My recording of the interview begins with a dull thud, followed by a kind 'oh, are you okay?' from both interviewee - Dawn Pinkney, producer of the game - and PR representative. I was fine, I thought. Halfway through our allotted time, I forgot where I was, and lost my train of thought.
You wouldn't know that from the finished article, though! It's not bad at all. Now let's never speak of it again.
When I spoke to Bruce Feirstein back in August, I was a little confused as to exactly why Activision were rebooting the N64 shooter GoldenEye 007 on the Wii. It seemed like a cash-in, translating console-based FPS nostalgia into mountains of profit for all concerned. Like 2010’s cinema remakes of The A-Team, The Karate Kid and Nightmare On Elm Street, there seemed to be little impetus behind the game other than brand recognition.
Indeed, it wouldn’t even be GoldenEye, as Feirstein explained that they were ‘refreshing’ the story for 15 years on, changing plot points to better reflect the 21st Century as opposed to the back end of the 20th. And besides, the shift from Pierce Brosnan to Daniel Craig as Bond has made it all the more necessary.
However, I was surprised, as I went along to the preview event in London recently, and was treated to a short presentation session by the developers from Eurocom and hands-on with both the single and multi-player aspects of the game. This new GoldenEye isn’t half-arsed.
The presentation stressed that it had assembled a 125-person team - reportedly a large number for a Wii title - and set its sights firm on the console’s under-nourished shooter genre. In the process, it's updating the title to include gameplay innovations and stylistic quirks from the last 13 years, creating something contemporary despite the retro appeal. On offer for preview was the opening level, the dam at Arkhangelsk, and it was chock-full of the sort of cinematic flourishes that flesh out an entry in the Call Of Duty franchise.
While the level design tickles the distant memory of the N64 iteration, it has been expanded to include new set-pieces. You start, guided by the Alec Trevelyan (not Sean Bean in this version, and appearing earlier than in the film), poised behind cover, waiting for your mark to grab and punch the lights out of a passing guard. No slappers here.
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