So, Rare’s 1997 classic, GoldenEye 007, is finally officially making its way onto Xbox consoles via a remastered version of the N64 shooter that’s just been announced for Game Pass. Hooray! We should all be ecstatic right now, yeah?
Well, we would be if it weren’t for the fact that all manner of complicated legal issues has resulted in us Xbox owners being saddled with a version of the game that arrives sans its online multiplayer component which is, quite frankly, a crushing disappointment.
This remastered Xbox GoldenEye 007 was announced at the same time as the Nintendo Switch Online version of the game was revealed, a version which does come with online multiplayer thanks to the Switch’s N64 emulator automatically making this possible. So, we’re now in a situation where a technically “weaker” console is getting the one aspect of the GoldenEye experience that we all really, really wanted to be able to enjoy while the Xbox misses out.
All of this is made doubly frustrating by the fact that the leaked XBLA remaster, a fantastic remake which everyone and their granny has been playing via nefarious means over the past year, does have online multiplayer included, and that’s a 99% completed version of the game. Why on earth couldn’t we just have had that one on Game Pass? Why does everything have to be so complicated? Well, of course, these things are never quite so simple as they should be and the legal wranglings that have held the XBLA remake back from release all this time have obviously never been resolved, so we’re stuck with an all-new remaster that’s missing its most exciting element, a new remaster that isn't as good as an older remaster that isn't gonna get released because...well...money, innit.
However, look, as annoying as all of this is, and we are fairly annoyed right now after waiting for so long for this announcement to happen, it’s not all bad news for Bond fans on Xbox if we can just settle down and take a breath. The fact is that, yes, the Switch version does have online multiplayer but that’s where the benefits of rocking with that console's port come to an abrupt end.
Indeed, GoldenEye on Xbox comes with a bevvy of substantial improvements over the straightforward N64 port you’ll be treated to on Nintendo’s handheld. We’re looking at a 4K version here with a “smoother framerate” (please mean 60fps), built-in achievements and dual analogue support. There’s no doubt that Xbox owners are being treated to the superior way to play here, even if the missing online multiplayer stings quite badly.
So, yes, we’re annoyed that this whole situation couldn’t be resolved in a manner which allowed us to dive into one of the truly great first-person shooters with no missing aspects, in a full fat and glorious package, it surely would have been one of the most popular games to release on Game Pass this year if behind-the-scenes issues could have been sorted out. However, we’re still looking forward to blasting through a nice, smooth 4K version of one of our favourite games of all time and are more than prepared to grab a few extra controllers and invite a few old pals around, just like back in the glory days.
How do you feel about the Goldeneye 007 remaster arriving on Xbox without online multiplayer? Is it a killer omission or do the various other quality of life and visual enhancements go some way towards making up for it? Let us know what you're feeling in the comments!
Online play doesn't matter to me at all. It wasn't there in the first place back in the day, and to be honest, this plays best split screen.
Since its limited to 4 players I dont see myself playing it online even if it could. Now online with more players, that'd be something.
I would like the online not to play against randos, but to play against my friends that live too far for local split-screen.
I'd never really seen the XBA leak so had no idea they'd even consider adding online multiplayer - so it's not an issue for me.
Will enjoy digging back into the campaign and maybe playing with a mate or family if they come round (used to get owned by my little brother who played it non-stop so doubt I want to repeat that!), but I admit it'll be nostalgia that'll probably fade reasonably fast
I never played this but remember how big a deal it was back in the day. Will definitely give it a go.
Really don't get the fuss about the online multiplayer. You still get local play and it's much upgraded over the version coming out on switch.
Don’t give a crap about online MP. Wasn’t expecting it and Nintendo is just simulating online by recognizing split screen in multiple places. It’s not some huge new thing and, frankly, I’m tired of hearing people whine about it.
It’s certainly not “a crushing disappointment” to me. And from your poll results so far, seems like you are making a bigger deal out of it than most of your readers!
I’m excited about the improvements we are getting!
I don't really get the angst about online multiplayer.
Playing an N64 game like this is mostly about the nostalgia for me. It never had online multiplayer in the first place so we are getting an improved, upres'd version of a classic game from the N64 era.
