I am the stereotypical Nintendo Wii casual gamer. I put my hands up - I'm not entirely green, but I don't know a great deal about video games. More experienced gamers might think that is very apparent from my review, but there must be lots of Wii owners like me out there: we play Super Mario Kart / Galaxy with the kids and a bit of Wii fit when we're feeling guilty - and that's about it. As a big James Bond fan, I thought that it was high time I reclaimed the Wii for a bit of grown up fun. This game is a reworking of the classic, genre defining Goldeneye game originally seen on the N64 - that's why it's Goldeneye and not a more recent Bond film. This time around Daniel Craig has stepped in as Bond (something to do with licensing agreements) but everything else (as far as the film is concerned) is as it should be.
The first thing that struck me about this game were the production values: A proper James Bond soundtrack provided by David Arnold. The voice talents of Daniel Craig and Dame Judi Dench. Even the titular Goldeneye song has been re-recorded by Mrs Lewis Hamilton, Nicole Scherzinger. These production values continue as you play the game - When you enter a night club the song playing is Samantha James - Right Now which is a Hed Kandi classic. And what follows is an incredibly atmospheric slow motion shoot-out to Billie Holiday's The Man I Love - "One day he'll come along, the man I love..."
I'm playing the game with the Nunchuck and Wii-mote. I tried a Wii-Zapper (the gun) but didn't think it really added anything and went back to the standard setup. You point the Wii-mote around the screen to look and target your enemies and use the joystick on the Nunchuck to move around. I struggled to begin with (I've never played a game like this before), but as I practised a bit and refined the controls (there are almost infinite controller options) it became easier and easier. By the end of my first afternoon I was creeping down corridors, taking out CCTV cameras and unsuspecting enemies with my silenced PPK like a true double-zero. This is by far the most satisfying and engrossing aspect of the game. You can enter a scene guns blazing with your AK47 and get besieged by the enemy, or you can creep about and clear a room without anyone else even knowing you were there. There are tons of different guns to pick up along the way and you can even sneak up on a badguy and shake the Wii-mote or the Nunchuck to silence him-to-hand. There's an impressive amount of detail too. Walls become bullet sprayed. You can shoot locks on doors. You can remove air-conditioning vents and crawl down conduits. Even traffic cones and other inanimate objects bounce about and fall apart as you empty more and more bullets into them. Everything is shown from the first person perspective to the point that when you're a passenger in a truck that flips over, your vision goes blurry and you see your hands infront of you, pawing your way out of the wreckage.
There will be lots of experienced gamers out there that know their stuff and they will be able to tell you how this game compares to either the original game on the N64 or other First Person Shooters on the Wii and other platforms. I really respect that, but I'm afraid it's not me. All I can tell you is that as a relatively inexperienced gamer with no preconceived ideas of how this game should look or play, I absolutely loved it. I found Goldeneye Wii to be a thoroughly engrossing and extremely enjoyable game - that looks and sounds great and gives you a real sense of the James Bond franchise. As a footnote, the game is rated 16 but although there is a lot of killing, it's not graphically depicted - people go down with a yelp or a scream, but their bodies then dissapear without a trace of blood being shown.