top of page

The Genius of Goldeneye

N64 Goldeneye Cover

Before Call Of Duty, Battlefield and the new Doom, there was Goldeneye. It can be easy to forget Goldeneye. But retrogamers do not forget the good stuff, and this award winning game is still viewed with great affection by anyone who likes looking into the past when it comes to video games. Fun, fast and frenetic, as well as exciting beyond anything else around at the time, it also has a couple of aspects that helps it stand up pretty well against the big shooters today. Okay, it may not have the graphics, but for a retro game, it most certainly has plenty of speed.

Goldeneye twin guns

Its big year was 1997, and when it exploded into the video game scene it kind of died out with a bit of a whimper at first. People were not that impressed right at the start, but then it began to pick up some momentum. Especially in 1998 when the game won the BAFTA Interactive Entertainment "Games Award" and then four awards from the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. It was also voted one of the “60 most influential games of all time” by The game was released with a cartridge size of 96 Megabit. All launch game cartridges then also contained an experimental ten Rare developed games with the ZX Spectrum emulator. This feature was then deactivated but has been reactivated since by some fan-developed patches.

Goldeneye explosion

What first impressed people was the sheer quality of the graphics. Even retro gamers must admit that this was pretty special graphically. Strong colours, no real glitching (apart from a few sad moments that seem to have been captured on YouTube forever) and a real sense of scale and size when it came to the various environments your protagonist fought in. It couldn't ever hope to stand up well today against the big shooter titles, but it has a definite quality that defined the genre. No longer did shooters have to suffer from chunky, pixelated graphics (as in Doom), now FPS games could actually feel ‘real’.

Incredible detail

And the level of detail really rocked too. Rare was one of the foremost game developers in the nineties, and soon became known for the attention to detail. This game was no exception. Proof of this lies in the famous ‘elevator moment’. It’s commonplace today, but one of the elevators in this game had proper elevator muzak. And when you stepped out of the elevator itself, the game music kicked in. It really was a great piece of innovation, and showed just how much time Rare had spent perfecting the game. That moment in the game is one the most famous in gaming history, and retro gamers in particular will remember it well.

Goldeneye 4 player

And that’s where Goldeneye really shone. It’s real home was on the Nintendo N64, and on this platform its key feature soon became evident to gamers. There was so much depth here, with what felt like hundreds of missions adding to the complexity and the story itself.

It was bold and unique at the time. And the music from the movie was there too. The whole package led to what can only be described as the first real multiplayer madness for a shooter. People would spend hours trying to beat each other, in a split screen or quarter screen death match. This was all new, and sealed the game's fate as a treasured title.

As retro games go, it is probably one of the best-loved, and truly innovative.

About the author

Zeeshan Mallick

Co-Founder of

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
No tags yet.
Search By Tags
Follow Us
  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square
bottom of page