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GoldenEye: Rogue Agent Preview for Xbox
Posted on Saturday, July 24, 2004 @ 01:55:00 pm E.S.T

August 1997 marked a milestone in gaming. At the time, second party Nintendo developer, Rare, released their first 3D first person shooter. What some may have called a sleeper hit went on to sell around 7 million copies worldwide, and became one of the top selling Nintendo 64 games of all time. Rare had included 18 intense solo missions, coming together for one of the most enjoyable single player experiences of the day, as well as a boatload of weapons and 11 multiplayer maps which entranced gamers worldwide. The game? Goldeneye 007. Since the success of Goldeneye on the N64, James Bond has failed time after time to outdo himself. Developer EA hopes to change that this November with the release of a Goldeneye: Rogue Agent. Rogue Agent, as the title may suggest, is not your typical James Bond game. This time around, you’ll play the role of an outcast MI6 agent working for one of Bond’s worst enemies, Auric Goldfinger. Gone are the driving and stealth aspects of previous Bond titles; this time around will be pure FPS action, just like the original Goldeneye. EA has big plans for this game.

To outdo Goldeneye 007 is not an easy task. EA has a seemingly simple plan to accomplish this: nail the basic gameplay, and back that up with lush visuals and monstrous multiplayer experience. The E3 demo delivered on only two of these aspects. The single-player mode proved to handle nicely and look sexy, but its multiplayer component came up lacking. Easy deaths and major slowdown held back the multiplayer mode, although with several months until the game’s release, there is plenty of time for left for polishing. Another letdown for GameCube players, you’ll be left out of the online scene yet again… surprise!

Of course, the multiplayer graphics aren’t quite on par with those of the single player game. This is true for just about any game on the market. Rogue Agent, as it is, looks very pleasing but is nothing to be considered exceptional, as say, The Chronicles of Riddick might be. The bottom line is that Rogue Agent looks good, but is toned-down just enough so that it should run flawlessly across all platforms.

With that said, let’s talk about that single player game. As you know, you play as a “Rogue Agent” working under Auric Goldfinger. To say that you play simply as a rogue agent, though, would be an understatement. In fact, you’re a cybernetic agent of sorts. Early on you’ll lose an eye which is replaced by a cybernetic eye which can be enhanced throughout the game. This eye will provide you with new and greater abilities. You just might call it your own personal Goldeneye. This is only the beginning to the depth of gameplay Rouge Agent appears to have. Dual wielding two separately controlled weapons, as well as melee attacks, should also serve to aid in your fight against the MI6 agency. Using melee attacks, you’ll be able to stun enemies and take them as human shields; you wouldn’t be much of a villain without a human shield. You’ll need all the abilities at your disposal, though, as Enemies are much smarter this time around (they only had three possible routines in Goldeneye 007).

The people behind Rouge Agent spend a good deal of time on its A.I. system. Enemies you encounter will take cover behind whatever they can find (even lower ranked enemies) and become more aggressive as you do. A.I. seems to be a common problem in FPS games nowadays (Rising Sun, anyone?) so thankfully EA appears to be putting more than enough thought into it.

In the Goldeneye tradition, a vast variety of weapons will be placed at your disposal. Handguns, assault rifles, rocket launchers, they’re all here. Some things, however, break from Goldeneye tradition in an effort to improve it. Level design, from what has been seen of the game, concentrates on giving both you and your enemy places to duck and cover while in combat. This should serve to add to the gameplay by forcing gamers to drop the Rambo act and interact with the environment, cover will be essential to your survival.

Currently the game seems to be a bit clunky, but with a robust amount of features and high potential to achieve great success. Although E3 showed that the single player game is coming along quite well, multiplayer just hasn’t proved to be as satisfying. Hopefully EA will use the next several months to do some all around polishing to the game, because if EA wants Rogue Agent to break free of Goldeneye 007's shadow, it’s really going to have to shine.


Preview By: Kent Mackowiak - 4442 Reads


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