Written by Michael Rohde Monday, 07 November 2011 15:29
James Bond 007 GoldenEye: Reloaded released on November 1 and is now currently for sale. The game features the likeness of Daniel Craig, there is at least one Bond girl, but no recognizable bad guys in the campaign; but they are all present in the multi player. Activision, and developer Eurocon, made sure to include other signature Bond elements within the game. This includes the opening sequence: always stylish, always intriguing, the opening musical score sets the tone for any Bond movie or game. And GoldenEye: Reloaded is no exception. James Bond is also well known for his gadgets. While Bond does make full use of his smartphone to speak with M, hack doors and gun turrets, as well as take photographs to gather intelligence; there’s little else in terms of gadgetry. This review will focus primarily on the single player campaign, the gameplay mechanics and the graphics. In addition to the single player campaign, Reloaded also boasts a fully fleshed out Mi6 Ops mode, split screen multi player and online multi player competition. These aspects of the game were covered previously from my hands-on review from mid-October. There are trailers available on the GoldenEye: Reloaded Game Page along with several screenshots.
Let’s dive into the single player campaign, which contains the story for James Bond 007 GoldenEye: Reloaded. After watching the fascinating opening, which has always been one of my favorite characteristics for any Bond film or game, you start off slowly in basic training. You appear to be in the basement of a shooting range where you learn how to pick up a gun, aim down the sites and shoot. This walkthrough is great for those who have never played a first-person shooter before and you can learn how to handle a weapon without the pressure of being under live fire. You eventually move on and learn how to perform take downs and get around in the environments. The take downs, at least for the campaign, are of two types. The first type of take down is an animated karate or judo type of take down in which Bond disarms his enemy, or twists a neck or simply knocks the guy out cold. The other type of take down shows Bond simply swing his arm and the bad guy goes down; regardless if contact is actually made or not. There’s not much in rhyme or reason when or why one or the other take downs occur, for both, you simply click RS.
The cut scenes are in the same vein as previous Bond games. The same cutting-edge graphics and animations remain consistent and are still fun to watch. If nothing else, they set the scene for the next mission. There are a total of six main missions in the single player campaign, each with their own set of sub-missions. Each sub-mission can take anywhere up to 30 minutes to complete. According to Raptr, it took me approximately nine hours to complete the Reloaded campaign. Do not expect to rack up the Achievements while playing the single player. I only earned three Achievements during those nine hours. At the end of each sub-mission, you are shown stats that include how long it took you to complete, if you succeeded at the Primary objective, if you failed the Secondary objectives and it shows how many of the icons that were available to be found on the level and how many of those you actually found. It then gives you the option to replay this level for the purpose of improving your play. If you’re a completionist, this offers much replay value.
The controls in GoldenEye: Reloaded are tight and easy. Use LT to aim down the sites and RT to fire. To fire behind cover, simply press B to crouch while standing near a half-wall, and then press LT to pop up behind the cover to aim and shoot. You will not be able to stay in one place for too long as the enemy will slowly destroy your cover. Those concrete half-walls will chip away and eventually leave you exposed. Wooden boxes that you might try to hide behind will also splinter apart and the metal plates along walkways will crumple and eventually be blown away. Because of this, Reloaded will not allow you to sit back and knock off the enemy one at a time. You’ll have to do that while moving from cover to cover.
Reloaded does provide an aiming assist that basically locks onto your target when you pull LT and are pointing in the general direction of the enemy. This provides an easy means to knock out several approaching enemies simply by pressing LT, then RT, then release both triggers, rinse and repeat. While you are aiming down your sites, the cursor movement speed is considerably slowed down. Your overall movement is also slowed down when you are crouched. If you prefer a run-and-gun play style, you’re going to want to avoid crouching and using the sites. With that said though, there’s always a time and a place for different play styles.
Eurocom made it easy to go up and down ladders. In many games, you have to press a button to get on a ladder, press another button to slide down, and then press another button to get off the ladder. In Reloaded, this is all done for you. You simply approach the ladder and you’ll climb up. If you’re going down, you’ll automatically slide down. When you’re at the top or the bottom of the ladder, you’ll automatically climb off.
Simply put, the controls and gameplay for Reloaded are very well done and will not interfere with playing the game. The same is true with the graphics. While many of the environments are painted in traditional browns and greys, near the end of the game you play in a jungle environment that is presented in brilliant greens and blues with lush foliage and running waterfalls. It’s a shame that more of the missions did not take place in the jungle. But it does provide a treat and it’s a welcome change of pace from the industrial buildings.
If you are a gun buff, you will appreciate GoldenEye Reloaded’s plethora of weapons. Nearly every modern assault rifle, sniper rifle, machine gun and pistol is represented. In the single player campaign you will not use grenades or mines, but they are available in the multi player.
I played the single player campaign on the Normal difficulty. There was one level of difficulty below that for easier play, and then there are two 007 levels of difficulty above Normal for more challenging play. The game does start you off with baby steps and after playing the first couple of missions on Normal, the hard core gamers might want to ratchet up the difficulty level. However, for those who are new to gaming will appreciate the slow ramp up in difficulty as the game progresses. And the game does ramp up in difficulty. By the time I reached the final two sub-missions I experienced an exponential increase in difficulty and WTF deaths, including RPGs that came out of nowhere (you have to time when to run, or simply try and spot the gunner after you restart). This is a bit of a shame and puts a blemish on my experience with the entire campaign. In the first few missions, I rarely died, or if I did, I knew why I died. In the second-to-last sub-mission, you suddenly lose a bit of control of the game in that you have to rely on the Bond girl to finish what she’s doing, meanwhile, there are hordes of bad guys and a wall of fire that slowly approaches you. All you can do is stand there and pray that the NPC can hurry up and finish her task before you’re engulfed in flames. I spent three hours trying to complete the final mission and the three sub-missions within. That’s about three times longer than I spent on the first five missions each. It’s not that the levels were that much longer, it’s just that I kept dying by no real fault of my own. Simply put, the last couple of sub-missions ramps up the difficulty from a 5 to an 11 and may frustrate many players. You can reset the difficulty to an easier setting, but you’ll have to restart the mission from beginning, and not from your last save point.
Overall, the campaign was very enjoyable and James Bond 007 GoldenEye: Reloaded is a very competent shooter. GoozerNation is recommending Reloaded as an excellent Holiday gift for the Bond fans in your life. You can pick up GoldenEye 007 on Amazon for roughly $52 for the Xbox 360 and the PS3. These prices seem to be fluctuating daily. Yesterday, it was listed for $60. You might want to buy it today at this low price. You can also buy it brand new from Glyde for $40 plus shipping. If you’re getting Johnny or Janey a brand new console this Holiday season, then Reloaded will make an excellent first game for them to play. Hard core gamers can challenge themselves in Mi6 mode. Co-op players will enjoy the split screen action. And there are multitudes of options in the multi player. There is plenty for everyone.