But not unplayable by any means
The 1997 FPS GoldenEye 007 is considered one of the best influential shooters of all time, especially when it comes to its local co-op mode (I guess technically it had to be local because online play hadn’t been invented yet). I missed out on the golden age of the James Bond title because I wasn’t even a year old when it came out, but hearing friends and colleagues recounting the magical months and years that followed its release, I’m somewhat envious of a time before online gamer rage. Now’s my chance to live vicariously, though, because Rare announced that GoldenEye 007 is available to play on Nintendo Switch and Xbox consoles 26 years after it launched on the Nintendo 64.
While fans are thrilled to be able to return to a childhood favorite, there are a few issues with the port that are hard to ignore. Most obviously, the game only runs at 30 frames per second, which isn’t a deal-breaker, but can be an issue for those who are more particular about how their game runs. The lower frame rate is intentional on the developers’ part because the port uses the game’s original ROM code, and the N64 could only run at 30fps back then anyway. I personally don’t mind lower framerates, but for those who do, there are ways to play GoldenEye 007 on the PC at today’s industry standard, 60fps.
For better or worse, the occasional seams and Z fighting are authentic, not an emulation glitch. It's just easier to see in HD. But glitches were checked against a real N64 during development. What remains were there too, just blurrier.
— Code Mystics Inc. (@CodeMystics) January 27, 2023
Other bugs or problems include audio issues, incorrect textures/decals, hard-to-read low-res text, and visible seams in the environment of some of the levels. Speaking specifically to the issue with the seams, one of the developers behind the game said through the company’s Twitter account that these issues were always present in the base game, but these issues are “just easier to see in HD.” The emulation may not make for “perfect” gameplay for long-time fans — or at least as perfect as nostalgia goggles can make a game feel that came out on retro consoles — but at the very least, the release of GoldenEye 007 on modern consoles is a great step forward for making classic games more accessible for new generations.
Speaking from experience as someone who isn’t tech-savvy at all, emulators aren’t for everyone. It’s pretty cool that now anyone who has Game Pass can instantly get access to a classic that’s been tough for the average player to get their hands on over the past couple of decades. Games preservation is important to me, especially considering we’ve lost a lot of the industry’s history already, but rereleases like this are certainly a vast improvement for the accessibility of classic games.