Game Review: Goldeneye 007 Re-Release for Xbox and Switch


The Nintendo 64 was released to American consumers in 1996. It was the last system to continue in the use of cartridge games, and featured an unprecedented controller design with three handles. Many of today’s adults can still recall nostalgic memories of Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart, but there is another genre-defining title that dominated 90s gaming. 

Goldeneye 007, more commonly known as “Goldeneye”, played a fundamental role in shaping modern first-person shooters. Before its release in 1997, the definitive way to play first-person shooters like Doom or Wolfenstein was via desktop computer. It was believed that consoles did not yet possess the power to run such an elaborate game, but Goldeneye put the viability of home consoles on full display. Developed by Rare Studios, Goldeneye became one of the earliest games to introduce features like atmospheric single player missions, and multiplayer co-op. 

After facing low expectations from gaming critics, Goldeneye shocked the world by introducing a realistic gameplay that was uncommon for the time. Rare were able to deliver cutting edge graphics for an immersive experience that was unheard of on console. Its fast paced story and iconic multiplayer mode earned it a spot as one of the best games of all time. It is also accredited for setting the standard for games like Halo and Call of Duty. Goldeneye sold over eight million copies, making it the third highest selling game on the Nintendo 64.

A remake of the game was developed in 2010 by a company called Eurocom, but it has been over a decade since then and fans wanted more. That is why when a re-release of Goldeneye 007 was announced for the Xbox and Nintendo Switch game systems respectively, fans couldn’t have been more excited. The date for the new rendition of the N64 classic was announced in late 2022, and gamers have been on the edge of their seats. 

At its core the re-release seemed to have good intentions. Those being to make the game compatible with modern systems and online play, while upscaling the graphics to suit current 4K technology. The two studios in charge of the Xbox and Switch releases delivered on those fronts… somewhat.

Goldeneye, as promised, is compatible with Xbox and Switch. Goldeneye also comes with online play or 4K compatibility, but not both. Instead of enjoying an online multiplayer experience in 4K resolution on the new Goldeneye, fans must now choose whether they want one or the other. The separate production of the games for each console lead to a multitude of differences between the two games that force fans to decide between two seemingly unfinished games.

On the switch fans are able to enjoy online multiplayer via Nintendo Online, the switch’s built in online feature. Switch users are able to elevate the multiplayer experience with online friends in co-op missions and battle modes. The connection between systems can be inconsistent, but it does work. In exchange for this, Switch users are forced to endure a multitude of issues regarding frame rate, resolution, and an incompetent control scheme, which can make Goldeneye borderline unplayable. The controls are primal and do not resemble anything close to modern shooters. Along with that, the frame rate, which isn’t 60 FPS, will randomly drop for no apparent reason while playing the game. The game is playable, not enjoyable, on the Switch, and not anything close to what was expected for a game in 2023.

For the Xbox version, players are blessed with an updated control scheme similar to that of modern shooters like Call of Duty, which lends itself to a familiar gaming experience. It also has upscaled graphics that allow 4K compatibility. This is where the problems with the Xbox release lie. Though it was sold as “4K compatible”, the game does not look appealing. The textures of the game received no alterations, yet they were made clearer for 4K screens. This gives the entire game a look of high resolution blurriness, and it causes many eyesores within the game such as texture glitches or visible “invisible” barriers. On top of this, the Xbox, like the switch, also experiences random frame rate issues, and does not run 60 FPS as expected. If that wasn’t enough the game also does not have an online mode on the Xbox, which makes it strictly a single-player mess.

Overall, the re-release of Goldeneye 007 for the Xbox and Switch systems can be seen as a great idea that was executed very poorly. New and returning players of Goldeneye were excited for a fresh remake of one of America’s favorite titles. When the final product was introduced, though, it came off looking like a half-finished emulator that could be downloaded for free. The consensus seems to be that the re-release of Goldeneye 007 was above all a disappointment for consumers.