This should be great news for fans of the game.
I know everyone is talking about the multiplayer situation when comparing the two versions of the game, but I feel like the CONTROLS are going to be a big sticking point when the game releases.
I can't find a clear answer, but it looks like the Switch version is going to play like the N64 controller......with a single analog stick.....that's a hard pass for me.
I recently played Perfect Dark on Xbox and it controlled like a dream (with TWO analog sticks, just like God intended)
GoldenEye was never meant to have online play. The fun and experience of the Multiplayer came from you and having a bunch of friends chilling in the same room and going at it.
Having online MP would just ruin the GoldenEye experience especially when all it will create are hackers and foul mouthed kids.
People want an online MP experience there's plenty of games out there for that CoD, Halo, Battlefield etc. GoldenEye doesn't need it.
Where did it say the Switch version lacked local multiplayer? I haven't read that anywhere.
I'm very disappointed that it's relegated to essentially a rental-only option (on NSO) , you cant buy it. It's the same issue I have with stuff on GP; at least it's assumed one can buy the Xbox port, or at least buy it via Rare Replay. They really have left a lot of details unclear here for both ports. 🤔
@EVIL-C I thought you could buy it via the Rare replay collection.
Wait… the Switch version won’t support local-multiplayer? Where was this ever confirmed? That’s the main selling point of the game.
Didn't care about the game to begin with regardless of whether it was online multiplayer or not.
Been an interesting day or so watching folks go from the game being most anticipated to hated for a feature it didn't originally have (if I understand correctly.)
@EVIL-C @DeathByLasagna I believe that was an error on our part, apologies! We've taken the line out 👍
Since me and my friends aren't childless 12 year olds anymore, online MP is essential for MP sessions. For the people being intentionally obtuse on why the feature could be important.
I'll still play the hell out of the single player.
@abe_hikura The maps aren't big enough for any more than 4 players, to be honest.
It never had Online play, wasn't built/designed for online play and it doesn't really offer a lot for 'online' gamers to get much from beating 'Random' gamers and its not the same as playing in the room with 'friends'.
Its not as if you have weapons to unlock, a complete levelling system and all the other attributes you associate with 'modern' online MP games that are designed and built to be played Online from the outset. It was a secret side project that almost didn't make it to the original release but it was built to be splitscreen and a 'major' part of what made that game so popular was playing in the same room with a group of friends, a party game like Mario Kart.
Online MP would strip that away and turn it into a 'boring' FPS that doesn't come close to competing with the plethora of modern FPS games. At least its preserving the 'original' design and experience - enhanced visually, in performance and in its control scheme too - now with Achievements as well.
I was 24, nearly 25 when the Original released and it was a great game to play with my family, friends etc - a favourite at house parties and the fond memories I have of the MP are more to do with the 'splitscreen' design with all of us enjoying the game, the banter, the socialising (drinks, food etc together) which is what made Goldeneye so popular...
My bad about the local mp on Switch, it seems it is included after all, apologies for that, I shall go for a nap.
In regards to the framerate, I'm pretty sure that Goldeneye ran at an unlocked 60fps on the N64 - that is to say that most of the time it was around 20fps but I remember it would go super smooth if you looked up at the sky or stood hard up against a wall. Can anyone else remember this?
I have a funny image in my head of 4 people huddled around a switch in tabletop mode with single joy cons trying to play this. But then again, how sweet would that have been to play this in the schoolyard back in the day?
@Spaceman-Spiff I've seen speedruns of the game where people looked directly at the ground as they ran so the map didn't have to load and cause a massive dip in frames.
In this particular case, I prefer a remaster of the campaign and the local multiplayer as the Xbox version is according to the James Bond site, the Xbox site and this article, in spite of @BartoxTharglod calling the Xbox version "a rom dump" on every thread.
For some reason, this is not the Xbox 360 remaster and yes, online would have been a nice bonus but the Switch version is the N64 rom running on an emulator with a low-quality online function, like the rest of N64 games that they rent for an annual fee. I've never been excited about Nintendo Online Expansion Pack in spite of having a Switch and being a N64 fan, but I'm excited about getting another great game as part of Rare Replay, where all games are improved and the Xbox 360 games run in 4K. The only Rare game that still is in limbo is Diddy Kong Racing but it's very easy to emulate. I beat it 100% on Series X via Retroarch and performance is flawless while the emulation of the N64 version of Goldeneye 007 is spotty.
