Friday, 10 June 2011

GoldenEye 007 (N64)


I can't play Duke Nukem 3D and Quake without playing GoldenEye too. It just wouldn't be right.

I can't play GoldenEye without including the James Bond gun barrel shot. It just wouldn't be right.

GoldenEye introduced a lot of things to the first person shooter genre, and the level select screen is definitely something I'm glad other shooters started to incorporate.

Being able to replay separate levels and try for better times or just to screw around adds so much depth to the game.

It's been years since I last played this. Let's see if my N64 shooter skills are still sharp.

Nope, I'm already taking hits from the first couple of idiots on the level. They keep rolling around, and jumping to the side, mocking me.

I could have used the game's innovative aim feature to lean around a corner and take them each out with a silenced headshot. Or maybe I should have just ran up and killed them without being totally crap at it.

Let's see if I can snipe this guy in his tower from half a dam away. The answer is, no. No I can't. I screwed up with the guy in the second tower too.

I sniped the third guy in the third tower though, so I'm getting better.

I'm playing on Secret Agent difficulty so I have the additional objective of opening all these doors and blowing up alarms for whatever reason. But that's done with now, so I can finally throw myself off this dam.

Uh, 007, you've forgotten your bungee rope.

It's impossible to play this level without shooting the guy's hat off at the start. It's just too tempting.

Fortunately no one else in the room ever hears it. The soldiers in this game have terrible situational awareness.

Dude, get out of the way, I'm trying to fight off a hundred soldiers here and if I hit any scientists I lose the mission.

Ironically in the actual movie they avoid shooting the guards on the way in and only shoot a scientist.

There really are a lot of enemies on this level. I was taking them out in groups of two at the start, but now it's just a massacre.

It wouldn't be so bad, except I've got a door behind me and I'd really like to be able to turn around and shoot the guy who is about to shoot me in the back.

Crap, they've captured Sean Bean. I can't complete the mission until I press my watch button and detonate the explosives, but I can't do that while 006 is standing next to them.

Or maybe I can, I don't know and I don't feel like replaying the entire level if I'm wrong.

Oh, never mind, they shot 006 so I'm free to blow the place up. And yet they're still shooting me.

Come on, I need the objective complete message to flash up before I can leave. I'm a sitting duck here, so sooner would be better.

I have a feeling this runway level will be easier if I take the tank.

Apparently I'm supposed to be destroying a missile battery before I can leave, so I'll need to find that and fire a few shells its way.

Is that a missile battery, or just a machine gun turret? I can't even tell with these graphics.

Also I can't aim for shit with this turret, and for some reason Bond likes to drive tanks with his head sticking out of the hatch so I'm taking a lot of damage here.


I make a run for one of the nearby buildings so I can hide out and figure out how I'm going to approach this. If I can kill these soldiers first then I'll have a much easier time finding this damn missile battery and doing something about it.

But these assholes seem to be infinite! They just keep teleporting in right in front of me. I've got no other option here but to race down the runway and try not to get shot.

Shot in the back while running away, how lame. I hate infinite enemies so much.

But at least I found the damn missile battery!

Even I can hit a target from this distance. Eventually.

Now I just need to get out of the tank and make a run for that plane over there.

This is way more sensible than the movie to be honest, which has to be a first for video game movie tie ins.

GoldenEye (Movie)
In the film the plane drives off a cliff with the engine running, and Bond runs after it, jumps off the cliff, and catches up to it while falling.

This is pretty much what the whole level looks like. Except sometimes I reach the edge and find a wall of trees. Or a wall painted to look like trees, it's hard to tell with N64 era graphics.

Awesome, I found houses! Now I just need to find the key to open the door. Back to tracking across the featureless white level then.

At least the enemies seem to be finite on this level. Or at least less relentless.


FAILED? You mean that blowing up the computers didn't power down the dish?

So now I've got to go and do all that running around collecting keys again, then figure out how to power this thing down properly.

Maybe I can blow up the dish with my grenade launcher... 


Oh. Turns out I just use the computer to turn it off. It would have been nice if they'd mentioned that in the briefing.

More lock shooting! This time I've got four of them to do before I can get down into the bunker.

The briefing said to neutralise security, so I guess that means I have to shoot these poor guards.

Crap, now they're coming from behind too. I guess I must have triggered an alarm because they keep pouring in.

I've got to shoot all these security cameras to win, but it's hard to stop and aim when infinite enemies keep shooting me.

I realise it would be massively easier to do if I hadn't triggered the alarm, but things just didn't turn out that way.

I just realised that all my pictures have the character models at a distance where you can't see them clearly, so here's a nice close up.

Have I mentioned how much I hate infinite enemies? I'm supposed to be copying the GoldenEye key, but it's kind of hard for me to get over there and pick it up right now.

Okay I'm going to try this again.


Oh for fuck's sake... that's the exit! Those stairs are basically the exit.

If only I'd remembered to switch back to my AK47 KF7 Soviet and put the digital camera away. Plus did I mention I hate infinitely spawning enemies?

Is GoldenEye as good as I remember, or a pain in the ass? I would have to say yes, to both questions. I haven't even gotten to the escort Natalya mission and it's already driving me to despair.

But when it's not being vague with the mission objectives or screwing me over for making one mistake, the gameplay is very solid. The music is excellent, and I think the graphics still have a lot of charm to them. At the time they were going for realism, but now they just look cartoony and I think that works fine.

Plus I can always just play on Agent difficulty instead when it gets too frustrating, and stomp around levels soaking up bullets like the Terminator for a bit. And then I can go back and do the level again on Secret Agent, and do it right this time.


  1. You can still finish the Second mission blowing up the tankers and killing Trevelyan at the same time, you just have to wait for the alarm to go off.

  2. Truly one of the very best FPS ever made. Parts of it don't hold up great, but ANYTIME you mention this game to someone who has played it, it evokes memories of good times. Also easily one of the best multiplayer games of all time. Many many hours of fun had!


Semi-Random Game Box