GoldenEye was a genre-changing game for the N64 that replaced Pierce Brosnan with Daniel Craig in the Wii and DS ports and made some other changes.
James Bond has been a mainstay in the world of spy movies and literature for decades. Over that time, the franchise has endured reinventions and growth into different mediums, like video games. Aside from Casino Royale, one of the biggest tonal shifts came in the 1995 film, GoldenEye, which saw Pierce Brosnan take on the role in an iteration that mixed the camp of the past with a more grounded story. Two years later, a video game of the same name was released that completely changed the gaming landscape and redefined what a first-person shooter could be.
GoldenEye has become a standard for FPS games and multiplayer combat, and fans of the classic game as well as newcomers will finally be able to experience it on modern consoles with a re-release announced for the Nintendo Switch + Expansion Pack and Xbox. However, even though this is a first for current-gen consoles, the GoldenEye game underwent its own peculiar remake for the Wii and DS (and later the PS3 and Xbox 360). The game was remade entirely from the ground up but also featured an unexpected twist in having Daniel Craig replace Pierce Brosnan in the role of 007.
How the Wii and N64 Versions of GoldenEye 007 Differ
While they share the same name, there’s a wide range of differences between the Nintendo 64 and Wii versions of GoldenEye. That said, the key similarities are what have made the remake a unique but faithful adaptation of the film and original game. For starters, the gameplay is far more faithful to the FPS standards of the time without expanding on it further.
For example, targeting reticles and aiming down the sights were implemented and helped give the game a more realistic feel. There have also been changes to the chain of events that can be seen even in the first level. In this case, rather than enter the facility alone, on foot, the remake had 007 and 006 meet early on and drive into the facility in a more exciting action sequence complete with explosions and gunfights.
The remake of GoldenEye also featured a brand-new user interface and soundtrack from the film’s composer, David Arnold. Gone were the days of game-centric music that gave the title an arcade feel. Additionally, the level design took some strange liberties as some levels were faithful to the original while others, like The Facility level, were redesigned from the ground up. That said, while these changes are jarring, they help establish a completely original style while plucking at strings of nostalgia along the way, even with Daniel Craig using lines made famous by Pierce Brosnan.
Where the GoldenEye Remake Fits Into the Game’s Legacy
The legacy of James Bond is one that has lasted for decades and continued to evolve. However, in terms of his video game legacy, he has always had a unique journey. Regarding genre, it has evolved from a first-person shooter into a third-person action-adventure game, like From Russia With Love, and even a narrative-heavy original adventure like James Bond 007: Blood Stone. Nevertheless, they’ve all captured the essence of what made James Bond great, but without coming near the level of GoldenEye. That said, the remake, while not as nostalgic as the original, has its own place in the Bond legacy by daring to take something iconic and making it different.
While most changes to great things rarely go over well, the GoldenEye remake illustrated its adoration for the original by paying homage to moments from the original game in everything from gameplay mechanics to level design. However, it also offered something different that players of the original wouldn’t have expected. It’s more than a fresh coat of paint on an already flawless title, and it proved that it deserves a place in the legacy by adding to the mythos. As a result, those that love GoldenEye may not prefer the remake but could derive some entertainment and appreciation from it.
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