Getting Goldeneye 007 as part of Rare Replay and also on Game Pass is a dream that finally came true. It's the original game but with improved controls, frame rate and graphics. There's nothing sad about it. The poll results prove that most people are excited about this 👍🏻.
@Somebody Yes you're right I've seen that too. So if that's the case then the basic rom should run at 60fps without really any work needing to be done.
People really sometimes don’t understand why a game is special or works. People saying “only four players is rubbish needs to be more” has clearly never played it. You could not flood those maps and have fun. It’s designed for four. It’s designed for a n64 controller and both combined made it special
@Spaceman-Spiff the switch version will just be an emulated version. I would expect something closer to 30 frames on that version. The Xbox version will probably be more.
Nintendo usually targeted 20 frames on their n64 games. I think fzero was the only one that consistently got to 60 fps. Not sure what goldeneye was but I would expect around 30.
@Somebody Yes, GoldenEye mostly ran at around 20fps on the N64, but my point is that I think it was an unlocked 20fps that you could get up to 60 by staring at the sky, so if that's the case then on any hardware today it should comfortably reach 60. The Switch ran Doom 3 at 60fps so should easily manage GoldenEye
@Spaceman-Spiff maybe that will be the case but I still wouldn't expect it.
@Somebody @Spaceman-Spiff I'm sure that Digital Foundry can't wait to check both versions! Input lag is another thing to consider.
@evan23 it'll be added as a free addition. But it doesn't say can one buy GoldenEye separately from the XB store.
@Banjo- Everything about TLOU pt 1 screamed remaster, and I was proven right about that. Everything about Goldeneye screams ROM dump, and I guess digital foundry might be our first word on the matter.
For what it's worth, it looks like a nice ROM dump. Something similar to the OG Xbox BC games. They are ROM dumps but use MS' emulation software to massively improve the presentation and performance. The fact that this title is coming to Rare Replay is also a point in the emulation column, since almost all those titles are also just emulated.
@Tarps so I saw a video showing that it is possible to play the OG N64 version with two controllers and using player two controller for moving the camera. Basically a way to do dual sticks in the game and there was no modding involved. It was a controller option in the original game. Haven't been able to verify but it's cool.
Also from what I recall the OG had major aim assist much like Doom games of old.
Why didn’t they do cross play that would’ve been awesome! And would have upset Sony fans!😆 I will be playing through the campaign on Xbox but multiplayer on switch likely unless I have a friend or two round 🤷🏻♂️
@Tarps maybe 👀 I hope the switch version isn’t like that though! If it is I won’t even bother with it. I’ve still got my n64 if I want the original experience
@Spaceman-Spiff nobody cared about frame rate in 1998. I didn't even know what it was. I just wanted to smoke a few spliffs and beat baron samedi
Didn't have online play back in the day... definitely do not care. I might get it on both consoles anyway.
I mean who cares about online multiplayer in Goldeneye. This game is all about split screen!!
Online multiplayer on the switch however makes sense if people are on a Lite or hand held mode.
The original game had no online, why would this one? I expect it to be the same. I applaud Nintendo & Microsoft for making it a reality & think its right for Switch to have the exclusive multiplayer to pay homage to the 64's exclusivity.
@BartoxTharglod You blocked me because I asked you why are you stating as facts your assumptions, and you say I'm the one suffering a meltdown? 🤣
@Richnj I will wait until release to reach a conclusion. It's called remaster by the official sources, including neutral territory 007 website but, of course, I can see that the graphics have not been revamped. I can't state as fact what it is and contradict MGM/Danjaq and Microsoft if I haven't checked the game. As long as the input lag, the resolution, the frame rate and the controls are improved, it's more than "a rom dump", which is exactly what Switch gets, the rom as is.
I loved Goldeneye back in the day. A true classic of the time but it's aged pretty badly over the years. I personally have no real desire to play it again. Plus I doubt the online would have been very populated at all anyway after a week or two.
