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GoldenEye 007: Reloaded Multiplayer Hands-On Preview

GoldenEye 007: Reloaded Multiplayer Hands-On Preview

Platform: Xbox 360
Category: First Person Shooter

If there is any FPS game that is seen as influencing the genre on consoles, it was Goldeneye on the N64. The game was seen as not only a great single player affair, but a huge multiplayer affair as well. Activision has since gobbled up the Goldeneye license, and last year they released Goldeneye 007 on the Nintendo Wii. That game was good but the Wii does have its’ limitations. Well fast-forward to the present, and Activision is set to release Goldeneye 007: Reloaded for the Xbox 360 and PS3. Earlier this week we got a chance to attend a Multiplayer preview event. It was a simple experience as we were shown a quick trailer and then told to go play. What better way to check out what this latest Goldeneye game, developed by Eurocom, has to offer then being told to go and play it?

There are some great multilayer modes carried over from the last year’s Goldeneye on the Wii, such as Golden Gun, You Only Live Twice (Split-Screen only), License to Kill, Team License to Kill, Team Conflict, Black Box, Heroes, Goldeneye, and Classic Conflict.

For those who have played the Classic Conflict mode in the past, Eurocom has revamped this mode and added 8 signature weapons and 20 unique abilities spread across all of the classic characters to suit their skills and personality. The abilities is what really fascinates me. For example, Steel Teeth is based on Jaws’ high tensile steel dentures, which deflect some bullets harmlessly reducing the damage he takes from headshots by 50%. Metal Arms is based on Dr. No’s arms being replaced with cybernetic prosthesis after an accident, making him invulnerable to bullet damage in both arms. You’ll also find Shock Absorber, Long Reach, Teflon Barrel and Rapid Recovery to name a few more. All in all the weapons and abilities play a role in how you choose your character and what you will use to your advantage given how you like to play.

Not one to rest on their laurels, Eurocom has added five new additional game modes to Goldeneye 007: Reloaded. You’ll find Bomb Defuse, where two opposing teams are tasked with retrieving a single bomb and then trying to plant it at one of two designated points on the map. Escalation is a conflict style game where players progress through a pre-set selection of weapons and with every kill you get a new weapon to use. Detonator Agent has one player carrying a bomb with a 60 second fuse, you’ll have to choose from trying to rack up the points as long as possible or getting rid of it to another player. Finally, Data Miner has players trying to download a file while other are out to eliminate them. I got the chance to play Escalation and Data Miner a little more in depth than anything else.

In regards to Escalation, I found that it was fun as the chance to level up to a new weapon each time you disposed of a foe was neat. There are a large number weapons for you to use, from automatic weapons to some pretty cool ones not found in a Bond game before. The progression is pretty interesting too as the first time you play this mode you’ll wonder what weapon is going to come up next. This mode is a player vs. player mode, and I found that there were many instances of people waiting for others to start shooting at the various enemies on screen, so it could get pretty crazy as we all converged on at specific points given the actions that was taking place. I think this game will have some lasting legs for those looking for some non-team based action.

The other mode that I got to play in depth was Data Miner. This was s a little more intense for me, as each time you eliminated another player you increased the download rate of the data that you were downloading. Wondering when I would come across someone to kill, or be killed by, while trying to download data added a little more intensity and excitement to the matches. I think that again, people looking for a non-team based mode will enjoy this one too.

There are quite a large number of multiplayer maps to play on as well, including Archives, Outpost, Facility, Nightclub, Docks, Station, Memorial, Sewers, Jungle and Industrial. There are also four new maps that have been added to Goldeneye 007: Reloaded, and they are Solar, Plant, Carrier and Peak. We had the chance to check out a few of the included maps and the biggest thing that I noticed was how the visuals stood out as quite strong, and they were a highlight for me. Given that this is an Activision published game, I wondered if developer Eurocom was using any aspect of the COD engine, as it was a very sharp looking game indeed. To my surprise I was told that the game’s graphic engine was developed 100% in-house. Eurocom has custom designed the whole graphics engine. Kudos to them as they have done a great job in each level, from the lighting, to the shadows, to the special effects, it looks great.

