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GoldenEye 007 reminds us the Wii isn't just a novelty. Visuals and game play stand up alongside the 360 and PS3, while at the same time it delivers more local multiplayer modes than those consoles usually do.
I have a soft spot for shooting games on the Wii. Not the light gun games (although there are many good examples of them too), but first person shooters like Medal of Honour Vanguard, Call of Duty World at War, Modern Warfare Reflex, The Conduit and most recently Call of Duty Black Ops.
Quite a list I know, but these games all make solid use of my Favourite Control Scheme - the Wii-mote Nun-chuck combination. For me, because I want the flexibility of a mouse with the convenience of playing away from a desk it's the perfect compromise.
Getting used to the disparity between the sweeping Wii-mote and tight analogue stick of the Nun-chuck takes some time. But with practice and the more recent game's ability to adjust these controls extensively I found I could soon adjust.
GoldenEye 007 is very much at home amongst these peers. The main game offers a fully fledge campaign taking you through the classic moments from the film. It's a little odd that the star has become Daniel Craig rather than Pierce Brosnon, but I assume this is from licensing limitations more than anything else.
Controls are well mapped to the various buttons on the Wii-mote and Nun-chuck and there is an acknowledgement of the difficulties that Wii-mote aiming can generate in the form of a pretty heavy handed auto-aim when you zoom in. This is the only place where the game panders a little too much to casual players.
GoldenEye 007 manages to generate the same moments of tension that are stock in trade for the big ticket consoles.
Throughout, GoldenEye 007 manages to generate the same moments of tension that are stock in trade for the big ticket consoles. The flexibility of the aiming, combined with impressive visuals made me wonder why I would want to go back to a 360 or PS3 first person shooter. Admittedly I was of that opinion before I started - pretty much only still playing Halo (for its wonderful AI) since I fell in love with the Wii's shooting mechanics.
The enemy intelligence here is obviously artificial though. Although this is not limited to Wii games it still detracts from the experience as a whole. More than once my suspension of disbelief was shattered as an enemy either stood in front of me, or (more comedically) emptied their gun into a crate for no apparent reason.
As suggested by the auto-aim, the shooting in GoldenEye 007 can sometimes be a little vague. I could get a head-shot now and again, but on more than one occasion I had lined up an enemy brain-box perfectly only for them to survive once I pulled the trigger. I missed the tighter targeting of The Conduit here - which is something I'm now looking forward to revisiting when Conduit 2 is released next year.
I've got this far without mentioning the original GoldenEye N64 game. Of course, that is the real reason that GoldenEye 007 exists. Gamers have been clamouring for a reissue or update of the goto reference game for the start of the first person craze.
The strong singleplayer campaign and online modes offer great value for money and remind us that the Wii is a powerful gaming machine.
I've not mentioned it because it's only really in the multiplayer modes that it starts to feel like GoldenEye again. Although the game doesn't offer campaign co-op, there is a four player split screen mode that inherits all the wins from the main game with the benefit of sidestepping the AI for human opponents.
I was surprised there was no option in include bots though. Even with their limitations, having computer controlled enemies is what makes local multiplayer games fun - and here I realised how much I wanted to go back and play Time Splitters 2.
Making up for the lack of bots is a very quick to start online multiplayer mode. I got into a game almost straight away and was playing with 7 other people in less than five minutes. The framerate felt a little choppier here, but nothing untoward. The online experience was really impressive with all the modes you would expect. My only grip is not being able to take more than one player online on one console.
GoldenEye 007 delivers beyond the original in many ways. The strong singleplayer campaign and online modes offer great value for money and remind us that the Wii is a powerful gaming machine. But beyond this there is no real GoldenEye spark.
It even beats Call of Duty Black Ops.
Enjoyed on its own merits this is another very capable shooting game on the Wii. And if you want four player split screen action it even beats Call of Duty Black Ops.
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