Still, I get folks wanted that nostalgia kick in a new way from this release and there's no technical reason why it had to be this way so I get the frustration. Here's hoping the New Perfect Dark (whenever it comes out anyway) succeeds where this re-release of its predecessor could not.
@Spaceman-Spiff Yep, Goldeneye was uncapped, and could occasionally hit 60fps if you put your guns away. (Try looking around from the starting platform in the Cradle mission.)
Emulators have already been running this game at a perfect 60fps, simply by overclocking- setting the virtual N64 to run at a higher speed. That's with an unaltered ROM, I'd add, so there's nothing stopping Microsoft or even Nintendo from offering the same... nothing except apathy, maybe.
@Banjo- In fairness, even a straightforward emulation of Goldeneye is practically guaranteed to display in HD, and will offer somewhat better performance than a real N64.
I expect that the Switch version will offer full 1080p (that's what they've been using for Switch Online, right?) and improved performance... but they probably won't bother overclocking for a consistent 60fps. But if they do overclock, and also remap the controls to make more sense, it should be pretty much on par with the Xbox release.
@smoreon We'll see. I watched both trailers and I noticed that the Switch version is lower-resolution, you can see it during the introduction when James is walking. The sound quality is also worse than the Xbox version; again, you can hear the difference during the game intro. The Switch trailer also reveals a 4:3 aspect ratio.
Meanwhile, at Rare:
"Can you help me with Goldeneye 007? We have been waiting for 25 years but we can't use the Xbox 360 version, and now MGM and Danjaq say that it has to launch along with Nintendo, you know, on the xx-xx."
"Damn, I'm too busy rebooting Everwild for the fourth time."
@Banjo- Oof. Almost every N64 emulator in existence supports 1080p, and Goldeneye itself supports 16:9 even on a real N64, so maybe, hopefully, it'll turn out well (fingers crossed)... but I guess I shouldn't underestimate Nintendo's ability to botch this!
@BartoxTharglod There's noticeable slowdown in FZX, seriously? Think it might be worse than on the real N64? (I remember the performance on original hardware being pretty consistent most of the time, and it hasn't been all that long since I last played it.)
It's difficult to perfectly mimic the original console's performance, so emulators usually run a little better than the original, and that includes Goldeneye... so I would've expected that you'll see a small improvement on Switch. But then, this is Switch Online, and your mention of FZX doesn't bode well. Maybe GE will manage to run worse than the original. (And you're almost definitely right that they won't put in the small effort it'd take to get a consistent 60fps.)
I've found that using the 1.2 Solitaire scheme with the N64's main stick mapped to the Xbox's right stick works pretty well, though menus are a bit weird to navigate that way... I'd hope that they'll make some tweaks, but we'll see!
I really want new games. Not ports on repeat. Goldeneye was classic but that was 20+ years’ ago.
@smoreon I know that, I just stated the differences that everyone can notice watching both trailers 🤷♂️. It's Nintendo, they released the best-rated game in history as a complete mess on Nintendo Online, so we can expect anything from them. Considering how great the games on Rare Replay look and play, the logical conclusion is that the Xbox version will be better than the Switch version, if we're to reach conclusions before release.
I couldn't care less about online play, the disappointment for me is that they haven't even done as much as what has been with the 1964 emulator which has upgraded hud elements. Then the elephant in the room of that leaked 360 version and all of the improvements that brought that's easily emulated
It's good to finally see it but it could have been so much more
I've said it a bunch but- I have no interest in playing a 25 yr old fps campaign. Only thing of interest here would be playing the multiplayer online
2015: Rare Replay didn't have Goldeneye 007.
2022: Rare Replay gets Goldeneye 007 (for free).
It took a very long time. The game has never been re-released until now. You can play all the modern Rare games on Xbox except the Donkey Kong games. That's all that matters.
Nintendo offers a rented rom, better than nothing but not ideal.
Normally, IDGAF about multiplayer. But when I realized my brother with 3 kids now and doesn't game has a Switch, I realized that we could have played 007 multiplayer against each other 300 miles apart.😭 We'd spend hours & hours playing each other 25 years ago...
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