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GoldenEye 007: Reloaded: Adrenaline Martini

Company: Activision

If you don't own a Wii, you missed out on an excellent re-tooling of the Nintendo 64's watershed moment in first-person shooting history. However, if you own any of the next-gen consoles, that's about to change. Activision and Eurocom have partnered up again to bring the ultimate version of last year's GoldenEye 007 to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. I recently spent some time with GoldenEye 007: Reloaded at a special event in San Francisco, and I must say, the game is looking quite good.

Let's start with the single player campaign. Though definitely not the focus of the San Francisco event, it still made a splash. The classic assault on Arkhangelsk Dam has been recreated in glorious HD, and though many have decried the lack of Sean Bean, I think his presence might mess with the already altered continuity (Daniel Craig is reprising the role that Pierce Brosnan occupied in 1995). Plus, the wonderful "For England" exchange between 006 and 007 is still there to tug at your sense of nostalgia.

As can be expected based on the title alone, GoldenEye 007: Reloaded is going to be more than just a prettier version of last year's Wii offering. Unlike Nintendo's home console, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 are more versatile when it comes to online functionality, and this updated version of James Bond's most beloved video game adventure will feature substantially more competitive content.

So what's new this time around? Let's start with the multiplayer modes. The original game types have returned, so if you're in the mood for some Golden Gun, License to Kill, or classic four-player split-screen, Reloaded will not leave you hanging. However, Activision and Eurocom recently revealed four of the five new modes: Bomb Defuse, Escalation, Detonator Agent, and Data Miner.

Bomb Defuse is like the inverse of Capture the Flag. The objective is to retrieve an explosive device and bring it to one of two special points on the map. Once the device is planted, it must be defended until it goes off. Escalation is essentially the Gun Game from Call of Duty: Black Ops. After each kill, your weapon is replaced by a different one, until the you reach your final kill, which must be the result of a melee attack. Detonator Agent is like Hot Potato, only with guns and bombs. Data Miner is somewhat similar to Bomb Defuse; one player must download a file, and everyone else must stop that player. Defensive kills increase the download rate, so there's no sense in hiding.

Escalation mode isn't where Call of Duty's influence on this game peters out. Mi6 Ops is essentially Modern Warfare 2's Spec Ops fitted over the James Bond template. However, these missions are attuned to GoldenEye 007's strengths; meaning they offer more than just shooting action. Objectives can come in one of four flavors: Assault, Elimination, Stealth, and Defense. The action is great on its own, but it becomes identifiably GoldenEye 007's when special gameplay-altering mutators come into play. By that, I'm talking about exaggerated ragdoll effects and paintball mode. Could Big Head be making a return? I'd like to think so.

Eurocom could have called it a day with the HD retooling and extra modes, but they didn't. GoldenEye 007: Reloaded also features new maps, characters, and weapons. You can still choose to duke it out in the Archives or the Sewers, but for those who already played the Wii original and are looking for something a little different, there are four new maps: Solar, Carrier, Plant and Peak.

GoldenEye 007: Reloaded isn't lacking when it comes to weapons, though the extremely powerful shotgun was certainly favored at the event. However, there are some weapons that only belong in a James Bond game. For example, should anyone be throwing their hats except the diminutive Oddjob? And does the Moonraker Pistol truly belong in the hands of anyone except the villainous Hugo Drax? GoldenEye 007: Reloaded features 58 characters, 14 of which are classic characters (and one of which will only appear on PlayStation 3 version). What's really interesting is how many of these Bond classics play in Classic Conflict mode. For example, Jaws' nasty grill halves all headshot damage, and Dr. No's arms are completely impervious to bullets.

GoldenEye 007: Reloaded is a re-release of a Wii game, so of course, it will feature PlayStation Move/Sharpshooter support. They wisely showed off a single-player level that features both hardcore shooting action and the option to be stealthy. While there are still a lot of things I don't like about motion controls, I'm impressed with the way GoldenEye 007: Reloaded handles with the Sharpshooter. Plus, there are aim assists in place if you need them.

This holiday season is jam-packed with high-profile releases, and GoldenEye 007: Reloaded will be arriving right at the beginning of the onslaught, on the first day of November. Keep your eyes on this one, and check back for our full review in a few weeks.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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