Last time we got a look at GoldenEye: Rogue Agent on the DS, we focused primarily on the game's story-driven campaign mode, which will mirror that of last year's multiplatform shooter. Now we've gotten a hold of the final version of the game and decided to test out the wireless multiplayer capabilities. It's worth noting that Rogue Agent will be the first retail first-person shooter to hit the DS, beating Nintendo's own Metroid Prime: Hunters to shelves by a good four months. So if you're clutching your DS to your chest in the vain hope that you'll soon be fragging your friends from across the room, you won't have much longer to wait.
Rogue Agent's multiplayer is presented in the form of "virtual training," such that you'll essentially be killing "computerized" opponents, even if they're actually being controlled by other human players. You can actually play the virtual training by yourself against bots, though this method is limited to basic deathmatch rules. There are some different variants you can use here, though, such as "you only live twice," which gives you only two lives for the duration of the round, and "license to kill," which lets you get a one-hit kill with any weapon (hearkening back to the classic days of GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64).
Of course, the meat of the game is in its wireless multiplayer mode, which differs depending on whether you're downloading to everyone else's DS or if everyone has their own copy of the game inserted. If it's the former, you'll get a basic deathmatch similar to what we just described in the single-player artificial intelligence match. If everyone has the game, though, you've got access to the full array of features. This includes deathmatch and team deathmatch, which can be configured with several variables that control weapon availability and so on.
The other two multiplayer modes are more interesting. Domination places several control nodes around the map, and you can claim one for your team simply by stepping on it. The more nodes you control, the faster your points will tick down. Naturally, the team who hits zero first is the winner. Tug-of-war is the most original mode. It presents a linear track between each team's base on which a cart fitted with a bomb is placed. Switches near the track will let you move the cart one way or the other, so the object is to frag all the opposing players in your way to get to the switches and move the cart all the way into the other team's base, winning the round.
The multiplayer maps in Rogue Agent DS are mostly adapted from those found in last year's console title. You'll start off with only a basic arena with some catwalks and tight hallways to fight in. But as you play the game, you'll unlock a variety of maps that present a mixture of original locations and some taken from the Bond films. Like in the console game, these maps are full of death traps that you can activate to smear, splatter, or smash your opponents in some creative ways. You'll find maps like the fun house, the Moonraker launch pad, and the Golden Gate Bridge available once you've unlocked everything, which should provide for some pretty varied fragging.
GoldenEye: Rogue Agent is scheduled for release early next week. Stay tuned for a full review.