GoldenEye Remaster Gameplay Leaks, But We'll Never Play It

The game appeared to be basically complete before its cancellation over a decade ago.


GoldenEye 007 is one of the best first-person shooters and licensed video games of all time, but because of a complex licensing situation that required several partners--including Nintendo--to come together, we never saw a remaster of the original game. Instead, we got a remake for the Wii several years later, but footage of a canceled Xbox 360 remaster of the 1997 version has appeared online.

Posted by the YouTube channel Graslu00 and spotted by VGC, the GoldenEye 007 remaster footage shows off the entire campaign as well as some multiplayer content. It looks like the game was essentially complete before the plug was pulled, and Xbox chief Phil Spencer said Xbox has "always given up" on trying to get the rights-holders working together to publish the remaster. Rare developed the game, and the studio is now a subsidiary of Microsoft. But Nintendo published the game, and the remake was later published by Activision.

What we see in the video is likely what fans wanted more than Activision's remake. The remake still had some of the same themes and characters from the first version, but it changed enough to feel like a different game. Modern controls and the inclusion of Daniel Craig as Bond accounted for part of this. It continued into the panned 007 Legends, which is the most-recent James Bond game.

The levels in the remaster, by contrast, are exactly as you remember them, but with an added coat of paint to cover up some of the ugliness that is common on so many Nintendo 64 games. The tremendously cheesy sound effects remain the same, adding to the nostalgia. In the introduction of the video, you can also see just how big the upgrades were, with characters switching from their blocky original versions to the more-detailed models. Still, there was something charming about the original visuals, especially when you gave them giant heads.

Very few James Bond games have come close to matching the quality of GoldenEye. We'll see if the franchise's newest developer IO Interactive can do so with its upcoming origin story game. The studio just released Hitman 3 to rave reviews, and the new partnership seems like a match made in heaven. Rare hasn't made a first-person shooter in many years, with the disappointing Perfect Dark Zero releasing alongside the Xbox 360 back in 2005. However, first-party Microsoft studio The Initiative is developing a Perfect Dark game now, as revealed at The Game Awards 2020. It's a new studio billed as creating a "AAAA" game, and it will have its work cut out for it using a franchise like Perfect Dark, which has been dormant for so long.

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