The first person shooter genre has advanced quite a bit since the Nintendo 64 days, so a straight up port would have left many new gamers scratching their heads. Many gamers have nostalgia clouded memories of Goldeneye 64 and while it is a great game and was legendary for its time there have been significant advance in the genre that have been added for this remake. Most important are the Wii Remote pointer controls, allowing a new level of accuracy that wasn't available before. If you aren't a fan of pointer controls you can also play with a classic controller or Gamecube controller, providing options for just about anybody. Bond can now use melee attacks against enemies, hold down a button to sprint, vault over objects and railings, interact with destructible environments, sneak up on enemies by crouching and even choose when to silence his weapons with the press of a button. These additions makes the gameplay feel modernized and really advances the action/stealth gameplay hybrid found in the original. Much like on the Nintendo 64 original you are given several options in which to tackle situations. You can choose to be stealthy, or go in guns blazing, but you will be severely punished for doing so. This game captures stealth gameplay like few shooters have since the original Goldeneye, something I have really been missing in my life. There are different paths you can take in several instances that can be used to avoid enemies altogether and even hidden weapon stashes for those willing to scour every inch of the levels. Replacing Bond's watch in this remake is a smart phone, which is able to take pictures of key objectives, hack into wi-fi networks and of course receive calls. It is necessary to complete many of the objectives, necessary for completing the levels on all but the most simple of skill settings. I highly suggest playing through on the easiest setting first to get a good feel for the levels and then playing again on a higher difficulty to fully experience the game. You will come across whole sections of levels you didn't even know existed and cleverly hidden objectives that will make the game well worth revisiting. Most of the original games levels are represented in the remake, some are combined into one, some are taken out and there are even some great additions. There are some great set pieces in this game and several nods to the original that will put a smile on your face. Goldeneye 007 on the Wii has a great campaign, one of the best in any first person shooter in recent memory, and is worth playing for that alone- but there is also great multiplayer.
A major aspect of the original Goldeneye's success was its multiplayer, another strong point of its remake. While the levels never reach the save heights as the original, they are more than serviceable and will offer great split screen action for you and your friends. If you don't have friends you can also hop online for some intense competition. It plays like a light version of Call of Duty in that you can choose your weapons and equipment at the start of the match and change it at any point in the match if things don't work out. My main problem with the levels is that there aren't enough corridors. That is one retro gaming aspect I would have liked to see kept, none of the levels felt particularly James Bond to me. many of the levels feel like Call of Duty open battlefields, and while that isn't a bad thing I would have liked to see some retro throwbacks as well.
Graphically Goldeneye is a bit of a mixed bag. The animation is superb, the character's movements are surprisingly lifelike. The Club level in particular has the best dancing animation I have ever seen in a game. On the opposite end of the spectrum are some of the textures, some are very bad- particularly in outdoor sections. Most of the game is very clean looking and well presented, but at certain points your view becomes focused on blurry, jagged textures which is really unfortunate. The jungle level in particular sticks out like a sore thumb in what is generally good looking Wii game. The pre-mission briefings and menus are all very clean and stylish, complementing the game well. Overall, I think Eurocom did a great job balancing graphical output with the action on screen, as there is usually a lot going on with little to no slowdown. The music is a mixture of familiar old themes and new tracks that differ based on the action. If you are playing stealthily the music is calm and subdued, but once you get caught it picks up quite a bit and can really get your heart pounding.
Goldeneye 007 for Wii is a great game for old fans and newcomers alike. It features enough changes to keep things interesting while still maintaining a lot of what made the original great. The numerous gameplay advances will also help a new generation of gamers catch a glimpse of what made Goldeneye such a phenomenon on the Nintendo 64. While not as legendary as its source material Goldeneye 007 on Wii is still an excellent game that is well worth your time and easily the best James Bond game since.