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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Electronic Arts

 

Developer

EA Games

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

Q4 2004

 

 

- Gotta love seeing a lot of Bond villains in one game

- Eye upgrades are cool

- The voice of Christopher Lee

- Surprisingly easy control

 

 

- Miserly number of save points

- Shields like Master Chief’s

- We’ve seen a lot of this before

 

 

Review: 007 - Everything or Nothing (GC)

Review: Metroid Prime 2 - Echoes (GC)

Review: GoldenEye - Rogue Agent (XB)

 

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GoldenEye: Rogue Agent

Score: 7.2 / 10

 

This is the first game I can think of in a while where I was more concerned with the content than the gameplay.

 

Having gameplay is great – most games would be nothing without it! – but when a game uses source material that I’m so familiar with I’m way more in tune with what’s going on.  I’m a James Bond nut.  I can still quote long passages from Ian Fleming’s Moonraker from memory and I can think of no other movie franchise that has broadened my horizons further than James Bond (aside from The Bikini Carwash Company films).  Which is why I have a mixed reaction to GoldenEye: Rogue Agent (GRA).

 

goldeneye rogue agent review          goldeneye rogue agent review

 

GRA puts you in control of an ex-MI6 agent noted for being reckless. (007 has a really quick cameo so don’t blink.)  Auric “No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to die” Goldfinger soon places you on his payroll in an all-out war with Dr. “Guano” No for control of the criminal underworld.  The fight rolls around the world (and across two discs), from the top of the Golden Gate to the clichéd underwater lair and includes characters from many eras of Bond villains such as Scaramanga (voiced delightfully by Christopher Lee who play Scaramanga in The Man With the Golden Gun), Odd Job and Pussy Galore.  For the most part the developers have a lot of fun with the source material, bending it to suit their purposes but not changing the characters, other than having them exist simultaneously.  The James Bond universe is a fun one to play around in, especially when you have a synthetic eye that can see through walls.

 

You become known as GoldenEye for the synthetic eye that Goldfinger installs.  This eye is augmented as the story progresses and pretty much acts like the Force powers found in the Jedi Knight series.  It can help you hack keycodes and the like.  One of the powers even lets you deflect bullets!  But until you reach that point, you’re left to use the plethora of machine guns, pistols, and anti-vehicle rockets and detonators.

 

Depending on the size of the weapon, GoldenEye can equip a gun in each hand.  Pressing the right shoulder button fires the gun in his right hand and pressing the left shoulder button fires the gun in his left hand.  It’s pretty easy to come to grips with, as is most of the control.  This may astound some players.  Games in the shooter genre on the GameCube have always been noted for awkward control options.  But after only about 30 minutes I had it down pat, including using enemies as human shields.  The only aspect that might need some experimentation is the weapon combinations for best effect.

 

GRA’s action is very similar to practically every shooter on the market at the moment.  Witness GoldenEye’s life bar restore itself after a quick rest.  Clearly lifted from the Halo series.  Two-fisted gunplay is reminiscent of the original N64 GoldenEye.  There are many other comparisons to be made but GRA does offer some solid if somewhat average gunplay.  The game itself is quite lengthy but 

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there seems to be some unnecessary backtracking across some truly unimpressive levels while trading shots with better than average AI. (Much ink has been spilled talking about "the all-new E.V.I.L. AI" – it being unpredictable – but that seems to be somewhat of an exaggeration.)  My one other gripe is the miserly number of save points.  Nothing quite raises the frustration level like slogging through a hundred or so enemies then getting run over or stomped on and have to replay a huge chunk of the game in a hopeful effort of coming across another save point.

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Besides the campaign, there is also split-screen multiplayer so depending on where you sit on how palatable split-screen multiplayer is you’ll probably just give it a miss.  However, if you can round up some buddies, there is some fun to be had.  Not the same level of fun as the original GoldenEye but still fun.

 

goldeneye rogue agent review          goldeneye rogue agent review

 

GRA is THX approved, meaning that if you have the right equipment, this game absolutely sings.  Or explodes in a blood-curdling scream and cacophony of gunfire.

 

Shooter fans will probably find that GoldenEye: Rogue Agent is an average experience, with enough slick action and challenge to warrant at least a rental.  Writing from the perspective of a Bond fan though, this game is an above average shooter.  The developers took the creative ball and ran with the content (even if it doesn't star everyone's favorite double-O agent).

 

- Omni

(January 15, 2005)

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