Put your best tux on and let’s go back to 1997. The greatest shooter across the pond is making a comeback and it’s no secret that a lot has changed since we last saw Bond. That’s right, GoldenEye 007 is back! Prepare for some nostalgia with a twist because the new controls are a wild ride and we’re going to get you up to speed so you know what to expect.
For those accustomed to the classic N64 version of the game, it is going to be a bit different. If you didn’t already know, Rare was the original developer of the fan-favorite 90’s game and they have since been acquired by our friends at Microsoft giving them rights to release the game on Nintendo Switch and Xbox consoles. With the game being modernized after years of collecting dust on hard drives and in our core memories it’s expected that it would come with a learning curve.
GoldenEye 007 Controls
To understand why the controls on Nintendo Switch are going to feel awkward for most people, we first need to refresh our memories on the classic N64 controls. The default layout for the game gives players 8 pre-selected configurations with the most popular being “Honey”, named after Honey Rider from Dr. No.
L/R buttons are for aiming, your control pad is for looking up and down/left to right for strafe, Z trigger fires your weapon, C up or down to look, left to right for strafe, B for action, and A for weapon change. Your center control stick also serves the purpose of moving forward and backward as well as turning.
Translating those controls to a modern platform is where we get confused. For Nintendo Switch the control layout follows the N64 pattern but it doesn’t fit the framework of the device. The left stick looks and moves forward/back while the right is for strafe and looking. The D-pad is for strafing, and both your shoulder buttons can be used for aiming but firing is only available with the ZL button. Your B button is for reloading and opening doors, while A is used for changing weapons. X lets you look up and Y lets you strafe left. The ZR button is virtually useless as it does nothing.
For most gamers, we’re all privy to using a trigger point from the right side of the console. It’s basically a formality across the majority of games no matter the device but in this case, Golden Eye developers elected not to use this layout. The game uses an N64 emulator so essentially it acts as if you are using one of the controllers. Unfortunately, while nostalgia is great, at some point you have to sacrifice originality for evolution.
On console, the controls fit the scheme of current game formats but they lack the online feature as compared to the Switch. This is now a conversation of player preference and if they’d rather deal with the uniqueness of the switch or lose online play for a console. In any event, I wouldn’t be surprised that Microsoft will listen to the fans and make adjustments where needed while still encapsulating the original feel of the game that many have enjoyed for years.
Controller differences aside, it’s great to see one of the best interactive shooters of the 90s get a modern facelift. The game brings back many memories for a generation of people that didn’t grow up on COD or Fortnite and still opens the door for younger gamers and fans of the Bond films to live in the spy world.
GoldenEye 007 is available now on Xbox One & Series X|S and Nintendo Switch
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