GoldenEye: Rogue Agent ReviewCain Dornan
The James Bond franchise has spawned numerous titles spanning along two generations of consoles. Although GoldenEye: Rogue Agent offers a similar name to the original, highly-acclaimed GoldenEye title on the Nintendo 64, Rogue Agent is related in no way to the original. Instead, Rogue Agent is based on a brand-new storyline boasting new weapons, abilities and characters. Although the game takes a different look on the James Bond franchise rather than continuing on with the save the world basis, Rogue Agent ventures into the world where you play as an evil villain battling to take control of the world. Unfortunately, a large number of problems prevent Rogue Agent from being the enjoyable, unique experience that it could have been.
You play as GoldenEye; a dangerous, trigger happy ex-MI6 agent who is expelled from the MI6 due to reckless brutality. Soon after you are offered an opportunity to work with Auric Goldfinger in an attempt to rid the world of his arch nemesis, Dr. No, and to once again try to gain control of the world. One of your eye sockets are soon replaced with golden eye technology, which gives you a range of different abilities that include hacking, moving objects, seeing through objects and erecting a temporary shield. It is commendable that EA has attempted to differentiate the James Bond licence by adding a new, unique feature to the gameplay. The only problem is that the golden eye technology is simply not used often or as clever as what we first anticipated.
As with every shooter, guns play a major role throughout the game. Thankfully, Rogue Agent offers a large range of interesting weapons. The MR2 Detonator, for example, allows a player to shoot a small, white explosive onto any kind of material, including body parts, and manually detonate it. This is an enjoyable and satisfying weapon that is both lethal and fun to use, especially whilst playing the multiplayer mode. Another interesting weapon includes the Omen XR; a rifle that is capable of vaporizing humans with one shot. Although this is an interesting and effective weapon, the only downside about the Omen XR is the slow reload time between each shot.
Although it is claimed that you play as an evil Rogue Agent, there is really nothing evil that you perform. In fact, a large number of todays shooters require you to perform more evil tasks than those that are found in Rogue Agent. The single player missions are bland and repetitive. You shoot some enemies, run around the corner, shoot some more and continue. Occasionally, you will be required to use when of your golden eye abilities, which are unlocked as you progress through the game. Upon completion of a mission, you are rewarded points for performing a range of Rogue actions, such as achieving a perfect shot, using machine traps successfully, performing melee throws and taking hostages. Scoring enough points allows you to unlock bonus extras. Although these unlockable bonuses add some further interest to the game, the single player mode is simply too repetitive, boring and quickly beaten.
The multiplayer mode offers the usual deathmatch-like showdown and team showdown, with the player or team who obtain the largest number of kills at the end of the game win. Domination simply requires players to gain control of points to score. Finally, Tug-O-War requires two teams to get the explosive to its intended destination. A healthy number of levels are available, with most offering a range of different death traps similar to those that are found throughout the single player missions. A small number of additional options are available, however nothing too significant. Sadly, EAs decision not to include computer controlled AI in the multiplayer mode is a major disappointment.
Apart from the unique golden eye abilities and death traps, Rogue Agent is simply too similar to other shooters on the market. The health system, which regenerates after no damage is sustained after a set period of time, is remarkably similar to the health system found in KillZone and the Halo series. Ideas are also borrowed from Midways Psi-Ops with the use of psychic powers. Combining these abilities properly could have created an interesting, enjoyable game. However, EA has failed to do so successfully which results in a bland, regurgitated experience.
Although far from amazing when compared to todays standards, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent offers some solid character, weapons and locale detail. The environments in which your dull missions take place generally look good, although there are a number of levels that offer very limited detail.
Characters offer some solid detail, although there are plenty of games now available offering much superior detail. The characters details are exactly what you would expect from a James Bond game, looking very similar to previous games in the series. Characters move smoothly and look realistic.
Weapons offer some solid detail, complete with realistic and interesting reloading sequences.
The menu music is definitely interesting, being very different from the previous James Bond titles that featured the classic 007 music or a revamped version of it. The in-game music is generally of standard quality, neither adding nor subtracting to the already boring gameplay.
Sound effects are also quite basic. The shot of a gun sounds good, but far from excellent. Your footsteps sound basic when walking on any type of surface. Explosions vary appropriately depending upon the weapon used, adding to a further authentic experience.
Rogue Agent offers some quality voice acting. Each character offers a unique voice that sounds exactly as you would expect them to.
When GoldenEye was first announced, we were very interested in playing this new, different take on the famous James Bond license. It has been a long time since EA Games has made any significant gameplay changes James Bond, and by doing so could have ignited the flame in the dying franchise. Unfortunately, EA has failed to include the enjoyable, interesting and varying gameplay we all want from a first person shooter. The single player mode is boring from the start and is quickly beaten. The multiplayer mode offers only slightly more gameplay life than what the single player mode offers. In the end, GoldenEye: Rogue Agent is a very basic game that has been released during a number of quality shooters being released. Diehard James Bond fans are likely to enjoy the game, although will remain disappointed with the title, whilst other gamers will find more enjoyment with some other top rated shooters that are currently available.
Disclosure: We are provided copies of games from the game companies for some games that we review.