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GoldenEye 007

A Rare sight?

They say you should never go back, but consistently one of the most called for revivals of the of the last decade has been Rare's GoldenEye - the seminal FPS experience that all Bond titles still aspire to.

There's been rumours and clamours, and there was even a near re-release on Xbox Live Arcade, but with Activision now in charge of the game rights we finally see a new challenger taking a stab at what made the original such a smash hit.

We're back on a Nintendo platform, then (the Wii, silly) and what we're being offered in GoldenEye 007 is billed as a 're-imagining'. Daniel Craig is duly cast as 007 himself (providing voice and likeness), while settings like Cuba are replaced with Nigeria - the game makers attempting to make their opus more topical.

Still, we're assured that all the key scenes from the film will be recreated in some form - Bond once again taking on traitorous crime boss Alex Trevelyan across Europe and beyond.

Activision believe that - given the new, tougher Bond played by Craig - a new mix of gameplay is possible, blending firefights with sneaky assassinations and gadget-based cunning. In order to ensure a pure experience the Collector's Edition of GoldenEye 007 will come equipped with a special golden controller. This promises to deliver an FPS feel similar to the Xbox 360 or the PS3. It is also gold, which people quite like.

Our demonstration joins the game about 80 percent of the way through, with Bond crash-landing his MI6 plane in Nigeria, en route for a showdown with the game's antagonist. The first thing that draws attention is the audio, from Craig's voice work through to the atmospheric jungle sounds that encompass Bond as he crawls from the wreckage of his plane.

This emphasis on tension, and atmosphere is enhanced by some impressive visuals for the Wii, the steamy jungle brought to life through varied terrain, and surprisingly dynamic enemies. The scene plays out cat-and-mouse style, Bond taking out groups of foes while covertly moving through the mountainside foliage.

Different paths are available, and you can choose whether to go in all guns blazing or use headshots and subtle neck-crackings to take down guards. Alternatively, you can load up with a machine gun and just go crazy. Throughout the rocky hillside we also stumble across automated sentry towers, which can be hacked via smartphone and turned upon our enemies.

The action for the most part seems slick at this early stage, and with Judi Dench also joining the game's cast we're promised a well-told yarn. One can't help but acknowledge quite how mouth-watering this game might have been on the PS3 or Xbox 360, of course...

Slight niggles aside we move on to a split-screen multiplayer session. The game supports four-player split-screen, and eight-players online thanks to a game engine built by Eurocom. Choosing from a cast of familiar characters (hello Oddjob!) we're promised 10 offline and 10 online maps.

Flexibility is the key with this multiplayer mode, Activision letting players specify every nuance of the experience - right down to enforcing headshot kills and the like. The action itself is fast, unpredictable and hugely enjoyable - although whether a multiplayer FPS game can appeal to the Wii crowd remains very much to be seen. We'll have more for you on GoldenEye 007 soon. Blood trickles down...

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