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Activision, the current owner of the James Bond video game franchise, approached one of the most coveted Bond games in the same way movie studios are tackling the growing trend of remakes and reboots. GoldenEye 007 on Wii is sort of a gaming hybrid of what's happened with, say, Star Trek, Nightmare on Elm Street and Batman Begins, where a popular brand has been given a second go with a new cast, crew, and direction.

There's no doubt that Activision has brought GoldenEye back for Wii first and foremost because of its familiar namesake, ensuring that more gamers would plunk down money because of the original N64 version's popularity than a fresh game name would. But here's the kicker: Activision and developer Eurocom really cared about the GoldenEye Wii project, and it shows.

What could have ended up a game that cruised on autopilot and simply relied on a name to sell it has turned out to be one of the best first-person shooters on Wii. GoldenEye has a fantastic single-player campaign that feels both fresh and familiar, and the multiplayer attention – something most GoldenEye Nintendo 64 fans hold near and dear to their hearts – is incredible and something rarely seen on the Nintendo console.



Like it or lump it, for GoldenEye 007 Activision has ousted Pierce Brosnan in favor of the current Bond, Daniel Craig, for the role of 007. Whether the switch is due to lacking the likeness rights or simply Eurocom and Activision wanting to take a huge risk with such a massive design change may never be known. The Craig rendition of Bond is one of the biggest alterations to the character, giving the Ian Fleming spy a much more brutal, thug-like personality than his Connery/Moore/Dalton/Brosnan precursors, and with this single change comes a ripple effect: all the existing roles have been recast, some characters have been removed, and key moments – while true to the GoldenEye film – have been altered to work within the Daniel Craig style of Bond.

The thought of these changes might make GoldenEye purists cringe (both the N64 fans and the film buffs). And if you're one of those people, get over this hang-up because the alterations make sense in context and help make GoldenEye one of the best Bond video games to date.

Eurocom has already proven its storytelling skills in its last Wii production. Dead Space Extraction was an incredibly underappreciated action game that featured some fantastic body and facial motion capturing for each of the characters, and this attention to detail translates to GoldenEye 007 in an incredibly engaging way. Though you rarely see Bond from a third-person perspective, his costars are always visible and animate with flair and emotion, and the dialogue is professionally acted and match the characters' actions.

GoldenEye Wii looks great. GoldenEye Wii plays great.


As skillful as the story is told, it's really the gameplay that's king in GoldenEye 007. Once again, the GoldenEye experience has been changed, this time with the upgrade in action – other than being a first-person shooter, this game bears little resemblance to the Nintendo 64 design. It's pretty clear that Eurocom looked at the current generation for inspiration, namely the Call of Duty and Halo franchises, so GoldenEye has been updated to appeal to today's gamer than those latched onto dated decade-and-a-half gameplay.

Activision has been pushing heavily for gamers to recognize GoldenEye's support for the Classic Controller Pro. This is to attract those that have been FPS gaming on an Xbox or DualShock controller, so if you find yourself able to aim and shoot using dual analog controllers, you can get that experience and excel in GoldenEye. The Classic Controller Pro does lack the analog triggers on the shoulder, but for the most part if you're schooled in the HD console's FPS games, you'll feel right at home in GoldenEye.

That said, honestly, the game has some of the best Wii Remote controller support seen in a first-person shooter, and with practice it's clear that the quick and direct aiming of the Wii pointer is the true way to play this game. The Remote support is second only to The Conduit's crazy OCD level of customization, but in GoldenEye you have full input on pointer sensitivity, rotation speed, invert look, and other options, and everything you adjust is saved and applied to individual profiles that you can utilize in multiplayer.

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