Format: Nintendo 64 Genre: First Person Shooter Released: 1997 Developer: Rare
Facility level + Licence to Kill mode + Pistols only = Best multiplayer game ever? Discuss.
The thing that most impressed about GoldenEye was just how far ahead of its time it was in terms of gameplay features, such as the huge weapon set, the cleverly designed levels and the sheer range of multiplayer options. When you compare it to the other first person shooters (FPSs) that came out on the N64 in 1997 – Doom 64, Hexen, Duke Nukem 64, Turok – it’s clear that GoldenEye was just leaps and bounds ahead of the opposition. It’s all the more astonishing, therefore, to learn that the multiplayer mode was added as ‘a complete afterthought’.
I think the most staggering achievement of this game is that it’s actually impossible to get bored of it. OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but I dread to think just how many nights of my teenage years were consumed by marathon GoldenEye sessions. If GoldenEye were to appear on Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA) tomorrow (which is unlikely to happen for various reasons), I’m sure that it would garner just as many online players as some of the more recent FPS efforts, like Call of Duty. Actually, I really hope that GoldenEye doesn’t appear on XBLA – I spend enough time playing video games as it is, and XBLA GoldenEye might just send me over the edge into game zombie oblivion.
The more I write about this game, the more I want to play it again. There are just so many stand-out moments: such as lacing the toilets in the Facility level with mines, then gleefully detonating them when your hapless opponent walks in. Or fighting over who gets to play Oddjob in multiplayer (he’s so short, it’s almost impossible to hit him). Or playing with rocket launchers only on the miniscule Archives level. Or shooting an enemy agent in the balls and watching him crumple to the ground clutching his groin (puerile admittedly, but fun nonetheless). Or cathartically executing Natalya after she gets lost for the umpteenth time (it means a Game Over screen, but it’s worth it). Or annoying the hell out of your best friend by consistently defeating him with a karate chop to the back of the head (in the game that is, not in real life).
I could go on, but I think it’s better if you just watch the video below and relive the memories yourself.
Licence to Kill mode.
It doesn’t get any better than this.
PS. I couldn’t end this post without mentioning the brilliant ‘GoldenApple’ spoof that was filmed by the GamesMaster and NGamer magazines – watch it for yourself below:
And if you liked that, the ‘GoldenEye Facility Remix’ is also worth a look: