Sunday, November 7, 2010
My Hands-On Impressions: GoldenEye 007
I am a fan of nSpace and their FPS work on the DS. I have completed all three of their Call of Duty titles. I am a fan of the original GoldenEye on the Nintendo 64, made by Rare. I was very excited when I heard nSpace was developing GoldenEye 007 for the DS. Do I wish Renegade Kid had the opportunity to develop it? Sure. But, I knew it was in good hands with nSpace, and this way I get to actually enjoy playing it. :) I preordered GoldenEye 007 on Amazon, because they offered delivery on the day the game was released. However, Amazon failed me and they had no explanation of why. So, I canceled the order and picked it up at Gamestop on release day. On the drive over to Gamestop I was excited. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you are on your way to pick up a game that you’ve been looking forward to. There is so much hope and mystery that all combines inside you to make you feel like a kid again. Love it!
Anyway, onto my impressions: I’m a sucker for the 007 theme. It adds a lot to the atmosphere and sense of purpose to your actions. The visuals in GoldenEye 007 are good, with some nice touches of excellence sprinkled throughout the journey. The frame-rate dances between sluggish and silky smooth. I wish it stayed in the silky smooth, but it isn’t a deal-breaker for me. The first portion of the game felt like Call of Duty with different artwork, with my main objective feeling like I just needed to sink as many bullets into the enemies as possible. I am relieved to say that the game soon shakes off its COD-ness and falls nicely into its own groove quickly, and I started to feel like I was playing a 007 game – kicking some ass! The level design and variety in gameplay is good. A variety of gadgets and new ways to interact with elements in the game offer a refreshing break from the gun-toting action. The gadget usage and their connection to the missions aren’t quite up to the standards of its N64 cousin, but I applaud the team for their efforts and appreciate what it does to improve the overall game experience. The audio is good. Music is great. And, there’s a ton of high-quality dialog. Something I personally really liked about the original N64 GoldenEye was the ability to replay completed missions and try to improve your completion time, shot-accuracy, etc. Incidentally, this is something we added to Moon as homage to GoldenEye 64, because I think it really helps with replay. Unfortunately, this feature is not supported in GoldenEye 007 on the DS, and I wish it was. This feature was supported in previous Call of Duty titles that nSpace developed, so I am not sure why they chose not to include it on this title. GoldenEye 007 may not be a perfect game, but it is certainly a good one that I recommend to anyone who is looking for a fun FPS adventure to enjoy on their DS, and I look forward to playing nSpace’s next title, Call of Duty Black-Ops, which is due out on November 9th.
* Updated Note: I forgot to mention that there is a time trial mode that opens up upon the completion of the game, which allows you to replay any mission and improve upon your completion time in three different difficulty settings. This feature definitely adds some replay value as you are able to easily access your favorite parts of the game.