GoldenEye 007: Reloaded Preview

Ever since Daniel Craig took over as James Bond, I’ve sort of drifted from the series. Of course when the newer Bond movies are on Spike or some other random channel, I’m reeled in – and there’s little I can do about it. There’s just something disarming. I fall for it all. The girls, the ridiculous escapes, the enemy’s atrocious aim.

Ultimately, though, nothing ever defined the Bond series as much as GoldenEye, the video game for Nintendo 64. It was my first ever first-person shooter, my first real video game memory. I remember it vividly. The sweet soundtrack, the chilling combination of fear and accomplishment. It is, quite possibly, the greatest first-person shooter ever.

When I heard that Activision was bringing back the glory days with GoldenEye 007: Reloaded for PS3 and Xbox 360, I was pessimistic. I hadn’t tried out the 2010 title for Wii, so I didn’t know what I was in for. I expected the graphics, realism and gameplay to be better, but everything is relative. Compared to its era, the original GoldenEye was unmatched. Then I got a chance to actually preview Reloaded, which is set to be released this fall.

Let me be the first to tell you that the game is undoubtedly awesome. Aside from all the classic Bond features, Reloaded takes first person visuals to a stunning next level. On one early level, you could feel and hear the snow crunching beneath Bond’s feet. As I tried a few stealth kills, that boot-on-snow noise had me nervous – I didn’t want to alert the hostiles that I was coming. But here’s where the game truly takes a step beyond most first-person shooters. Even when I tried to walk slowly, the enemy still turned around and I had take him out before others noticed. On a second try, I literally had to inch my way forward because the sound of my feet was realistically deafening.

Unpredictability is where this game takes several steps forward. Most gamers usually figure out the prescribed path for advancing through a level: either you open fire and hope for the best, or you sneak around praying you won’t get caught. If you do, your chances of survival disappear. Well, my friends, those days are over. GoldenEye 007: Reloaded has the added feature of complete player autonomy. Should you want to start a huge firefight, go for it. If, like me, you prefer to sneak around and perform stealth kills, go for it. If you are detected, though, it’s not over – it may be a bit tougher, but shooting your way out is still within the realm of possibility. And this includes the harder difficulties, as well. The toughest difficulty is nearly impossible, don’t get me wrong, but it’s still doable. For experienced gamers, you won’t be disappointed after beating the game in two hours. Set it to the highest difficulty and you’ll have plenty of time to kick back and play.

Also included is an “Mi6 Ops Missions” mode, where you can adjust settings and attempt a wide range of missions. Even more, you can compare your scores to other users and see exactly what settings they used on the same missions.

If you’re feeling nostalgic and you want to relive the glory days with classic Bond characters, get set for the fall. You won’t be disappointed.

Are you going to cop it?

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