Golden Eye: A look at the past

Golden Eye is one of, if not the most, well known first-person shooters out there. In its day it was a masterpiece of design, both artistically and game-play wise. Today though, it is just a horribly pixilated game with stiff controls. This is the second installment in the retro gaming corner.

Game Info/Play:

You play as James Bond as you make your way through the Golden Eye movie storyline. You wander through 12 different environments as the story unfolds, each one pushing you ever closer to the climax of the game where you face off against Alec Trevelyan. The game also brags three different difficulty settings, each one an attempt to keep the game fresh for times to come. The game features plenty of explosions as Bond uses them to blow up enemies, narrowly avoiding the explosions himself. Pressing down on the “R” button allows you to aim your gun anywhere on screen; this is an enhancement from previous first-person shooters, where all you did was run around pulling the trigger, hoping you hit someone.

The Good:

It’s hard to find anything good about Golden Eye when compared to current games. The one thing that does stick with the game, no matter how old it becomes, is the multi-player mode. This mode of game-play is arguably among the most fun someone could have on a Nintendo 64 game system. Intense screaming matches have been held over character selection as people inevitably fight over getting/using Oddjob. For a game and character to illicit such a response it must be good. Another one of the few things that remains unaffected by time, is the storyline which is extremely well-developed; it includes unseen twists and moments of panic.

The Bad:

The games graphics are absolutely horrible compared to today’s standards, each of the characters looking like a series of boxes put together rather than an actual person. Levels are confusingly made one section looks just like the next, making it hard to figure out just where you are in the game. While being one of the first games to allow you to aim so fully, the aim controls were clunky and hard to handle. Sound… what sound? The game had very little in the way of a soundtrack at all. The only really notable sound was that of the James Bond theme when someone dies in multi-player.

Final Thoughts:

Even with all of the negative aspects of the game, it is extremely hard for me to give it a negative rating. The nostalgia I felt replaying this game once more is hard to describe, and playing it became more about reliving that experience of my youth than an actual play-through for a game review. All the same, when I started out the game, I started out with the intention of giving it another once-over on today’s standards.

Whim Rating: 3.5/5.0

Cover and story photo courtesy of Creative Commons