GoldenEye 007 • Page 2

Dam it.

You've got the option to take the level slowly and stealth your way through with a silenced pistol and sniper rifle, or pick up speed a bit and charge in with an SMG. There's plenty of cover to hide behind as Bond makes his way deeper into the compound, and it's destructible, too, which is pretty standard for most shooters, but makes a nice change for the Wii.

Whichever way you play, the level design seems to do a pretty good job of mixing things up, with a fight through the exterior of the compound followed by Bond and Trevelyan half-inching a truck to get them past the interior guard posts.

Things go pleasantly awry at a checkpoint - presumably when one of the waiting soldiers says, "Didn't I see you in the first Tomb Raider movie doing an iffy American accent?" - leading to an on-rails section as Trevelyan drives and Bond rides shotgun, and then it's into a much more claustrophobic kind of shooting experience inside the dam facility.

It's hardly spectacular, but the single-player campaign looks pretty decent so far - and, if you're balking at the idea of another overly-twitchy, arm-achey Wii shooter, it's nice to hear that you'll be able to use the classic controller (or Gamecube pad, apparently) instead.

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The developerís promising a handful of routes through each level, and 25 classic weapons to choose from.

That's certainly the best way to play multiplayer, judging from a few frantic matches on the show floor at this year's E3. Given the GoldenEye lineage, this is a part of the game the developers have been taking fairly seriously, with online and splitscreen options, 10 maps, and plenty of familiar modes including paintball and big hands.

Familiar faces will also be returning, with eight Bond characters to choose from, and it's interesting to hear that the design team has decided to keep Oddjob as a rather cheap choice on the basis that it will lead to interesting "social interactions" on the sofa if someone keeps picking him before each game.

GoldenEye is shaping up to be a comprehensive package, then. With online support and a range of control options, the biggest hurdle Activision's latest faces isn't the platform, so much as the fact the appeal of the original is so tangled up with nostalgia. Activision's well aware of that, just as it's aware it's not something you can simply tweak in the engine - unless there's a slider for rose-tinted viewing.

While it's too early to tell whether that name is a blessing or a curse, one thing's for sure. Memories of Rare's game will certainly keep this new instalment on people's radars, but it's ultimately up to Activision to make certain that people keep it in the disc drive of their Wiis too.

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