Welcome to part two of my look at Rare’s N64 classic, GoldenEye. Today, I’ll find five more reasons why the game still kicks ass, this time from the FPS’s multiplayer component.
Click here to read part one.
5. The Temple
Among GoldenEye‘s bevy of finely designed multiplayer levels, Temple stands near the peak (appropriately for its name). Temple’s genius comes from its openness. Sure, it’s mostly cramped corridors leading to small rooms, but consider this: those paths inevitably go somewhere. Temple’s design is such that it is always sending players towards one another with its looping designs. Bonus points for the shoot-outs that can occur up and down the level’s ramping corridors. Best of all, unlike many modern shooters, a group of four can readily find each other to commence with those shoot-outs.
4. Proximity Mines
GoldenEye isn’t all precision gun work. Some of the best fun comes from the inevitably deadly proximity mines. Loading up the game’s levels with proximity mines ensures screeches of pain from the exploded, and pure joy from the exploder. Proxies can be cheaply placed at spawn points, sure, but they can also be hidden behind doors and on tough to reach spots, waiting patiently for cocky opponents overstepping their ground.
3. The Settings
GoldenEye‘s multiplayer options are something to behold. Weapons come in obvious flavours like pistols, rifles, and explosives, as well as the exotic: slappers only. Even those options are nothing to gameplay settings like The Man With the Golden Gun, You Only Live Twice, and Licence to Kill (even the names of the settings are awesome!). Things really get crazy once you throw some cheats on. DK Mode and Paintball Mode are famous, but Turbo Mode can seriously renew deathmatch gameplay.
2. Circle Strafing in Facility with Pistols
Facility is my favourite multiplayer level of GoldenEye, straight up. The level’s design makes for areas that can be guarded. Players in the bathroom and/or basement can feel like they’re running their own little militarized zones. Bouts are ultimately, however, concluded with violent face-offs. All too often, victory and defeat come down to who can more quickly turn in that room with the pillar that connects the two major zones of the level. It doesn’t matter how many proximity mines are around, it always comes down to an intense round of pistol dueling.
As I’ve repeatedly said, GoldenEye‘s popularity and enduring quality come from the choices it offers. Rare gave gamers options both obvious and absurd. Perhaps no choice is crazier than the playable character of OddJob. This height-impaired man has been reviled by gamers for decades. Playing him was and is tantamount to cheating, ask anyone. And that’s the beauty of it. We are given the choice to play with an utterly broken option, and it is up to the players to figure it out, to decide how to deal with it. “No OddJob” is a phrase that is enshrined in gaming history because no one who picked up an N64 controller made it to the year 2000 without saying it. The fact that no one ever played with OddJob is a testament to how perfect his inclusion as an option still is.