These days, first-person shooters are an extremely popular video game genre on consoles. But before games like Call of Duty and Overwatch took over the scene, the go-to game for shooting your friends was Goldeneye 007.
The classic, based on the James Bond movie of the same name, was released on Aug. 25, 1997 for the Nintendo 64. Though it was limited to four players (all of whom had to share a single TV screen), the game remains beloved as an early multiplayer hit. Sure, there was a single-player adventure to play through, but it took over dorms and living rooms with the power of friendly competition.
When the game was released, it got a mini-review in The Dallas Morning News written by local 16-year-old high school student Sam Machkovech. Believe it or not, Machkovech still writes about games and technology as an adult, usually for the website Ars Technica, where he serves as Tech Culture Editor.
That review is below, and it's a fun look back.
Secret agent man
In the words of everyone's favorite secret agent: "This game's great, simply great."
Step into the shoes of secret agent James Bond on a mission to stop the Janus Corp.'s evil plans. Blast your way through 20 objective-based levels. Rather than running and killing from start to finish (a la Doom), players get to hack into computer systems or detonate bombs along the way.
It wouldn't be a James Bond game without the gizmos. Players get a huge variety of powerful weapons, ranging from a silenced pistol to a watch laser. Proper aim is an important feature: Shooting in the leg will stun, but attacking the head kills instantly.
GoldenEye utilizes common N64 graphical effects for crisp, smooth graphics. Every polygonal character is well-animated, which adds a graphic zest not found in other N64 games. Music is funky throughout, and a sufficient range of sound effects enhances the atmosphere.
Best of all, GoldenEye has the most enjoyable first-person gameplay ever. All 20 levels are large and well-constructed, and since they are objective-based, players feel as though they're in control of a movie.
The four-player battle mode gives this game unlimited replay value. The large number of options and six special death-match levels complement the surprisingly smooth split-screen graphics nicely.
Recommended for players 13 and up, due to animated violence.
Sam Machkovech is a 16-year-old junior at Highland Park High School.