I enjoy perusing past community blogs and seeing what people have had to say about games of yore. I get off on nostalgia, and it's cool to read about the games that have infused people with such memories. I think we all have a deep-seeded desire to identify with people who've played a certain game and just know what it meant to them and the place in time it represented.
At least I hope we do. I don't wanna be alone on this one... although bashing Goldeneye will probably ensure it.
I was sifting through pages of past c-blogs concerning their earliest exposure to multiplayer gaming. If you had to name one game that started it all (if you're within the 25-35 age bracket) you'd probably say Goldeneye. And that's totally fair. The game could easily be considered the fore-father of FPS multiplayer gaming and a vast number of past blogs from this site (and many others) back this idea up nicely.
I played it casually
... for about a year. The campaign never got old, but splitting the screen into four and gunning down friends just seemed off. It was choppy. And sloppy.
Then something else came along.
Turok 2: Seeds of Evil came out a year after Goldeneye. And at that point my career as James Bond ended. No tears were shed.
We could debate which game had the better campaign mode and although it'd take a week or so, I think I'd win this one. Weaponry, graphics, sounds, AI, environments, difficulty, boss battles... Kindly place a check-mark next to Turok and we'll move on.
Multiplayer? *grabs megaphone and climbs atop soapbox*
Turok was better. *gets booed, but remains*
1) Weapons. They were toned down tremendously in multiplayer and they were still far superior. The Firestorm cannon was nowhere near as fierce, and the Scorpion Launcher fired one missile at a time instead of three consecutively. Didn't matter. Each weapon had its place and it brought a special balance to the multiplayer experience. Even if your enemies reached the more powerful guns before you, there were still ways around being killed. Aim the Charge Dart gun at a foe, zap him, and then switch to your Pistol and aim for his head. The Assault Rifle in Turok was the fore-father of the much-used battle rifle from Halo, FYI. Fires the same exact way. And I wouldn't have the faintest clue as how to snipe in today's games had it not been for the scope afforded by the Plasma Rifle in Turok.
2) Levels. At first glance they seemed overly simple, when in reality they were sheer genius. Whether close-quartered or spread out there was always a place to stalk or just leap into a mess of action from, and the location of weapons ensured that each player had a different approach. Goldeneye's levels were cramped and un-befitting to multiplayer action.
3) Options. The best thing about Turok's multiplayer mode was being able to modify things, most importantly speed. The default setting made for good play, but then once you got things down you could adjust the speed at which your character moves. Tired of running like a scared little girl from a freshly launched Cerebral Bore? Up the speed and you're suddenly rounding a corner to shelter easily. Or in the weapons menu just turn the thing off. Either or. Goldeneye had one speed, and it virtually guaranteed things were all too sloppy.
I don't expect this opinion to be popular, and if it is then rest-assured it's because no one wants to agree with it. Yes, Goldeneye was great. It spawned the multiplayer aspect and gave us a new way to play competitively. Turok 2 improved upon it but no one noticed because Goldeneye's grip wouldn't free you long enough to see it. I'm just tired of it being credited for something when another game did it better. I'd be doing myself a disservice if I didn't share what spawned my undying love for the multiplayer genre and nurtured it for 6 solid years.
If you've still got a 64 I implore you to snag Seeds of Evil, four controllers, and a few buddies and have a go at it. Turn the game's speed up a notch or two once you get familiar with the controls and surroundings. Learn each weapon and perfect them, and bring the pain.
You can thank me later.