Hall of Fame: GoldenEye
It’s that time again people, it’s time for us to celebrate another entry into the GodisaGeek.com Hall of Fame. We all know that video games are knocking at the door to be entered into our prestigious Hall of Fame but only a single game per month can actually make it. This month, the honour goes to…
The people that were lucky enough to have a Nintendo 64 during its life cycle would have probably sat down with the most important first person shooter of the generation, and arguably any generation, and played a few rounds of GoldenEye’s deathmatch mode with a few friends. It’s the game that spawned a myriad of others and if any game deserves to be a part of the GodisaGeek.com Hall of Fame it’s Rare’s GoldenEye.
Robin talks about his love of the couch multiplayer aspect of GoldenEye…
Robin Parker: First of all, let us be honest, you couldn’t say that GoldenEye has aged particularly well. The controls feel too light and characters seem to float around the levels. The graphics are terribly blocky, especially when compared to the high definition visuals we are spoiled with nowadays, but what remains constant is the simple, plug and play idea that four friends can just sit down and play together immediately.
In the current market where online co-operative play and multiplayer deathmatches over networks are the main selling point of many games, GoldenEye reminds us of a simpler era, when gamers would actually want to be spending time together in the same place and socialising at the same time as playing their game. The banter and competitive edge that was produced with four players being in the same room, all intent on killing one another, is a whole world away from modern multiplayer gaming. And whilst online multiplayer has enabled those who don’t live close to other players of a game to play with other like-minded gamers, the thrill and excitement of split-screen play was a joy that is now sadly missed.
GoldenEye was both the first example of how console FPS games should be made, but also one of a short-lived breed. When a modern game does include split-screen play, it is a great addition, but something that is seen all too infrequently. With the current dominance of online gaming over couch multiplayer, it is doubtful that we will ever see another multiplayer experience quite like GoldenEye again.
Mick talks about creating some amazing cinematic moments in-game…
Mick Fraser: I never bought into the crazy hype for GoldenEye, not at release, nor any time since, but, as with perhaps the majority of gamers, it holds a special place in my heart for very specific reasons. For me, it was the first title that showed me just how much potential there was to have fun with games.
While the campaign was incredible and the multiplayer alone will ensure its place in the Hall of Fame for most gamers, my fondest memories of GoldenEye will always be messing around with the freedom it afforded players in a time when games simply didn’t do that. I remember filling the corridors of the opening dam stage with remote mines (having already finished the mission) before detonating an enormous explosion at the exact moment I hurled my tiny Pierce Brosnan off the edge on his bungee cord. The pyrotechnics would then be present in the cutscene and would thus generate a more exciting and cinematic moment than anything else in the game – or the film, for that matter.
Elsewhere I found that the unlockable cheats created the most memorable gunfights; Big Head Mode and Paintball Mode (something I still consider to be actual genius) were indicative of Rare’s unique sense of fun, while the pitch-perfect gunplay and range of multiplayer characters raised the bar for what first person shooters were capable of, or what their developers were prepared to do. Doom and Wolfenstein may be the grandaddies of the FPS genre, but GoldenEye was the game that really showed us what the FPS could be. It’s not much of a stretch to say that without it, we would have no Call of Duty, no Medal of Honor, no Halo. If that doesn’t deserve a place in the Hall of Fame, nothing does.
Lee talks about the modes in GoldenEye that increased the fun factor…
Lee Garbutt: My general apathy for first person shooters has been well documented at GodisaGeek.com, however, GoldenEye is a shining exception. The first game I received for my Nintendo 64, the systems cartridge slot would not see another game inserted for at least six months, while I mastered the single-player campaign.
Much has been said about the game’s now legendary multiplayer mode, which I spent many an evening playing with my late father (who had never really been a gamer, but loved GoldenEye). But the aspect I enjoyed most about the GoldenEye was the implementation of cheats that had to be unlocked by finishing levels on certain difficulties within a set time limit.
Ranging from the sillyness of ‘Paintball Mode’ and ‘DK Mode’, to the useful ‘All Guns and Infinite Ammo’. While you could never use these cheats to progress further in the game, you ended up with a sort of sandbox mode as you combined different cheats to cause havoc. Nothing beats enabling Invisibility, Invincibility, Infinite Ammo and All Guns cheats and throwing remote mines under enemies feet before setting them off and watching the victims fly into the air.