Goldeneye 007: Reloaded - PS3 Review
Call it good timing if you will but in the same week that the theatrical James Bond 23 is announced with the title Skyfall for release in cinemas next year, Activision has released Goldeneye 007: Reloaded on the PS3 (and XBox 360). This game is actually a remake of the 2010 Nintendo Wii Goldeneye 007, which itself was a reimagining of the classic Goldeneye on Nintendo 64. There have been substantial changes to the PS3 version, but let's start with the storyline...
|Characters in Goldeneye look great.|
Goldeneye 007: Reloaded follows the plot of the Pierce Brosnan starring 1995 James Bond film of the same name, although Pierce Brosnan has now been replaced with Daniel Craig, while the game now uses a Smartphone to take intel photos and to hack into equipment. James Bond's ultimate mission is to recover the key to a devastating Soviet orbital weapon, GoldenEye.
So what were all the changes which this PS3 version has undergone compared to the original Nintendo Wii version. Well the developers Eurocom created an all-new game engine from scratch to improve the visuals (now in HD of course), include trophy support, add in MI6 Ops Missions, support for up to 16-players in online modes, adding in a multiplayer Escalation mode, and for PS3 owners support for the Playstation Move controller for some Sharp Shooting action!
|Sneaking past the checkpoint.|
That's a pretty extensive list of enhancements for the PS3 game, but in essence there are three main game modes - the campaign, MI5 Ops missions and Multiplayer. Starting with the campaign mode this is a pretty extensive with fourteen main missions following a brief training mission. These missions are primarily FPS based however there is also a brief section where you're driving a tank through some city streets. While the game follows the movies storyline it does deviate and expand on locations which include Arkhangelsk, Barcelona, Dubai, Severnaya, St. Petersberg and Nigeria. Visually these locations are quite varied and include indoor and outdoor locations, as well as different times of day and weather.
Next up are the MI6 Ops Missions which are a series of missions with set goals including Elimination where you need to kill a set number of enemies in the fastest time, Stealth where you need to get through the level remaining undetected, Defense where you need to download data from terminals while fending off approaching enemies, and Assault which sees you battling to an extraction point. This mode is actually very entertaining indeed and there's nothing to complain about. They're fun, pretty lengthy, and with online leaderboards, quite replayable.
|James Bond uses the Golden Gun in the nightclub!|
Surprisingly impressive. To be honest I expected the "usual" lightweight online modes in this title, but what Eurocom and Activision have delivered certainly exceeds expectations and is actually probably the strongest aspect of this entire release. As soon as we opened up the Multiplayer menu we were shocked to see the long list of game modes - Conflict, Team Conflict, Golden Gun, Black Box where two teams compete to either retrieve data from or destroy the Black Box, Goldeneye where teams compete to control uplink consoles, Heroes where a selected player in each team is the "hero", Escalation sees you receiving upgraded weapons during the match, Detonator Agent, Data Miner sees players competing to download the data first, Bomb Defuse, License to Kill is essentially a hardcore Conflict mode with increased damage, Team License to Kill, and Classic Conflict which sees you playing as your favourite Bond villain.
It must be said that the time we've spent online has been very enjoyable with fairly lag free sessions with up to 15 other gamers. It's also important to note that the development team have included a 4-player split screen mode, something which isn't seen in enough in videogames these days.
|Bond better look for some cover.|
So what about the issues and disappointments we had with the game. After initial doubts about Goldeneye 007: Reloaded, primarily based on the visuals (more on them soon), in terms of the actual gameplay this is a very solid release indeed. There were some niggles though including, for a James Bond game in particular, a lack of gadget use. Sure you can hack into things using the phone, but that's only a couple of times throughout the game. Hand grenades? Enemies have them, but Bond doesn't. It feels a little too much like a generic FPS, and not as much a James Bond title. While the multiplayer is impressive it was disappointing to see a lack of character and weapons customisation as we would expect from the same publisher that brings out that little-know Call of Duty franchise. Our final niggle revolves around the Playstation Move controller which, as with almost every game, simply isn't as responsive or intuitive as using the Dual Shock 3 controller.
Visuals in Goldeneye 007: Reloaded are very much a mixed bag. On a positive side the PS3 game runs at 1080p which is (from what we've heard) a step up from the 720p resolution on the XBox 360 version of the game. The frame rate too is fairly solid, although there are occasional hiccups however it's pretty smooth. The main characters look pretty good too with Daniel Craig modeled perfectly as James Bond while effects such as smoke and fire are decent enough.
|The MI6 Elimination mode.|
Unfortunately that's where the impressive aspects to visuals end. Overall this is a fairly bland looking game with detail levels that would have looked poor as a first generation PS3 title let alone one so late in the systems life. Textures are often low resolution and quite dull while the level design lacks anything really special. This certainly doesn't approach the levels of detail, or set pieces, we would expect from Activision's other mega-FPS franchise Call of Duty or indeed EA's Crysis or Battlefield games.
While the visuals are disappointing the same can't be said of the audio which is one of the stronger elements of the game. Of course gunshots and explosions are frequent throughout the game and sound meaty enough while the surround sound channels (and of course the PS3 version gets DTS 5.1 audio) get a good workout too. Although a little sparse, the dialogue, which includes Daniel Craig as James Bond, has been wel scripted and delivered as one would expect.
|The Tank Mission in Goldeneye: Reloaded.|
Interestingly the games theme song, "Goldeneye" (which was written by U2's Bono and The Edge we might add), is now performed by Nicole Scherzinger instead of Tina Turner who performed the song for the film. The theme song, and the music through the entire game, is certain to impress. In fact, I was overjoyed to hear one of my favourite dance/club songs in the game playing in the nightclub, Deadmau5 & Kaskade's "I Remember". Great song (check it out here if you want to have a listen).
Goldeneye 007: Reloaded is not the definitive James Bond title but it is a fun shooter with very polished extra MI6 missions and a tonne of multiplayer modes. Using Daniel Craig's likeness and voice brings the game up to match the most recent films, although the games visuals are certainly the biggest disappointment and not a patch on many other FPS's. Still, in terms of gameplay, and especially if you play online, this game is unlikely to disappoint franchise fans.
Review By: Dave Warner
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|GRAPHICS||It's smooth but has some pretty poor visuals overall with poor textures.||69%|
|SOUND||Sonically the game is decent enough with solid speech, decent sound effects and great music.||84%|
|GAMEPLAY||As a FPS it's solid but it lacks the "James Bond" moments/ Multiplayer is varied, and very entertaining.||83%|
|VALUE||A little more variety in single player would have added value but the multiplayer could add substantial play time.||74%|
|OVERALL||This is not the definitive James Bond game, but it's still very enjoyable despite the sub-par visuals.||79%|