A year after the re-imagining of the seminal Nintendo 64 shooter Goldeneye was released for the Wii, it is back as GoldenEye 007: Reloaded for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Activision invited the gaming press to a presentation of the game's vital multiplayer feature and Newsarama was there.
Along with the updated storyline and the insertion of the current Bond, Daniel Craig, GoldenEye 007: Reloaded is using the two more powerful current gen-consoles to increase the depth of options available for competitive play. The most significant of which are the new Mi6 Ops Missions. In this mode players tackle short, objective based missions where nearly every variable is adjustable. Players have a choice of several goals: Assault: a mission to survive while moving across a map, Elimination: a Horde-mode like experience, Defense: protecting points on a map for a period of time, and Stealth: clearing a map of foes without being detected. From the overall goal the experience can be customized even further, recalling such features in the classic Nintendo 64 version. Tweakable factors in this mode, and many others, include adjusting your and the enemies' health, accuracy, aggressiveness, how often they throw grenades, infinite ammo toggles, whether or not you start with the one-hit kill Golden Gun and/or a rocket launcher and naturally, if your bullets leave paintball marks. While this mode is single player, the game will track your performance, adjust your 'score' for the kinds of modifiers you played with and rank you on a network-wide leaderboard.
For the traditional multiplayer mode, the game types have been expanded from the Wii version to include modes that have become popular in the leading multiplayer FPS titles including Attack/Defense, Escalation (where you are issued weapons in sequence after each kill) and Detonator Agent (where one player earns points by carrying a ticking time-bomb, and has to pass it on by killing someone before it goes off). The number of maps has increased to 14 and the now 58 playable characters include Bond and a host of his classic film villains (including the infamously shortened character model of Odd Job from the original game) who can be equipped with gadgets and abilities inspired by their cinematic counterparts. For example, Jaws' steel teeth decrease the damage from headshots by 50%, Hugo Drax (a PS3 exclusive) wields a Moonraker laser pistol, Dr. Kanaga from Live and Let Die comes armed with his compressed-air shark gun and Dr. No's metal arms are invulnerable to damage.
In addition to the four-player split-screen, which is a must-play for any FPS fan, this version of GoldenEye supports up to sixteen players over PSN or Xbox Live. Like the adjustable AI in the Mi6 Ops Missions, multiplayer features bouncy or sticky grenades, melee only, 'Singularity' mode (where touching anyone else means death for you both, which is insanely hilarious in practice), paintball or a mini-me mode, all of which can be turned on or off to expand the experience.
Also demoed was the PS3 version’s support for PlayStation Move and its Sharp Shooter accessory, which with a little practice and some well-rested arms, provide an immersive gameplay experience.
Nostalgia carries a lot of the weight in GoldenEye 007: Reloaded, a title that will not compete on the level of the top-tier shooters like Activision's own Call of Duty franchise. Instead, what this game is trying to do, it does very well. At its heart it is a callback to the days of multiplayer gaming before the tracking of stats like kill/death ratios and Prestige mode (though similar features exist here), when this type of gaming was done in basements and dorm rooms across the country. Any gamer with a friend who lives within fifty miles should consider this title for the times when voice chat isn't enough.