into quintuple digits to tell you difficulty, rather than something simpler like a 1-10 or a 1-5 system.
Now, you have to combine this with the incredibly stupid enemy AI, which was apparently untouched in the remaking of the remake. Enemies in combat will put themselves in some pretty idiotic positions, such as trying to crouch halfway behind an obstruction, running the opposite direction of your current position, or even refusing to rush you down when you’re in a corner. Combined with the regenerating health factor Bond apparently has, this makes taking down the opposition a stupidly silly task on all but the hardest difficulty settings. Enemies will also, at various times, be able to shoot you right through walls, or whatever obstruction you are currently behind, increasing the annoyance factor. Expect to run into that at several points during your playtime.
In stealth cases, they are either oblivious to most anything, or insanely aware for no reason. There is no real consistency in their behavior. Sometimes you can sneak up right alongside a particular target and he won’t so much as glance your way, other times he’ll spot you from yards away, forcing you to rush in and take him out before he alerts his buddies. Sometimes trying to pick off a target by himself can even get the attention of another random person for no reason whatsoever. It makes the stealth missions extremely annoying to accomplish.
Goldeneye: Reloaded, much like the Wii version, gets caught by the pratfalls of trying to modernize a product for today’s audience. It takes a few steps forward, providing an astounding visual presentation and some fun multiplayer shenanigans, and a dozen steps backward, being stuck with mediocre single player content with wonky enemy AI. As a result, your own enjoyment with this title will likely vary depending on how much you’re into console FPS games.
If you have some friends that would be willing to mess around with some crazy game modes, or you are hardcore about online multiplayer, then you’ll probably be able to spend a good amount of time on this. If you’re more of a solo agent, then you’re probably going to be left unimpressed.