Nobody expected GoldenEye 007 to be any good. There had never been a decent James Bond game, and games adapted from movies rarely impress anyway. Plus, the studio’s development team was made up mostly of people who had never worked in video games before. And yet here we are: It’s one of the few Nintendo 64 games—made by somebody other than Nintendo—that managed to leave a lasting mark.
For me and a few other folks interviewed for this series, GoldenEye is memorable as the game that made the experience of stealth feel real and exciting for the first time. It paved the way for the more refined worlds of the Thief series and, as Scott Jones mentions in the video, Syphon Filter. But a whole lot of GoldenEye players never bothered with the solo mode—it was all multiplayer. And to that end, as Anthony John Agnello points out, GoldenEye changed the industry by taking the rough edges of the PC shooter experience and sanding them down for console players. Letting players shoot at each other’s head has been the No. 1 focus of the mainstream studio system ever since.
By the way, I replayed GoldenEye for this series, and I have to agree with my friend Mr. Jones that it really does not hold up. (In fairness, we did have a lot of fun playing the four-person multiplayer again, so there’s that.) Maybe I’m spoiled, though. Would you still sit down for a game of GoldenEye? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, theories, and reflections in the comments.