Eurocom's 007 shooter for Wii has been unveiled for 360 and PS3.
GoldenEye 007 Reloaded is exactly the same game, content-wise. But it's being remade to modern, high-definition shooter standards, ready to be released again on Xbox 360 and PS3. The single-player campaign has been brought up to scratch visually, there's a new mode called MI6 Ops that bears a striking resemblance to COD's Spec Ops challenges, and Eurocom teased us with mischievously unspecified "expansions" to the multiplayer side of things, but largely this is exactly the same thing as Wii players were enjoying back at the end of 2010. Still, at least everything's prettier (including Daniel Craig).
This isn't just a re-skin, Activision Producer James Steer assures us – the engine has been rebuilt from the ground up, and the finished game will run locked at 60fps. "60fps single-player and multiplayer is a hallmark of a great first-person shooter, so you're getting really fluid, fast gameplay," says Steer, toeing the Activision line. If it's the same actual game, though, why release it again?
"It wasn't always planned," Steer explains. "With the original release, we really thought that Wii was the platform for that game because of the N64 heritage, so we focussed on making the best GoldenEye game we could on the Wii. But whilst that was being made, and then when it was taken out to the press, we realised that there was a wider hunger for a GoldenEye high-definition game. People want to play that on PS3 and 360.
"So during 2010 we started working on an engine that could deliver that true high-def experience, could do things like 60fps and 16-player online multiplayer. Whilst the development team was making GoldenEye Wii the best game it could be, the technology team at Eurocom were working on a new engine that could do what we needed GoldenEye Reloaded to do."
We're shown the opening few minutes of two levels from the single-player campaign: the Dam, and snow-covered Severnaya. To say that the improvement is noticeable would be understating things somewhat. The character models, particularly, are a different standard entirely. Sneaking up behind guards to subdue them in the snow, it's impossible to deny that the environments, weather effects and animation are vastly improved. Visually, it's up there with most big-budget shooters that have been released in the past few years, though it's nowhere near the new standard set by Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3.
Gameplay-wise, it feels fast, action-packed and fluid. You never leave first-person; the only time you see Daniel Craig is at the very beginning of each level as you zoom into his perspective, classic GoldenEye style. This was easily the best straight FPS on the Wii, and the best Bond game in many, many years, and thankfully not much needs to be done to make it stand out on other platforms.
What we all want to know about, though, is the multiplayer, but details are thin on the ground. It'll be fully online-enabled, of course, and there'll be support for 16 players online as well as the classic four-player split-screen. Eurocom promises "expanded" modes, maps and weapons.
"We've updated and tweaked some maps from the Wii game – with 16 players, they need to be bigger – and there are also some new ones," Steer elaborates. "We're concentrating on what's key to the brand; James Bond is a spy, so we're adding modes that lean more towards that rather than what you'd find in a normal FPS. We'll still have things like Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, but we want to do more. Rest assured that multiplayer is still very important to us. There'll be new characters, new classic characters, new weapons, everything you'd expect."
M16 Ops – short, sharp, single-player-only missions with tweakable difficulty and options, designed for competitive leaderboards – will add 10 hours of new single-player gameplay, Steer claims, on top of the remastered campaign. We're briefly shown just one mission, where Bond must protect a computer from waves of incoming enemies, and the mode seems similar to COD's Spec Ops missions; adjustable settings, though, suggests that they might have a lighter, arcadier touch.
If you've played GoldenEye 007 before and always wished that it was in HD, Reloaded is enough of an update to pique your interest. I suspect, though, that Reloaded's main audience will be shooter fans that don't have a Wii (that would be almost all of them, then). Eurocom's take on Bond is a good enough game to deserve a wider audience.