GoldenEye Source: Impressions

January 11th, 2007 . by jb

GoldenEye SourceNot too long ago, the GoldenEye Source project was released as a public beta.  Being a child who obsessively played GoldenEye with my friends; I was noticeably excited as the game was installing.  Could this game really recreate that classic party game we all loved?  Would the game be lost in translation to the new platform?

Read on, as I dissect the beta and give my first hand impressions.

Ah…GoldenEye.  One of the first multiplayer FPS games to really hit home with the mainstream audience.  If you are unfamiliar with GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64, you really did miss out on something special.  Sadly, the old version of the game hasn't kept up over the years.  I've recently attempted to play the 64 version, and come to realize how lacking the control scheme was.

Enter…GoldenEye Source!


GoldenEye Source, as the name implies, uses the Source engine provided by Valve.  While the Source engine is a little dated, it is still able to provide a solid FPS environment.  The creators of the game have been able to recreate the GoldenEye levels of old, down to every detail.  While the game is leaps and bounds above it's Nintendo 64 counterpart, GoldenEye Source isn't exactly cutting edge tech.  Good, but not great.


The soundtrack is comprised of remixed versions of Bond music.  Not overly remade, but just enough that it provides a good background for some heart-pumping multiplayer action.

The sound clips used within the game are very retro, likely taken directly from the Nintendo 64 version.  This, in short, is fantastic.  While the sounds may seem odd to someone who is unfamiliar with the old GoldenEye, they bring a smile to my face every time.   That sense of nostalgia is fantastic, and the constant use of the older game's sounds helps achieve this.


Gameplay is where this game really starts to fall apart, and granted, this is a beta.  That being said: the game still is incredibly fun.  Some of the flaws, however, detract from the experience greatly.

The guns in the game are identical to their Nintendo 64 counterparts.  The models look the same, they sound the same, they shoot with the same properties.  However, aiming with these guns is a bit strange.  GoldenEye 64 lacked an in-game reticle.  That is, unless you held down the "R" button.  This made your character stand still and a red reticle appear.  The mechanic was the only means of quickly aiming vertically, as there was no way to look up or down in a fast way.

Jump to GoldenEye Source, and this same mechanic is being used…but on a PC.  While I can appreciate the want to bring a genuine GoldenEye experience to the PC, I feel that the inclusion of this game mechanic is silly.  You no longer have any issues with vertical observation, so why include the feature?  The game would be more fun if you could figure out what you were aiming at.  At least in the 64 version, the game had built in auto-aiming.  You just needed to fire at them, and regardless of their position vertically, you would hit them.

The game also isn't fully polished in terms of the weapons.  I found that the KF7 Soviet would constantly stop shooting and leave me helpless.  Some of the weapons from the 64 version of the game are also missing completely.


Even with all of it's faults, GoldenEye Source was a great experience and a nostalgic roller coaster.  I played for a couple hours with a grin tattooed on my face.  I'm extremely excited to see where they take the game, and I'll probably continue playing it in the future.  Definitely worth a look if you were an avid GoldenEye 64 player.

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