Review: GoldenEye 007 (DS)

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Sometimes you are playing two games from the same genre on the same platform. Very occasionally you might find yourself playing two games from the same developer simultaneously. But to be playing two games from the same genre by the same developer on the same platform released in the same month? And yet as I was playing Call of Duty: Black Ops on the DS, I was also playing GoldenEye 007, one of two recently released DS games based on the James Bond franchise (the other is Blood Stone…also by n-Space). Both shooters, both DS games, both by n-Space, released within a week of each other! I already mentioned a liking for Call of Duty: Black Ops … so do we get the same result?

Well, without beating around the bush, let me be clear: of the three n-Space FPS games released in early November … this is the worst. It is not a terrible game by any stretch, but considering it is a remake of one of the most beloved console shooters … I expected much, much more.

Technically, the high point is the inclusion of voice acting by Daniel Craig and especially Dame Judi Dench. The graphics are clear enough to keep you informed and engaged, but are clearly the weakest of the three games — and I complained about the graphics in Call of Duty: Black Ops looking outdated! There are full cutscenes, but with the graphics in the state they are, they only highlight the technical issues.

For me the biggest surprise was that GoldenEye plays like a run & gun shooter. I expected a fully capable stealth game with complex objectives and so on, but instead I am playing find the keycard and shoot the guard in the face. The FPS mechanic is solid but feels distinctly out of place in this sort of game. There is little to do other than rote following objectives jammed in your face; occasionally you will find some hidden intel that unlocks some concept art, but even that isn’t much of an impetus to leave the direct route.

You can complete the campaign in about 5 or 6 hours, which is considerably shorter than I have heard the Wii or N64 games are. That is because much of the original game wasn’t ported, and even some of the new Wii levels didn’t make the port to the DS. Once you are done, aside from the concept art there is a limited multiplayer mode that works pretty well, allowing up to six players to compete at a time in a variety of standard matches.

There is one additional factor here: nostalgia. If you were a big fan of the original you will want to try this version, but in my opinion nostalgia can only carry you so far. It has to be tempered by reality.

And here is the reality – there were two James Bond games released on the same day, GoldenEye and Blood Stone. And Blood Stone is better in every single way than GoldenEye.

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Pros:
+ Voice acting from Daniel Craig and Judi Dench
+ Solid basic shooter gameplay

Cons:
– Mediocre graphics
– Cut down from original and Wii versions
– Run & gun Bond?

Game Info:
Platform: DS
Publisher: Activision
Developer: n-Space
Release Date: 11/2/2010
Genre: FPS
ESRB Rating: Teen
Players: 1-6
Source: Review copy provided by publisher

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About the Author

I have loved technology for as long as I can remember - and have been a computer gamer since the PDP-10! Mobile Technology has played a major role in my life - I have used an electronic companion since the HP95LX more than 20 years ago, and have been a 'Laptop First' person since my Compaq LTE Lite 3/20 and Powerbook 170 back in 1991! As an avid gamer and gadget-junkie I was constantly asked for my opinions on new technology, which led to writing small blurbs ... and eventually becoming a reviewer many years ago. My family is my biggest priority in life, and they alternate between loving and tolerating my gaming and gadget hobbies ... but ultimately benefits from the addition of technology to our lives!