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GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Review

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent
Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts
Xbox Live:
Rating Pending

GoldenEye: Rogue Agent 
Thursday, January 13, 2005 

Goldeneye: Rogue Agent is the official followup to Goldeneye 007 for the Nintendo 64, and delivers to console owners in the same way that the original did. Although the first Goldeneye is outdated, many gamers remember it as the best multiplayer game on the N64, which sets a high standard for this sequel. In Rogue Agent, you get to experience the world of James Bond from another perspective: as the bad guy. It's still the same familiar first-person perspective, and the game maintains the same overall feel as the original. The campaign is just as much fun to play as Goldeneye 007 was in its day, and it looks like Electronic Arts has done a spectacular job of delivering a quality title under the Goldeneye franchise.


Navigating around the world of G:RA, the default look sensitivity seems a little slow at first. As with most other FPS games, it's no big deal to turn it up or otherwise adjust it to the player's liking, and once that's taken care of, the controls are easy to master, and seem to make sense. Cons in the control department are only minor, as we see another game that forces you to 'hold' the button when picking up a weapon, creating a split-second break in the action. It takes a bit of running past weapons you meant to pick up to get the hang of it, but it becomes less noticeable as you go along. Apart from the melee button being mapped to the black button (which can be kind of hard to reach for some people) the default controls are very well thought-out.

Dual-wielded weapons are back, and implemented with a control system that is easy to use and makes sense, something that would have been nice in the most overhyped FPS of 2004. *cough* An advantage over the original Goldeneye is that you can wield a different weapon with each hand and fire them independently. If the weapons you pick up off the battlefield run out of ammo, you'll always have your trusty sidearm. There are a plethora of interesting devices with which to stun, scorch, eviscerate or otherwise brutally maim your opponents strewn throughout the game. Choose your weapons wisely, though. Heavy weapons will cause you to move slowly, and some weapons are more accurate than others. Try a shotgun in one hand and an automatic in the other as a good combination for most situations.

The game throws a wide variety of obstacles and adversaries at you as you progress through each level. It combines a little bit of strategy with a lot of intense action for non-stop addictive gameplay, and throws in some unique features to set it apart from the scores of other first person shooters out on the market. The character you play has had his missing eye replaced with a highly-advanced electronic eye made of gold, and this eye gives you the capability to see your enemies through whatever they may hide behind, as well as shielding you from danger and giving you the ability to manipulate machines by remote control. The eye has even more capabilities, but you'll have to play the game to find out about them.

Rogue Agent breaks new ground in the AI department, and this is half of what makes the game so much fun. Enemies will communicate with each other on the battlefield and make moves to flank you, as well as flushing you out of cover. Playing through the first level, I stopped dead in my tracks when I caught a group of soldiers chattering to each other, "He's behind the forklift!" and "Over there, by the computer!" If you're familiar with the way AI works, or you just play a lot of games, you'll realize how revolutionary the AI in this game is. Rogue Agent sets a new standard for the way enemies should behave in first person shooter games.


You are a rogue agent. Relieved of your duties at MI6 due to recklessness on the battlefield, your search for employment leads you to Auric Goldfinger. Consumed by his lust for gold, he pits you against the minions of Dr. No, and you'll carry out his dirty work as he schemes for world domination. Every so often you'll earn an upgrade to your eye, giving you another advantage in your ruthless quest. Should 007 make an appearance with his wondrous array of gadgetry, Goldfinger sees to it that your eye provides you with the means to send him crying back to Q. The storyline is engaging, and well-suited to the world of 007. The developers of Rogue Agent spent a lot of time on the story, and it shows.


The cut-scenes are beautiful. Brilliant lighting and shading effects mated with incredibly smooth animation make the short scenes reminiscent of the James Bond movies. The in-game graphics are not quite as flawless, but still very well done. The environments look nice, but certain parts of them seem a little blocky, like they could have benefitted from a bit higher polygon count. Sacrificing a little detail for a higher framerate is not an altogether uncommon practice and isn't really all bad, either. The game moves too fast for the player to spend a lot of time looking at the scenery anyway. The particle effects are incredible, from sparks flying as bullets glance of vehicle armor to explosions to the dust that sprays out of a wall as it's riddled with wayward rounds. Character animations are fluid and realistic, and the models are very highly detailed. Weapon models are amazing, and I dare say, the best I've ever seen in a first person shooter on the Xbox. Something more could have been done with lighting in this game. Except for just a few places, all the environment lighting appears to be pretty much the same. Overall, however, the graphics are smooth and very pleasing to the eye, with probably 95% of the world appearing in extreme detail.


The music is all done in classic 007 flavor, and the sound effects are precise, realistic, and interesting. The voice acting sounds like it's straight out of Hollywood. They seemed to have nailed the acoustics for every environment to perfection, completing the already incredibly realistic gameplay.


The multiplayer modes are unique and interesting. Both the gameplay options and the maps seem to be geared toward larger teams, making the splitscreen option for multiplayer a little boring as you traverse huge maps trying to find one of the other two guys, or watch the opposing team score in tug of war in the time it takes you to respawn. To its merit, at least the game includes a splitscreen mode, something a lot of FPS games on the Xbox are lacking. If you have the capability for LAN or Xbox Live play, you'll find the multiplayer much more fun.


Goldeneye: Rogue Agent is a must-buy for fans of the original. The single player campaign has enough content to keep you busy for countless hours, and has a high replay value. The splitscreen multiplayer isn't as entertaining as I remember the first Goldeneye to have been, but perhaps we've been spoiled by games like Halo in this console generation. Live users and LAN players will find tons of quality multiplayer gameplay and have no excuse to ignore this title.

Overall Score

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