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The Real Reason GoldenEye Has Aged Poorly

For gamers who lived through the '90s and played the Nintendo 64, the mere mention of "GoldenEye 007" is likely to evoke waves of nostalgia. Crowding around the TV with your friends playing split-screen. Tweaking the multiplayer settings to change up the action. Arguing over who would get to be Oddjob. "Goldeneye" arguably set the standard for what multiplayer, FPS, console gaming could be.

Beyond the amazing multiplayer experience, "Goldeneye" also featured a single player campaign that was ahead of its time. Missions with objectives beyond "go to the place" or "kill the guy," big set-piece action sequences, complex and interesting level design, and even some stealth sections all made "Goldeneye" stand out.

There's no doubt "Goldeneye" was a hit in its time and it's still remembered fondly. The various remakes, tributes, and clones show just how loved it remains. It continues to make top ten lists of shooters over two decades later. The Centre of Computing History in the UK even spent $10,000 to fix "Goldeneye" so visitors could experience the multiplayer without dealing with single-TV split screen. Still, it's hard not to admit that the original game doesn't exactly hold up today. Looking at the old game without the nostalgia reveals a flawed experience that's overshadowed by other games of the era.

The Controller and the Competition

It's hard to talk about "Goldeneye" without talking about the N64 controller. While the gameplay could be thrilling, actually controlling James Bond could be a struggle. Gaming forums are full of people that just can't go back to the game after experiencing modern shooters built around the dual-stick controllers pioneered by Microsoft and Sony. Sadly, as fun as the N64 could be, many fans just can't get used to the controller when trying to play a shooter.

It's also worth noting that , when looking back at that era of gaming, there were plenty of other games that arguably provided an experience just as fun and innovative as "Goldeneye and hold up far better today. One Redditor points out that "Goldeneye" shared the spotlight with the likes of "Rainbow Six," "Quake 2," and "Team Fortress." These are all games that also featured great FPS action and exciting multiplayer.

"Rainbow Six" shared elements of spy fiction and stealth elements with "Goldeneye." "Team Fortress" set the stage for "Team Fortress 2" which is still popular today. As late as 2016, Andy Kelly of PC Gamer argued that "Quake 2" was still enjoyable. Given the competition, it's hard to argue that "Goldeneye" holds up today. While people are still playing other games of the era, few people can get past that N64 controller to revisit "Goldeneye."

Still Fondly Remembered

Of course, you can still find plenty of people that are still fond of "Goldeneye" and think it holds up just fine. Giant Bomb still considers it a great experience, despite its flaws. You can find just as many gamers continuing to defend it in forums and on Reddit. The fact that fans are going wild just to hear about the achievements in the upcoming remaster of the game shows how much the game is still loved.

Still, compared to many other games of the time, "Goldeneye" is difficult to come back to. While it benefited from being an early console FPS that featured engaging multiplayer, there have just been too many innovations and new entries in the genre since. Still, it's an important part of gaming history. "Goldeneye" will be remembered fondly by gamers for years to come but it simply doesn't hold up as an as a game worth playing today.