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GoldenEye 007 2008 Remaster Leaks; Here's What We Could Have Had

The almost finished but cancelled remaster of GoldenEye 007 on the Xbox 360 has surfaced online and shown in its entirety.

GoldenEye 007 was originally a game from 1997 and was due to launch on Xbox 360 as a remastered edition. However, the game was canned due to rights issues as reported by VGC after speaking to Grant Kirkhope, the composer of GoldenEye 007 but wasn’t involved in the remaster’s production. Despite it being cancelled, on January 29, 2021, a video from a YouTube channel named Graslu00 cropped up online showing the game being played through an unofficial emulator, and the ROM is now reportedly public as verified by VGC.

While I could go on about how the game was originally going to be released on Xbox Live Arcade, or even the leak by a UK magazine in 2008, I decided to have a look at the video and see what we could have gotten from the GoldenEye 007 2008 remaster.

Although, to get into the complexity of the license. Rare developed GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo 64. Rare was later then purchased by Microsoft, however, Nintendo had still published the original, further complicating the matter. Then, Activision somehow got into the action as it published the remake on the Wii.

Well, for starters we would have seen the iconic intro of Bond and looking to him through the barrel of a gun. The gameplay is certainly a lot smoother, although performance in the video seems to be related to the emulator itself, so if the game had launched back in 2008 it wouldn’t have been capable of running at 60fps nor would it have been upscaled to 4K as it is here.

The graphics, however, are of HD quality, and players would have been given the option to switch between HD graphics and the original N64 graphics from 1997. This being similar to how the classic Doom games were remastered and re-released in 2019 with the option to switch to the classic graphics.

In the video the character models are a lot higher-quality, and the animations that come with them are a lot more fluid in comparison to the N64 versions which look understandably dated now. And you can even see more details on the weapons and even Bond’s watch during the Facility level. There’s also a dramatic shift in lighting, with shadows being a lot softer, and lighting being less flat.

The textures themselves of the environments certainly look a lot more complicated and better. Even the text had been improved and is a lot clearer to read. Particles are more active from ricochets and the explosions were…well they weren’t massively improved from the looks of things, but certainly brighter and softer!

There also seems to be a bit of a change in music in some parts after comparing scenes to the N64 version. While most of the original GoldenEye 007 soundtrack appears to be intact, there are moments in which there are different background tracks playing out. Perhaps to add more atmosphere and make links between missions less bland.

While the N64 version had split-screen multiplayer, the GoldenEye 007 2008 remaster did intend to have online multiplayer as noted by VGC, complete with leaderboards and achievements. And while the option to play multiplayer and browse the additional online features is available through the main menu, those with access to the ROM haven’t been able to make use of any of them.

At the moment, the hype surrounding James Bond has been great seeing as IO Interactive, the developers behind the Hitman series and the recently released Hitman 3, is dipping its toes into the series. The announcement of a new James Bond game from the studio was a surprising one since the licensing issues have been such a pain in the past. But this leak becoming available at this time has certainly reignited the nostalgia for many.

Ben Bayliss

Based in the UK and adores venturing through FPS horrors and taking photos in pretty much anything with a functioning photo mode. Also likes car games.

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