PublishedJanuary 27, 2023, 06:44
Video gameThe mythical “GoldenEye 007” offers a long upset comeback
Obscure legal obstacles held in limbo a game born more than 25 years ago on Nintendo 64. It comes out of the closet Friday on Switch and Xbox.
Republishing a game based on the James Bond license is complicated. For “GoldenEye 007”, it was even more so because the game created by the English studio Rare, which was released exclusively on Nintendo 64 in 1997, more than 25 years ago, a machine on which the game was a huge success, both critical and public. And Rare was a studio so close to Nintendo that for a moment we thought it was part of the family.
Since then, Rare has been taken over by Microsoft and has become one of the flagship studios of the American group. Nintendo, for its part, released several generations of consoles without following up on GoldenEye. In addition, “James Bond” playing licenses have changed publishers several times. To allow a display in the window, these beautiful people had to tune their violins; it takes time, sometimes it even sucks (a version for the Xbox 360 was briefly announced for a while and then removed from the calendar).
Now freed from these base mercantile considerations, “GoldenEye 007” – 1997 vintage because, did you know, there is a 2010 vintage in which Daniel Craig replaces Pierce Brosnan, No? Whether! – finally comes out on Friday, January 27. But in two versions. One for the Nintendo Switch almost identical to the original version with even the online multiplayer reactivated; another “improved” on the Xboxes with a switch to 4K, 16:9, 60 frames per second and the resumption of multiplayer mode up to 4 on the same sofa. But without the online mode which remains the privilege of Nintendo.
At Microsoft, the game is planned on the Game Pass, so no additional cost for subscribers to the service, and it will be added for free in the “Rare Replay” compilation released to celebrate the studio’s 30th anniversary. At Nintendo, the game joins the Nintendo 64 “archives” of the Switch, access which requires a two-tier subscription.
It now remains to be determined if the reasons that made “GoldenEye 007” so loved still hold water in 2023. We have some doubts to tell the truth. The few levels that we were able to practice on Xbox Friday morning only reinforced these doubts: with its square characters, its rudimentary graphics and its gameplay which dates back to the highest digital antiquity, “GoldenEye 007” stings the eyes. But, oddly, an old-fashioned charm ends up winning the piece. Because the creators of the time were able to capture something that mitigates the ravages of time. It takes a bit of effort, but once you’re in the thick of it… He’s strong, this James.