Regular readers will notice that the following article is a slight departure from our usual preview style. For gamescom 2010 we've adopted a streamlined structure, allowing us to cover as many games as possible while giving you the important juice and info. In many cases we'll be running longer, more detailed previews upon our return to the UK.
What is it?
GoldenEye on the N64 popularised the FPS on home consoles and at long last we're finally getting a version of the game updated with modern technology. The new Wii game is based on the film of the same name and features all the levels found in Rare's classic title (albeit in redesigned form), plus one new stage. Activision has also replaced the then-Bond, Pierce Brosnan, with current secret agent Daniel Craig.
Multiplayer also returns, either four-players locally using split-screen or online for up to eight players.
What was shown?
The gamecom demo was split into a run-through of the Jungle stage - approximately 75 per cent through the campaign - and a four-player split-screen multiplayer session.
The Jungle mission began with a slick video briefing from MI6, with some words of advice offered by M - voiced by Judi Dench. We were then straight into the action with Bond piloting a biplane as he goes in search of baddy Trevelyan.
Suddenly a missile strikes the plane and Bond crash lands in the jungle below. After getting his bearings, Bond spots some goons inspecting part of the crashed plane so moves into cover to avoid detection. There was then the option to covertly take down each henchmen without alerting his comrades, or to go in all guns blazing and starting a firefight. Our demonstrator went for the covert option, meaning it was all about silent take-downs from behind and smart use of the silenced pistol.
After progressing some way towards his objective, Bond came across a drone trained to take down intruders, but a simple hack using a smart phone turned the gun on all nearby grunts.
With Bond's stealthy skills suitably highlighted it was then time to bust out some big guns and pick a fight with the remaining enemies. An automatic rifle made light work of Trevelyan's aggravated minions, but the kerfuffle resulted in more enemies being transported into the battle via a helicopter - a covert approach would prevent the extra muscle from turning up. And that was the demo over.
It was then time for a four-player deathmatch, each of us using the Classic Controller Pro. While a diverse range of custom game types can be created, this was your standard kill or be killed game type.
We're dealing with a Wii game so we shouldn't expect hugely impressive visuals, but this Wii re-imagining of one of the most loved shooters of all time still manages to impress. Sure the models are a little blocky and animations slightly clunky, but the jungle environment is well realised with plenty of flora populating the map. The audio too packs a punch, with the signature Bond tune kicking in when bullets start flying.
As with its namesake, all single-player missions can also be played on three difficulty settings - Agent, Secret Agent or 00-Agent - which should provide a good reason to go back and replay stages.
While the campaign has the promise to be a very solid shooter, especially for a Wii title, it's the multiplayer that hopes to keep players coming back for more. Four-player split-screen is currently running a little slow - not N64 slow, but it's not smooth either. Still, running around and shooting Jaws and Odd Job was surprisingly good fun. We're told there will be a huge range of gameplay variations on offer - approximately 200 possibilities - so players should be able to tweak games to suit their particular friendship group.
The online multiplayer, with its CoD-like perk system, remains a bit of a mystery, and given the lack of a strong online community for the platform it will be an uphill struggle for the title to gain any traction in this area.
GoldenEye 007 is scheduled for release for Wii in November, 2010