Even though I’ve been playing GoldenEye since it came out in 1999, the multiplayer mode is what keeps me coming back. Finally, I can play Rare’s 1997 game with friends without having to find a Nintendo 64 and four controllers in order to compete for the golden pistol.
GoldenEye was released on the Nintendo Switch and Xbox Game Pass on the same day, January27,2023. While the Switch is the only place to play the game online, both systems support the single-player campaign and local split-screen multiplayer. One of the finest Rare games, it requires a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack subscription to play on Nintendo Switch, but is definitely worth it.
To see how far we’ve gone in the last quarter century since the debut of GoldenEye, I decided to play it on an iPad Pro with my 8BitDo Pro 2 controller attached. The game is accessible on any device that can run Game Pass from the cloud, including the Steam Deck and Android handhelds.
Leave Tina Turner in the dust
Even though Jolly, my dog, always manages to wake me up bright and early, I didn’t mind today since I was going to get to play the game on both the Switch and the iPad. Oddly, the Switch’s control mechanism is cumbersome, with the left trigger for shooting and just one analogue stick for mobility.
But playing it on my iPad over the Xbox Cloud was a real joy, especially because the game’s dual-analog controls made me think of Halo and the game’s fire action was mapped to the right trigger of my 8BitDo Pro 2. While the latency wasn’t as excellent as my experience with GeForce Now, I was able to finish the first three levels without any problems thanks to GamePass’s seamless 5G and Wi-Fi connectivity.
Given that Xbox Cloud supports touch controllers, I didn’t have as much trouble as I thought I would in the first level using these controls. Everything functioned as planned, and if I found that certain buttons were too far apart, I could quickly adjust their positions.
But when I play the game on my iPad, I’m reminded of the difficulty Nintendo, its original publisher, Rare, the game’s creator, and MGM, the owner of the James Bond licences, must have faced.
A remake for the Xbox 360 was in the works at the end of the 00s, but it was reportedly shelved due to rights difficulties. This seems to be an alternative attempt, since neither the textures nor the images have been updated for high definition screens, despite the presence of native widescreen.
The fact that I can play the single-player campaign on my iPad and the multiplayer modes, both offline and online, on my Switch, wherever I am, is amazing to me.
I wouldn’t ask for much more (well, maybe a restoration of Tomb Raider II from 1997) if Rare looked into re-releasing Perfect Dark and Blast Corps on the same platforms.
Subtly charming pop culture geek. Amateur analyst. Freelance tv buff. Coffee lover