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Preview: GoldenEye 007 (multiplayer)


Let's clear one thing up: This GoldenEye Wii game is not your GoldenEye N64 game all prettied up. This is an original game based on the same Bond ... movie (though featuring the Daniel Craig Bond). That's not to say that the new GoldenEye 007 doesn't borrow -- what it legally can -- from Rare's classic console FPS, but be careful about expecting a modern port of the 1997 game known simply and lovingly as "Bond." (That project is still not happening.)

At Nintendo's E3 booth, I played a quick round of two-player split-screen multiplayer of this new GoldenEye, and it left a positive impression. I could have sworn my opponent and I had faced off in a classic Bond map (the Archives, I thought), but Activision insists this is an "original" level, in so much as it is not a recreation of one of Rare's maps from the N64 game. Of course, Rare's maps were based on sets from the movie, and Activision has the rights to have maps designed from these same sets. So, expect to get a sense of déjà vu when playing the new Goldeneye.

Gallery: GoldenEye 007 (E3 2010) | 6 Photos

My first "aha, this is a new game" moment happened when I pressed up against a railing and was prompted to "vault" over it onto the floor below. Wait -- you can jump now? Not quite.

The new GoldenEye uses a context-sensitive "action" button, which doubles as a sprint ability when there's no environmental object to interact with. While there's no "free jumping," developer Eurocom has added special abilities. In the demo (which was set up with Classic Controller Pros), I controlled Oddjob, the Bond villain henchman with a lethal, bladed-brim bowler hat; my special move being a one-hit-kills hatshot. (My opponent, as Jaws, could toss a handful of grenades as his one, not-nearly-as-cool trick.)

It was a quick match, and in the end my hat proved deadlier than the 'nades. How to sum up such a brief demo? Simply: I want to play more. The new GoldenEye 007 is a fast-paced, technically-sound shooter that could bring back the glory days of split-screen Bond -- if only I can lure my old friends over to play. (The game will also have 8-player online multiplayer with XP progression and unlockables.) If you're bummed that this game isn't a true Bond port, don't be -- unless you buy it thinking it is.

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