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Goldeneye 007

Gaming's Defining Moments #3

In this, the third part of our series of Gaming's Defining Moments, I'm going to reminisce fondly about the game that finally persuaded me to ‘go Nintendo': GoldenEye 007.

I used to play Doom a lot on my PC. I tried it again on Playstation but the control pad just didn't work for me in the same way that the keyboard did. The first game that really convinced me that first person shooters could be brilliant on consoles was Rare's all-time classic James Bond game.

My first experience with the game was at a friends house. I watched him take on one of the later stages of the campaign (in the Cuban jungle I think) and was convinced of the games quality before I'd even picked up the controller. I seem to remember getting my arse well and truly handed to me in the couple of multiplayer games that we played that afternoon.

My brief encounter with the game was enough to persuade me to divert all of my available cash into the ‘get GoldenEye' fund. It wasn't long before I got my mitts on the console and a copy of the game. I then devoted myself to mastering all of its subtle nuances.

My defining moment is, specifically, the moment when you start the campaign at the Dam in Arkhangelsk. Leaning around that first corner and lining up the first headshot, that satisfying whip of the Walther PPK and the thud of contact as the bullet hits, sending the blissfully unaware guard falling to the floor. For the briefest of moments I felt like a secret agent - I was invincible!

Goldeneye 007

That invincibility lasted until the guard on the tower spotted me a few moments later. My cover was blown, combat ensued and I fell firmly in love.

Looking back now, much of my enjoyment came from my introduction to the analogue control pad. The N64's revolutionary controller offered the kind of control that I had never encountered on a console before. It's no surprise that it wasn't long before analogue became the norm.

The whole single-player campaign is top quality throughout, but there are some real stand out moments in there. I remember sections of this game, like sneaking out of the toilets in the Russian base and having gun fights in the snow outside Severnaya, with an unparalleled fondness.

What made it an all-time classic in my eyes wasn't the campaign, it was the multiplayer. With the ability to have four players on the screen at the same time, multiplayer gaming was taken to a whole new level for my friends and I. No longer did we have to drag heavy monitors around each others houses or mess about with system-link cables; all we needed was a controller each.

Goldeneye 007

On top of the incredibly solid deathmatch mode there were several other brilliant game types like The Man with the Golden Gun, and little game quirks like paintball and big heads. Being able to play as your favourite Bond villains only sweetened the deal further.

It's probably not an exaggeration to say that I spent whole weeks playing this game.

My affection for the game recently saw me investing in the new GoldenEye 007: Reloaded. While I still enjoyed the campaign and, to a lesser extent, the multiplayer, it's a pale reflection of the original. I wasn't too disappointed though, I knew that the remake couldn't match up to the memory of one of my favourite games.

Since my initial adventures with 007 way back in the 90s, I have revisited the N64 original time and time again. The gameplay has dated a little now and it can be difficult to find anyone willing to have a go at the multiplayer. Even so, whilst it will never evoke the feelings in me that it once did, as far as blasts of nostalgia go, they don't come much better.

Goldeneye 007