GoldenEye 007 is finally on Switch and Xbox, but it needs some work

GoldenEye 007 is finally on Switch and Xbox, but it needs some work

Picture: Rare / Kotaku

After years and years of rumors, whispers, fan outcry and endless Internet theories, Rare’s beloved first-person shooter for Nintendo 64, GoldenEye 007, is finally available on modern consoles. And while for many that’s something to celebrate, these new ports aren’t as good as they could have been.

First, the good news: after more than 20 years of waiting, golden eye is now fully playable on Xbox consoles and Nintendo Switch. And regardless of everything else in this article, it’s still great to have easy access to this classic N64 game in 2023. Sure, emulation has always been around, but this is different. Now a random person with Game Pass, and no knowledge of ROMs and such, can easily download and play golden eye like any other modern video game. That’s great. And it would be silly to ignore that, especially because, until today, that just wasn’t possible due to various rights holders disagreeing with letting this game exist. on more platforms.

Gamepot / Rare

Okay, now the bad news: this port is pretty simple and basic. We knew before today that the Xbox port would lack online multiplayer – only Switch gets it – but since its release last night, fans have found other shortcomings as well. To be clear: if you just want to experience golden eye again for a few minutes – which I think is true for probably 70% of people trying this game this weekend – this Xbox port is fine. It still supports classic split-screen multiplayer (do you still have your cardboard screen separator?). However, if you want to spend more time with it, or if you’ve played the original game endlessly, maybe even through emulation, you’ll probably be disappointed with a few things.

For example, the game is locked at 30 frames per second. According to the developers behind the portit is because the the original ROM code is used to emulate the game on Xbox. Which makes sense, the original game was designed to run at 30 frames per second. However, fans have found ways to break that ceiling and for years people have been playing GoldenEye 007 on PC at twice the framerate. And looking at images of one of these fan-made mods points to another problem in the new Xbox and Switch port: low-res text. It’s hard to read how much ammo you have left because it’s so blurry. Oddly enough, the game’s assets look better and crisper. Again, this is a problem that fans solved years ago.

Other issues involve weird audio bugs, incorrect decals and textures, and noticeable tears and seams in geometry when walking through levels. The the developers behind this port suggest it is only the result of game upgradable from SD to HD and that many of these issues are present, but harder to spot, in the original N64 version of golden eye. But golden eye fan projects like 1964 GEPD significantly reduced flaws like visible seams in the level even when playing at 4K.

GoldenEye 007 on PC with the 1964 GEPD mod

Some particularly diehard GoldenEye 007 fans are asking for an update to patch the game, improve it and fix some of these issues. But that’s unlikely to happen as it seems outside the scope of this project, which seems to be more or less focused on just getting golden eye running on modern hardware using the same N64 emulation technology developed for the 2015 retro compilation Rare replay.

Ultimately, while I’d love to see this port get some additional improvements, like 60fps support, I also understand that given the legal baggage the game is grappling with, it’s is a kind of mini-miracle that GoldenEye 007 is playable at all on an Xbox console. If I want more bells and whistles, I know where to go and how to get it working on my PC. But if I just wanna chill on the couch and play some golden eye for a few minutes, this new port will do just fine. And maybe one day awesome remake that leaked in 2021 will officially see the light of day…

#GoldenEye #finally #Switch #Xbox #work

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