The Switch version of GoldenEye 64 goes up against a remastered version available on Game Pass. There have been persistent rumors of a remastered version of GoldenEye 007 for some time. It was revealed in the most bizarre way today.
Microsoft quietly announced a better version of the game would be coming to Xbox Game Pass at some point while Nintendo was promoting a port with online play for its Switch Online Expansion Pack during a major September Direct. In all likelihood, the Switch Online version is just a port, albeit one that is emulated and has some extra bells and whistles added to it.
However, Rare is promising achievements, dual analog stick support, 4K resolution, and a “smoother frame rate” for Xbox One players of GoldenEye 007. There’s no word on whether this means it’s aiming for 60 FPS or not, but judging by the teaser, the visual quality appears to be much better than the original.
Take a look at this quick and dirty comparison of the opening sequences:
There is currently no release information for either version, but it is safe to assume that the Xbox remaster will perform and look superior. To make up for this, the Game Pass remaster will only support local multiplayer, while the Switch version will have access to online play. Everything about this situation makes me feel like the baby was cut in half.
You might think that online multiplayer would be the deciding factor, but Switch has notoriously spotty online connectivity. In games like Splatoon 3 and Smash Bros. Ultimate, this can be frustrating due to frequent disconnects, which can occur for a number of reasons, including a weak WiFi connection or Nintendo’s network.
Not to mention, the quality of the Nintendo 64 ports we’ve received so far varies widely. With games like The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, it has taken multiple patches to fix graphical and other problems.
25 years after its original release, experience GoldenEye 007 faithfully recreated for Xbox consoles. Includes achievements, 4K resolution and a smoother framerate – even in split-screen local multiplayer! Coming soon to @XboxGamePass. pic.twitter.com/kpBlJKqFR9
— Rare Ltd. (@RareLtd) September 13, 2022
A video game titled GoldenEye 007 starring Pierce Brosnan was released by Nintendo in 1997, two years after the film of the same name starring Brosnan. It has never been ported before, and unlike 1992, Microsoft owns Rare in 2022.
Leaks had previously suggested that either an Xbox showcase or a Nintendo Direct would be the venue for the game’s return announcement. Clever move by Nintendo to steal the spotlight for the debut of the mediocre version.
Still, any port of a classic, no matter how barebones, is better than no port at all.
GoldenEye 007 continues to have one of the most devoted fan communities of any retro franchise. Every year they accomplish something new and astounding, such as completing a level in record time or completing the game with a single bullet. When the games are finally released, it will be interesting to see how they, with their exhaustive familiarity with the game, evaluate the changes between the two editions.