- Aug 24, 2003
- Reaction score
GoldenEye 007: Tanks a Lot
Activision lets us finally play the single player campaign for ourselves. But only the tank level.US, September 13, 2010
by Craig Harris
By now GoldenEye 007 on the Wii – an Activision and Eurocom "reimagining" of the experience that Rare brought to the Nintendo 64 nearly a decade and a half ago – is either finished and waiting in some warehouse somewhere for its November 2nd release date, or it's so close to being done the Eurocom developers are right now surfing travel sites for a much needed holiday. But there's plenty of time between now and release, and Activision is doing everything it can to milk coverage of this hot and anticipated Wii first-person shooter.
Case in point, last week's event in San Francisco where I finally had the opportunity to play a solitary mission in the game's single player progression.
Up until now, every demonstration of GoldenEye 007 on Wii in its single player mode has been a controlled demo, meaning the producer/manager/tester in charge of showing me the game refused to let me get my mitts on a controller. But not this time! I sat down, hunkered in, grasped the Classic Controller Pro handed to me and prepared to play…
…the Tank mission.
Of all the levels to let someone play in a first-person shooter, you think the first "hands-on" would be something that really showed off the game's versatile action from the perspective of the main character. Not that there's anything wrong with playing a vehicular level – in fact, this level shows off some seriously cool events: tons of stuff to shoot, plenty of destruction going around, loads of dialogue being played out as the action unfolds. But man, I was really looking forward to running around as Bond.
Still, the tank level is a key moment in the GoldenEye story, and here, Eurocom doesn't disappoint. Once again, Activision focuses on the Classic Controller experience instead of showing off the pointer/nunchuk combination. I'm not sure the strategy here – perhaps Activision wants to show just how closely the Wii version comes to mimicking the old-school analog controls, or maybe the company is just hammering home that the game will have a Disc/Controller bundle along with the standalone box. Or maybe Activision truly believes the game plays better with the optional peripheral.
Whatever the reason, I still have yet to experience GoldenEye with the standard Wii controls and we're a month and change from release. Maybe that's what Activision will focus on for the next GoldenEye outing.
Anyway, the tank level. It controls very similar to the way you play first-person shooters like Halo with vehicles: point the targeting system in the direction you want to drive and hit the accelerator. You can move the turret independent of the base, but when I tried rotating it backwards and driving at the same time, it was like patting my head and rubbing my belly. It'll take practice to pull off that technique.
The tank has a mini gun and missiles, as well as a lock-on targeting system that will take down aircraft in a single shot, provided you keep that reticule on the victim for a good few seconds before pulling the trigger. But the tank is also a beast, able to ram down vehicles and blockades, climbing over them with forgiving physics.
What's really impressive is the amount of action going on around the player. There are scripted events that are triggered when the tank gets close to specific buildings, and it's pretty epic when you see that 12 story building come crashing down after a scheduled missile takes it out…and forces you to drive through a single opening as the entire structure flattens all around you.
Though this is Wii – weaker in visual capabilities than the 360 and PlayStation 3 – GoldenEye is a pretty sexy looking game, and I hate to insult the guys at Bizarre Creations, but I'm convinced that, at this point in development, GoldenEye looks far superior to Blood Stone on the 360 and PS3, at least when you take into account the limitations Eurocom has to work with on Wii.
And just as quickly as the mission started, it was time to put down the controller – after about five minutes of pure destructive mayhem, I completed the mission with only one restart because of a foolish slip-up.
One of the tidbits I learned about GoldenEye 007 during this demo: there will be a variety of difficulty levels to choose from. The hardest: 007 Classic, a throwback to the classic GoldenEye design where you have your on-screen health and armor as half-circles on either side of your targeting reticule, and the only way to repair a hurt Bond is to find armor pick-ups along the way. Now that's the real retro experience right there.
We'll meet again, Bond. Until next time.