By Adam M. Cook
Release Date (US): Aug. 25, 1997
Platform(s): Nintendo 64
Edge…………. 9/10 (1997)
He is the only person that can walk away from an explosion straightening his tie. He is the definition of the word “swagger.” The “Most Interesting Man on Earth” chap from the Dos Equis commercials has nothing on this guy. He makes Jason Bourne look like a pussycat. He is danger walking on two legs. He is known as British Secret Agent James Bond 007.
The first-person shooter game “GoldenEye 007” is one of the most fun, memorable and addictive video games I have ever played. Aside from tiny differences, “GoldenEye 007” follows the story line of the 17th Bond film from 1995, “GoldenEye.” (Fun Fact: The first Bond movie, “Dr. No,” was made in 1962 and starred Sean Connery as Bond.)
Former Double “O” Agent Alec Trevelyan (006) seeks revenge against London’s MI6 Agency (Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service) after being left behind on a mission to die. Years later, Trevelyan steals a space-age, military-grade weapon satellite known as “GoldenEye,” which is a device capable of generating electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) from space to essentially fry anything with an electrical circuit within range. Now that this weapon of mass destruction is in the hands of a power hungry madman, someone has to stop him. Bond is assigned to find the GoldenEye, find out what Trevelyan wishes to do with it and put an end to Trevelyan’s scheme of terror. Bond is the one secret agent experienced and skilled enough to handle a job as life threatening as this one. Bond doesn’t just expect to stop Trevelyan’s reign of terror but to settle a personal matter.
If you can manage aiming, knowing the stage layouts, knowing what weapon is most efficient for a certain situation, knowing where enemies are stationed and what they’re armed with you’re golden. I can’t remember playing a game with a weapon arsenal as vast as the selection in this game. Weapons range from throwing knives, grenades, mines, a watch laser and pistols to assault rifles, rocket launchers and tanks. (Yes, you can even be armed with a tank cannon.) In terms of graphics, characters in the game may look like walking stacks of blocks with sharp-edged faces, but give the game developers a break, it was 1997!
Levels can be set in a variety of different regions and environments. You’ll find yourself going from the frozen tundra of Russia to a steamy jungle in Cuba. In one level, you’ll be infiltrating heavily guarded military compounds and in another you’ll be driving a tank through the streets of St. Petersburg. There are even extra levels that are set in different places from other Bond movies. The Aztec level, for example, is set in the space station seen in the 1979 Bond movie “Moonraker.”
Be mindful of guards and other soldiers. They will be peppered, and sometimes clustered, around the stages. Don’t barge into a room unless you know who you will target and in what order you will take them down. (**Tip: Pressing C (left) or C (right) lets you strafe to the right or left which allows you to move faster than if you were just standing in one position while attacking.)
You know about Bond and Trevelyan, but there are numerous characters present in this game. First of all, what Bond story would be complete without a sexy Bond girl? In this story, that role is taken by the lovely Natalya Simonova, a computer programmer who survived Trevelyan’s first GoldenEye attack. Natalya can be a burden during some levels. You know that character in video games that you have to babysit and make sure they don’t run off and get killed? (You know what I’m talking about.)
There can’t be only one villain in these kind of stories. Deadly assassin Xenia Onotopp and the devious Russian General Ourumov team up to assist Trevelyan in his devilish operation. Boris Grishenko is a computer specialist who greedily betrayed his people, including Natalya, to help Trevelyan with operating the GoldenEye for profit. Bond has some back-up of his own. Jack Wade of the CIA, in addition to Natalya, helps Bond track down Trevelyan. Even though they have had a rough past, Bond locks a partnership with Russian gangster Valentien Zukovsky, who wants Trevelyan out of the picture for his own reasons.
This has to be one of the most popular multiplayer games players can get their hands on. Up to four players can engage in multiplayer matches where they can form teams or play free-for-all matches where it’s every player for himself/herself. The objective in multiplayer is to seek out who’s not on your team and “eliminate” them. Players have 20 stages to choose from and can select one of 12 characters seen in the movie “GoldenEye” or in other Bond films. Players also have the option to play as extras from the game (guards, soldiers, scientists, etc.).
(**Tip: The character Oddjob is too short to be in any other character’s line of fire, meaning everyone will shoot over his head. So if any of your friends try to play a multiplayer match as Oddjob call them out on it! And if you’re the only player in the match that knows this, it will just be our little secret.)
Why I love It:
This game not only sparked my interest in first-person shooter games, but also got me interested in the James Bond franchise. As a kid, I couldn’t believe that this game was based on a movie. When I found out there were more movies like this there was no going back. I rented a different Bond movie every week, had Bond posters on my walls and now own every Bond movie up to Casino Royale (2006). Can you blame an awkward, goofy sixth grader for idolizing a person (albeit a fictional character) who has mastered several languages, the art of seduction, class, fine tastes, card-playing, forms of martial arts, speech/diction, weaponry operations and more?
Still not convinced that James Bond is a straight up bonafide bada**? Check out this clip from the movie and see what you think: (Admittedly, it might be a bit tongue-in-cheek, so use your imagination.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHl6yPL0800