Nowadays, playing a first-person shooter with a gamepad It seems the most normal thing in the world, but there was another time when it was a real rarity. The FPS of the style of Doom, quake, Counter-Strike either half-life they were “fishbowl” terrain and it was unimaginable to play them without keyboard and mouse. Even today there are people who continue to staunchly defend this control scheme, which for many years was considered the optimum for hitting shots in this popular genre.
However, it was clear that the first person shooter they needed to expand, and there were those who thought it would be a good idea to take them to the field of home consoles, which were gaining more and more users. A great challenge, without a doubt, but the British company rare he was at his peak and he wanted to take on the world. In addition, it had one of the machines with the most advanced hardware of the moment, the Nintendo 64. His controller was also one of the most precise and avant-garde, so the conditions were in place to create a shooter that would make history… And boy did it.
Goldeneye 007, a revolutionary shooter
The truth is that when the creation of a game of James Bond for Nintendo 64, expectations weren’t very high. You know, the film adaptations to video games They have not always gone very well, but there were two additional circumstances. One was that the movie goldeneye It had already been released… 2 years before! The other was that no one thought a console shooter could be any good. The developers say that when they showed the game at E3, everyone passed by, and those who played were not impressed.
To make things easier for critics, the development team was made up of true newbies, some of whom had never worked in the video game industry before. However, its manager Martin Hollis, he trusted his talent and capacity for effort. The staff came to dedicate between 80 and 100 hours per week to the project, which was complete nonsense. The development lasted about three years and the involvement was maximum.
One of the most curious things about development is that Hollis was the one who proposed the project after hearing rumors that Nintendo and Rare had been talking about making a 007 agent game. Immediately he went to his boss and said: we have to do it! ! As simple as that. He wasn’t thinking about the success of the game, only that it would be something great. And there is another thing that will fascinate you. The first sentence of the design document read as follows: “The game will be similar to Virtua Cop in terms of design.”
The development team was made up of real newbies, some of whom had never worked in the video game industry.
Hollis comments that really the planning was very brief and that they improvised a lot on the fly. For example, they watched the James Bond movies, modeled a bunch of gadgets, and then phased them as they saw fit. the system of free pointedthe presence of hostages and the action sequences came directly from Virtua Copwhile the presence of multiple targets per level was inspired by Super Mario 64 and its variety of approaches. All this is surprising to read today, especially if I tell you that the game was designed without having access to the specifications of N64since it was still in development.
Another aspect that made the game special was its level design. Paradoxically, the only instruction Hollis gave designers was to create interesting places to explore. From there, objectives and enemies would be introduced. This work system was very strange at the time, but it allowed a non-linear game, which was one of the aims of the project. This was complemented by a Very advanced AI for its time, and that allowed to generate strategic and even stealth situations. For example in goldeneye 007 you could find two enemies targeting you, while a third ran away to trigger an alarm. This had never been seen in a video game before, and it made you as a player make important decisions.
After knowing all this, surely you have wanted to play this jewel of Nintendo 64 again. Well, to the joy of not a few, just a few hours ago the return of the Rare classic was announced and we already have a date for Goldeneye 007 on Nintendo Switch Online and Xbox Game Pass, with new graphics and more. Of course, it will be a good opportunity to see what he achieved and his important role in the subsequent success of sagas like Halowhich would debug the handling of shooters through gamepad.