007 in HD. Nobody does it better and this game series can only get better as James Bond continues his recently successful gaming assault. This latest installment was developed from scratch, so it contains scenarios familiar to game series veterans set in different scenery. The sharp graphics and color scheme impress though the minor, but familiar ‘object going through another object’ clipping issue occasionally arises reducing the entertaining escapism factor.
Based on the popular Nintendo Wii game James Bond 007: GoldenEye…which is based on the original groundbreaking GoldenEye 007 Nintendo 64 game, GoldenEye 007: Reloaded offers engaging strategy and action filled thrills amid great nostalgic elements. If “newbees” not familiar with 007 can get a kick out of this impressive mix of stealth and action sequences. The special GoldenEye 007: Reloaded bundle includes a PlayStation Move motion controller, the navigation controller, PlayStation Eye camera, and Sharp Shooter peripheral along with the game on Blu-ray Disc.
Developers integrate homage easily into the gameplay. The weapons, items, music themes, environments, and characters will evoke great memories and forge new ones. The production values are great. Nicole Scherzinger returns for the impressive theme song version originally performed by Tina Turner…too bad players do not get to see her performing or even appear in this updated game. Bruce Feirstein writes the game script again while leading man Pierce Brosnan is out and current Bond actor Daniel Craig is in.
New multiplayer characters include Max Zorin, Auric Goldfinger, Doctor Kananga plus downloadable baddies Pussy Galore and Emilo Largo. Familiar villains like Jaws, and Dr. Julius No also make appearances and can be played in single player and multiplayer modes. Hugo Drax from the 1979 Bond film Moonraker is available as a special downloadable character (code included in new PlayStation game version) along with his Moonraker Laser Pistol. Drax is playable in split-screen and online Classic Conflict multiplayer modes. Players can now skip the cutscenes, which impress in the improved graphics while orienting players to each situation.
In a game filled with challenging situations and unpredictable twists, players need some help. Enter the regenerating health scenario. Yes, it’s unnatural, but so are environments littered with ammunition and special items. Players only have to get a few seconds behind ample cover for a full health return except on the hardest difficulty where players rely on life saving armor.
The P99 pistol always makes a nice standard weapon while other more potent portables include the Sly 2020 shotgun. Developers also incorporate paintball guns and, of course, the Golden Gun, as well as infinite ammunition scenarios. In the new Mi6 Ops Missions single player campaign mode, players unlock special mission challenge areas total over 40, which, like the multiplayer modes, include leaderboard standings based on acquired modifiers and time. Players can use modifiers to customize or increase difficulty to get high scores. This new game mode includes elimination (kill all enemies), stealth (kill all enemies without triggering alarms), defense (download information while repelling enemy waves), and assault (get to the extraction point).
The AI enemies react quickly, so methodical and deliberate strategy pays off. The Bond gadgets impress as always, but a few scenarios are not very stealthy. For example, Bond uses a smartphone identify his contact by face recognition in a dance club sequence. A “shoot from the hip” view or other perspective would have been less suspicious than the eye level view.
Multiplayer modes features 14 map cache with nine different game modes for online multiplayer. Online multiplayers can gain XP points, unlockables and multipliers. Offline players can enjoy the visceral four-player split-screen action that quickly becomes a game highlight, especially with the sticky and bouncy grenades. The offline multiplayer does not include an AI “bot” option where players could choose CPU opponents – a missed opportunity for training and practice.
Players compete online (one at a time) with 2 to 16 total players. The online mode features additional weapons, character, environments, and game modes including Heroes where one chosen player represents and supports each team with special characteristics. The multiplayer mode escalation, similar to the conflict games, requires each player to advance to increasingly powerful weapons ending with the rocket weapon. The license to kill mode eliminates the radar option while the classic conflict features all the villains’ unique strengths and weaknesses. Players need 3 GB hard space and have the option to voice chat with headsets.
The PlayStation Move controllers are not required (no Kinect capabilities on the Xbox 360 version), but provide great advantages along with the optional Sharp Shooter peripheral. The Sharp Shooter peripheral, also included in the special bundle pack, combines both PlayStation Move controllers and has a nice retractable stock as players can reload two ways – touch the button on the ammo clip bottom or pump the gun front like shotgun. Use the two side buttons (either side) to vault/jump and throw primary weapon. The navigation controller attaches on the bottom front and is mainly used for movement, melee (L1 button), and secondary weapons. Press the up button for the secondary and entering night vision. The special “sharpshooter” bundle with GoldenEye 007: Reloaded game is available for a suggested retail price of $99.99.
These contemporary controls require some adjustment and patience, but the effort is worth it. Players can get by using the PS Move with the regular PlayStation controller instead of the navigation controller, the PS Move’s counterpart, but it causes strain both physically and mentally. A combination of the PlayStation controller and PS Move basically becomes an unofficial two player operation. Solidly recommended game (*** out of four stars).
Copyright © Michael Siebenaler