So it’s all looking
pretty good for the resuscitation of this most beloved of games of almost legendary reputation. However, we have to take some issue with the general feel of this modern ‘re-imagining’. Perhaps unexpectedly, it feels very much like a modern PC FPS. So far it has none of the charm, ease of control or je ne sais quois
of the original, characteristics we are dying to see properly implemented. To be generous, it is incredibly early days for the mod, with the all important HUD not yet in place. There's also a lack of any crosshair, which although only appeared when using the auto-aim in the original title, is still massively conspicuous by its absence.
On the other hand it could be that no development alchemy can ever really take you back to the good old days because they only exist in our mind. Like all the best Christmases of our youth they were never as warm, cosy or present laden as we now remember them. To try to recreate a moment in gaming history may well be folly but you have to love these guys for trying. If they get even close to the joy that was Goldeneye on the N64 they’ll be achieving more than most developers could ever dream of. We say good luck to them and I’ll happily lift a Martini to the new additions forthcoming to Goldeneye Source in this New Year.
I have spent many, many hours playing GE:S since its Christmas day release, and I thought I might add my opinions to Kirsten's. The game is undoubtedly an awful lot of fun: the graphics look great, the characters are incredibly well modelled and the levels are a lesson in level design from the masters.
She's right to point out weaponry problems. The shotgun is the best weapon by far, packing an enormous punch in very close range. It's useless further than a couple of feet away, however. The pistol is great fun because it's so lightweight, meaning you really have to get a clip into someone to do anything like lethal damage - this makes for some hilarious mouse button pounding.
I played GoldenEye a fair amount on the N64, but going back to it now is rather weird. Some features which have since become FPS stalwarts are missing - no crosshair, for example. Crucially, there's no jump! The deathmatch experience is totally different from other games, because there's none of this jumping around and trying to shoot people out of the air whilst they miraculously headshot you as they spin. The game dynamic is totally different for the lack of a jump function, meaning the game is far more about stealth, clever use of cover and about getting the drop on your enemy. I think this makes it more fun.
It's interesting that Rare also chose not to implement a jump function in their new Perfect Dark title for the Xbox 360. That rather seems to hark back to these good old GoldenEye days.
Was GoldenEye really as good as we remember it? I think there's a caveat to any answer there. It was undoubtedly groundbreaking at the time, and provided an awesome experience. Has it been bettered since? My personal opinion is that, yes, for all its genius, the genre has moved on. However, playing GE:S is a lesson that, although we've moved on, we can still learn something about level design and gameplay dynamics from one of the most popular shooters of all time.
You can download the game from the GoldenEye: Source homepage
Kirsten spends her days playing FPS games with the Frag Dolls.
Wil has been playing GE:S on his funky gaming rig from Udiggit.com.