Activision Had Plans For High-Definition GoldenEye All Along

Depending upon the consoles you own, the bad news about GoldenEye: Reloaded may still be the good news. It is most definitely a high-definition remastering of last year's title reboot on the Wii. But given the much larger shooter constituency on the PS3 and 360, and online multiplayer's vastly greater viability on those consoles, that may be all the game needs.

It will still deliver more than its Wii cousin, mostly in a set of singleplayer challenges called "MI6 Operations." But GoldenEye: Reloaded isn't a particularly complicated product: It's the Wii game, coming to the 360 and PS3. That means you're getting Daniel Craig as Bond, and the game's updated take on the video game story of GoldenEye.

Activision's James Steer, the producer overseeing GoldenEye, said work on the HD version of the game was underway concurrent with the development of the Wii version last year. "This was working in the background the whole time while they were working on the Wii game," Steer told me. "But it was very important not to disturb that team as they completed the game." Once they did, work shifted over to the high definition version.

I asked why, if the plan was to deliver GoldenEye to the PS3 and 360 all along, why Activision and developer Eurocom delivered for the Wii first. Steer said the Wii debut was meant as a gesture toward the beloved franchise's history on the Nintendo 64. My speculation is that splitting the release also stoked demand on the high definition consoles, and maximizes sales on the Wii without making the product look like an oh-by-the-way port.

GoldenEye: Reloaded promises 60 fps high-definition visuals, of course, but in what I played of it (about midway through "Outpost," the sixth mission) everything unfolded as I recalled from the Wii game, in set pieces, the placement of enemies and drops, dialogue and other details. There was a sense of muscle memory as I instinctively turned to find a weapons chest underneath a bridge, and shoot off its lock.

Steer said enemy AI will be adjusted to make your foes work more cooperatively. In GoldenEye 007 on the Wii, you had a limited window in which to eliminate all enemies that had spotted you before they would summon reinforcements. This held true on the Xbox 360 version I played, too. But playing through "Outpost" I didn't really perceive any AI adjustments, and this was before my conversation with Steer.

The MI6 Operations can basically be described as multiplayer challenges with bots for opponents. I didn't get to play any of these, but they will break down into games of elimination (deathmatch), assault (capture/destroy the flag), wave defence (protect the flag) and another mode placing a premium on stealth with only melee and silenced pistol available. Global leaderboards will encourage replay by posting not only players' times and scores, but also the set of gameplay sliders they used to pull it off. Steer foresaw bragging rights competitions over owning the best mark on the toughest set of parameters.

Given the title's stature as a seminal multiplayer shooter, Steer realises that some will buy the game primarily for that mode only. There, he said, gamers will find 16-player support, new maps, stealth game modes that call on espionage and spycraft, and a roster of classic characters, all unique to the HD consoles.

"We pushed multiplayer as hard as we can for this," Steer said. "We were focused on delivering the GoldenEye multiplayer that everybody knows and loves."

The game arrives in stores later this fall.


Comments

    It seems I was a sort of unpaid beta tester when I bought NBA Jam and Goldeneye on the Wii last year.

      One of my friends who played both versions of Jam said it was much better on Wii anyway because of the controls.

      I don't think Goldeneye has any hope competing on another console though... especially since so many of the mechanics were swapped from the original to be more like those on Xbox shooters anyway (which is why total game time with my friends was about half an hour to an hour at best [split between single player, multiplayer and options/settings] before we went back for a refund).

    This is what I was expecting and hoping for. I don't own a Wii and this was pretty much the only game I wanted a Wii for, and now I can play it on my 360.

      Agreed and I think Owen is on the money about releasing first on Wii to stoke demand on the HD consoles - cuz I remember when this came out last year I was like: "If only I owned a Wii"

    >roster of classic characters

    :D:D:D

    There's a chance I will like this game.

    If there is facility or felicity I'll be pretty happy I think :)

      I played facility more times than i care to remember. Invincibility with twin rocket launchers killed frame rate to comic book gameplay.

    "...splitting the release also stoked demand on the high definition consoles" I don't actually know anybody who ever demanded this.

    I lost interest once I realised this is a remake of the Wii not N64 game and I'm sure I wont be the only one.

    Eurocom are tilting at windmills here. This time round the game has completion from many better and more established franchises and it doesn't even have the N64 era nostalgia factor to fall back on.

      "My speculation is that splitting the release also stoked demand..."
      his opinion.
      also he mentions that the 16 player multiplayer will be as true to the original as possible. and this will sell, there are so many people that played the old goldeneye that now have ps3s and play shooters, why wouldn't it sell?

    Was the wii version any good?

    The Wii version was 'good', but everytime I've tried to pick it back up, I've gotten over it quickly.

    It's far too much like the more 'serious' FPSs on the 'more serious' consoles.

    In the original GoldenEye game, I carried every gun I picked up, had access to them all whenever I wanted, and could cycle through them in order of awesomeness.

    In the new game, like all 'those' games, I'm forced to decide if I want to discard of my current weapon and pick up the new one, and can carry only two at a time. Realism? Bigger learning curve? Greater reward for people willing to put in extra time?

    Yawn, mostly.

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