GoldenEye: Rogue Agent has an epic look with a budget feel.

GoldenEye is a fully licensed Bond title without Bond. You play as a rogue agent that once had the famous "license to kill" but was fired by MI4 and has now teamed up with Bond's arch nemesis Goldfinger. As the man with the golden eye, you have various powers attributed to your newly acquired electronic visual system such night and telescopic vision. Most of these eye powers will be overshadowed by the weapons which are plentiful and powerful.

GoldenEye is the first fully developed first-person shooter for the DS. It's got no competition so it takes first-place by default. It's not a bad shooter but there are some flaws that make you wonder why the developers didn't go all the way with this game and make it the best it could be. Or perhaps it was the work of some rogue developers that sabotaged the project after they received their pink slips from Tiburon.

There is a storyline here that involves various Bond characters from various movies such as the infamous Goldfinger and Dr. No as well as a few babes including Pussy Galore. Revealed through cutscenes the plot is difficult to follow the first time through. It starts to make some kind of sense as you play it but it's not necessary that you have any understanding of the storyline at all since all you have to do is shoot at anything that moves.

The gameplay couldn't be any simpler. It's a by-the-numbers formula that involves shooting at bad guys, taking their weapons and moving on all the while protecting yourself by any means necessary which typically involves taking cover.

The weapon system is the best part of the game. Being able to wield dual pistols and submachine guns lets you cover a lot of ground and provides you with a large umbrella of protection. You can only carry what your hands can hold so if you want to lug around a rocket launcher, that's all you can carry since it requires two hands. It makes things more realistic but it would be nice to be able to alter reality a little for the sake of fun.

Aiming is facilitated on the lower screen where the use of touch simulates the control of a PC's mouse. The degree of accuracy is incredible for a handheld and it even beats most consoles with the exception of games that utilize the lightgun. The only problem is that it takes a bit of fudging to use the dual weapons independently. You can arrange it so that the stylus fires both weapons at the same time but if you want independent control you'll have to use the thumb strap to keep your fingers free to access the other buttons. The GoldenEye controls are located at the top of the screen and are a bit of a pain to access in the heat of battle. Fortunately you don't need to use them often.

Now we come to the complaints. When you take cover behind certain obstacles the enemy can fire through them as if they weren't even there. When it's your turn to fire the enemies don't show any signs of getting hit so you're not really sure if you're aiming properly. When they do finally fall it's the same death animation over and over again. There is no variety in the AI in terms of modeling or animation. As for sound, the soundtrack is brittle and overly compressed.

On the plus side the environments are large and have a good amount of detail. In the multi-player mode, which can accommodate eight players, the maps are so huge it can be difficult to even locate the other players. It's doubtful that you'll find seven other players with a copy of this game but even with two or three the multi-player mode is certainly worth investigating.

I'm not so sure that this game lives up to its name. With its unpolished presentation I would consider renaming it CopperEye.

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System: DS
Dev: EA
Pub: EA
Release: June 2005
Players: 1
Rreview By Dean