What would a Bond game be without any Bond characters? Well Eurocom has included over 44 playable characters, and another 14 classic characters on top of that. The 14 classic characters include Oddjob, Jaws, Scaramanga, Baron Samedi, Rosa Klebb, Dr. No, Red Grant, Blofeld, Tee Hee, Max Zorin, Auric Goldfinger, Dr. Kananga and Hugo Drax. It should be noted that Hugo Drax is a PS3 exclusive. It was pretty crazy to see all of these classic characters running around on screen. Today’s gamers may not recognize all of them, but for us old fogey’s out there, who have watched Bond since the days of Sean Connery playing the role, all of these characters will be more than recognizable. It was like a walk down memory lane for me as I remember watching some really early James Bond movies as a kid, and many of these villains are quite memorable.

Finally, just as important as the game’s characters are the weapons. Throughout the Bond franchise, there have been some very unique and noteworthy weapons used. Well there are some returning classic character weapons such as Scaramanga’s Golden Gun to Oddjob’s Throwing Hat; however, there are a slew of new ones as well such as Hugo Drax’s Moonraker Laser Pistol, Rosa Klebb’s Throwing Knives, to Dr. Kananga’s Shark Gun. There are lots of unique weapons to use and I think that most Bond fans will enjoy seeing so many weapons from previous Bond films included in this game.

I also had some brief time with the new Mi6 mode. This was a very interesting mode. These are single-player levels that span the varied environments from the campaign. Here you are challenged to complete different individual objectives on the various levels. These individual objectives are Assault, Elimination, Stealth and Defense. What is neat about the Mi6 mode is that you are in charge of everything that happens, from health modifiers, to the strength of the enemies, to certain weapons and the amount of ammo you have. Add to this the ability to turn on special game modifiers such at paintball mode (coloured spatters where the bullets hit) to ragdoll physics. In essence you can play for fun, or get more serious and try to hammer down a more sim-based experience. An added feature is that players can go onto the Mi6 leaderboard, see what people have done in regards to scores, and then challenge that specific challenge and score. Players will actually download the settings that the previous player had when setting the record, and then play that same level and objectives, but with the settings that previous player used. Although this is kind of cool, I think that the Mi6 mode could have used a cooperative mode, where at least two players could play together and take on the challenge. This could have added more incentive to play online with friends. That being said, the Mi6 mode is fun and should catch the attention of more than a few gamers.

On a side note, although I did not get a chance to play it, GoldenEye 007: Reloaded offers up some 4-player split screen action that harkens back to the day when the game was on the N64. Watching some of some other journalists play this, and have a great laugh, solidified the fact that it was a great tribute to the original game and something I think is an awesome thing to offer.

In all the time I had with the game, my biggest issue with it was the control. It just did not feel right to me. In many ways it was way too loose. Now I did play with the control sensitivity somewhat, and it got a little better, but I could not find that perfect control set-up in terms of speed and sensitivity. Now some of the other journalists I spoke with noted this as well, well others did not have to many issues in this area. Maybe it was just me, but I do consider myself a competent gamer, and I just couldn’t get a grip on the control of the game. I am hoping that there was a bit of feedback in this area by those who attended and that given there is still some development time left before final code, that this might be addressed.

In the end I think that GoldenEye 007: Reloaded does have some great potential. The visuals are solid and the game really gives some great fan service in the game to what makes Bond movies so great, the villains and the weapons. Being able to play the classic characters and use the classic weapons found in past Bond films is pretty cool indeed. Many of those who may have played the Wii game last year will find that this is not just a port of that game, but it is a game that is improved and refined from last years effort. Having spent some time with the Multiplayer and Mi6 Mode, I think that there is enough here to warrant a serious look, especially by those looking for something a little different then those military based or alien based shooters that populate the store shelves. GoldenEye 007: Reloaded is set to hit store shelves in early November.


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