GoldenEye. It means so much to so many of us. Hours spent squinting at split screens, stressing over speed runs and standing outside toilets waiting to shoot soldiers in the skull. It means so much to so many of us that this Wii-exclusive "reimagining" cannot possibly meet our expectations.
But then, now that I've seen and played it, I've come to the conclusion that GoldenEye 007 need not concern itself with such unrealistic targets. All it needs to do is stand up on its own two feet as a quality FPS on a console starved of quality FPSs, ride the wave of nostalgia publisher Activision is banking on, and it'll be all right.
The crux is this: GoldenEye 007 is not a remake of the 1997 seminal console shooter; it is a brand new shooter based on the film. It doffs its cap to the Rare classic, but looks to the likes of Call of Duty for inspiration.
So, while the first level is indeed a "Dam" level that begins with a sly shot of a sniper tower and features Arkady Ourumov, the suitcase-carrying Russian arms dealer who spent a lot of the original running away from you, this GoldenEye contains entirely new level design and plays more like the set piece-driven Modern Warfare.
Bond - Daniel Craig and not Pierce Brosnan - cuts a gritty, physical figure, complete with brutal melee takedowns. With agent 006 at Bond's side, producer Dawn Pinkney, from little-known UK developer Eurocom, stealthily approaches a couple of guards. Then bang - the soldiers are dispatched, strangled into submission. I don't remember this lark on the N64.
The modern touches come thick and fast. There's a lean out of cover system. There's destructible cover. There's slow motion when you break down doors. There are multiple routes to objectives. There are multiple objectives, detected via Bond's smartphone. If you're using the Classic Controller as opposed to the Wii Remote/Nunchuck combo, the controls are typical of today's shooters: left trigger to zoom in, right trigger to fire; left bumper to melee, right bumper to throw grenades, B to sprint and A to crouch. There's even an on rails, interactive cinematic bit, where you're in the passenger seat of a truck and shooting guards as 006 drives the double hard pair towards the centre of Arkady's base.
The differences continue: this GoldenEye visits all of the film's locations. N64 fans will remember that Rare's title avoided them. Eurocom's effort is set in 2010. The original was set in 1995, as was the film. As mentioned, Bond is Daniel Craig, who, along with Judi Dench as M, lends his likeness and voice to proceedings. 1997's GoldenEye features Irish sex symbol Pierce Brosnan's Bond. David Arnold, the composer who worked on Craig flicks Quantum of Solace and Casino Royale, has provided the score. Ben Cook, Craig's stunt double, lent his body for motion capturing. Bruce Feirstein, who wrote the script for the film, has written the script for the game.