Video games do not have to be pixellated, blocky and from the 1970s to be iconic. New games are released every year which have the potential to be game-changers for the console and for the genre. One such game was GoldenEye 007 for the N64. Released exclusively for the Nintendo console in 1997, it was developed by what some have described as an inexperienced team.
The original plan for the game was to develop it as a side-scrolling shooter, then as an on-rails shooter (the character has a preset course and can’t wander) but finally the decision was made to develop a 3D shooter, more commonly known now as a First Person Shooter (FPS). It certainly was not the first of its kind, Doom had been produced four years before and even that was preceded by Wolfenstein 3D, but it did take the genre to a whole new level of quality, innovation and sophistication.
GoldenEye introduced several new features to the genre; a zoom-able sniper rifle had its first outing here, adding a new level of strategy and gunplay. Stealth missions were also part of the gameplay, meaning that this wasn’t just a gigantic gunfight. GoldenEye also introduced superb graphics for the multiplayer version. While the game was not a free-roaming affair, the addition of extra rooms and areas (with no purpose) and several routes through levels meant that GoldenEye was nowhere near as linear than many of its predecessors.
The game was of course developed as a tie-in with the 007 film GoldenEye and the plot of the game follows the plot of the movie with a couple of exceptions. The game was not received particularly well at the 1997 E3 but that mattered little when the game hit the shops. With 8 million units sold it was the best selling N64 game of all time and regularly features in lists of the best console games. Check it out: