It's a very dangerous thing to fiddle around with people's childhood memories, especially if you didn't create them in the first place. This was the dilemma faced by Eurocom when it set to work on a 'modern reimagining' of GoldenEye, a classic Nintendo 64 game developed by Rare (back when it still made must-have games). Impressively, the company has dealt with it with little hassle.
It's very difficult to compare the original GoldenEye to this one. There are similarities now and then, like the camera swoop in the dam level or when you take a guy out in the Facility toilets, but these are more subtle nods to the original than full-scale remasterings. Most of the game doesn't feel like a modern version of the N64 game, it's very much its own beast that happens to have a story and setting similar to the original.
Control-wise, GoldenEye is the most customisable game on the Wii. Whether you're playing with the Remote and Nunchuk, the Classic Controller, the Wii Zapper or a GameCube controller, each setting has a wealth of options to tinker with.
The Man With The Golden Fun
It's also a success visually. The seamless switches between controllable action and mid-level cutscenes are slick, character animations and lip-synching are spot-on, and the environments (including the weather effects) are impressive. Shooting enemies is also satisfying, and they react in a realistic manner.
Of course, the single-player storyline only lasts so long, although playing through the hardest difficulty, which removes the auto-healing and brings back the old energy bar of the original, still takes a while.
Multiplayer's always been GoldenEye's main draw and it's no different here. Whether it's the local split-screen multiplayer (which retains an impressive frame rate) or the smooth online multiplayer, there's a huge number of game types and modifiers along with ten sizeable maps.
The online multiplayer also has a huge range of talents, a Call Of Duty-style XP system and unlockables that give you reason to keep playing for hours.
We're trying to think of bad things to say about GoldenEye, but we're struggling. Sometimes the AI is a little quirky and the lack of subtitles can be annoying because it's sometimes hard to make out what characters are saying over gunshots and the epic musical score. Another annoyance is the way the screen blurs every time you reload.
But these are minor niggles and not the sort of thing to scare you off. Whether you want a solid single-player adventure, fun and diverse local multiplayer, or proof that the Wii can actually handle solid, lag-free online multiplayer, this is a great addition to your collection.