GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (Nintendo DS) - Review by Andrew
Some years ago, when the N64 was causing a bit of a stir amongst gamers, Rare released Goldeneye which is still regarded by many as the best Multiplayer game ever. As with most things in the entertainment industry it's time for a 're-imagining' and what was previously advertised as a Wii exclusive now has its very own DS version too. The biggest change here is the upgrading of the cast (out goes Bronson, in comes Craig) in addition to some minor game tweaks. It's not the only Bond game on the DS this year and secret agent enthusiasts will have also bagged themselves a copy of Blood Stone but which one offers the true Bond experience?
Given that most gamers will head for the single player experience, we'll tackle that first. The plot here is similar to the Wii version but you can't help feeling that you are being led though the game rather than actually playing it. This is due to the extremely linear design and while most games require you to get from 'A to B' the paths here are almost marked out for you allowing for little in the way of exploration. This runs though out the levels and whether you are involved in a shootout, stealth or the single 'tank' mission it's impossible to become lost or lose sight of your mission objectives. Enemies pose little threat too and most will go down with a single headshot. I say most because this is where the game becomes a little inconsistent and while you'd expect this type of 'kill shot' to work all the time, it doesn't. Once you've completed the single player 'experience' there's still the Multiplayer and this is where the games shares at least some similarities with the N64 version simply because it's so good. In fact, it's very good and with up to six players supported this is at least one great reason to purchase the DS version of the game.
Almost all DS First Person Shooter work in the same way and Goldeneye is no exception. The D-pad is used to move whilst the looking around is taken care of by the touch screen and the shoulder buttons for shooting. The same is true of the tank sections although this does appear like the developers have simply replaced Bond's gun with a huge turret.
While Goldeneye uses the same gaming engine as Blood Stone there are some notable problems here, which the other Bond, title doesn't appear to suffer from. Most of this stems from the fact that the cut scenes use the visuals style of the game making for some wooden animations and indistinguishable characters. The game visuals are still up to scratch but it's still something of a challenge figuring out why Daniel Craig doesn't appear to look any different from other blonde characters in the game.
As with Blood Stone, you'll be treated to some wonderful Bond type music and it's difficult not to become immersed in the action when you hear the classic theme music. You'll also be treated to Daniel Craig and Judi Dench expertly delivering their lines but the guns and other weapons still sound a little tinny and lack power.
While the stylus is called upon, to look around and aim for the FPS sections, you'll also have to indulge in some of the most mindless interactions to date on the DS. Codes are cracked for example, by imputing a numerical code before a timer counts down whilst doors are kicked in by swiping the stylus in the same direction of an on-screen arrow. It's difficult to understand just why n-Space have decided to include these as Blood Stone features far more immersive and interesting code breaking elements.
Those of you hoping to relive the glorious N64 days will be somewhat disappointed and while technology has clearly moved on (not to mention n-Space's ability to produce impressive looking FPS titles) the resulting game here is just not as entertaining as the aging classic. In fact, it's not even as good as this years other Bond title: Blood Stone which feels far more varied and open ended resulting in a far more 'Bond like' experience. It's this fact, alone which stops Goldeneye from being a true classic with the single player experience short and very linear. The games strengths, like the N64 version, are clearly the Multiplayer sections and if you can manage to seek out a handful of other gamers then it's probably worth a look. If not, n-Space has done a considerable amount of better FPS games for the DS so why not give one of those a try.
Pro: Great Multiplayer and Audio.
Con: Short Single Player Game, Still not as Good as the N64 Version.
Final score: 6.5