It’s really happening. 26 years after its debut on the Nintendo 64, Goldeneye 007 has returned in all of its 64-bit, glitchy glory. The game, which closely follows the plot of Pierce Brosnan’s first outing as James Bond, defined the first-person shooter genre when it first launched and ushered in an era of competitive shooters that persists to this day. And now it’s available on Xbox and Nintendo’s Switch.
Goldeneye 007 for Xbox and Switch arrives absolutely dripping in nostalgia. The graphics are wholly unchanged and they are simultaneously awful and perfect. The boxy character models are laughably outdated and yet still remain distinctly recognizable avatars of the familiar faces of the movie. Simultaneously, the game dredges up memories of a time when this game looked utterly incredible compared to what had come before. Real cutting edge stuff…for 1997.
While the look remains unchanged, the tightness of the modernized controls are a very welcome addition. The idea that this game took the world by storm with the oddball trident of an N64 controller, without dual analog sticks, seems like insanity in retrospect.
It’s a mercy that these controls were implemented. In a gaming landscape where 4k, ray-tracing, HDR and 60 fps have largely become the default, Goldeneye 007 is definitive proof that good controls and fun gameplay can ultimately render graphics irrelevant.
Don’t believe me? Fire up multiplayer for some deathmatches with friends and tell me you care that your opponents have heads shaped like hexagons. Play in The Stack with rockets (no Oddjob!) and attempt to not find yourself giddy by the end. Friendships were forged and enemies created in the fires of this game, and Goldeneye has returned to do it again.
Multiplayer is available in both Xbox and Nintendo versions of the game but, sadly, only the Nintendo version is online enabled. Xbox players are stuck with the very ’90s-style couch splitscreen, which is a shame given Xbox’s infinitely more robust online platform and Nintendo Online’s lack of voice chat. But shouldn’t we all just be grateful that the game got remade at all, considering it was stuck in legal hell for the better part of this millennium?
Goldeneye 007 is now available, included with Xbox Game Pass and Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions. It will also be a free addition for those who already own the Rare Replay game collection. Just in case there was any concern, the theme song is still a banger too.