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GoldenEye: Source Alpha

GoldenEye: Source Alpha Bond. James Bond.
Christmas always makes you a little nostalgic, doesn’t it? Well with the alpha (TC) mod of GoldenEye Source going live on Christmas day I had a very nostalgic Christmas indeed. I was running around Egyptian fragging up a storm like it was 1997. It’s early days yet but with 3 levels almost completed and three different playable characters in place, GoldenEye is looking mighty fine. Of the completed maps – Egyptian, Caves and Facility - the last is by far the most complete and fun to play through.

As you move through the maps, the memories come flooding back to you. Every nook and cranny of the N64 original has been lovingly recreated using Valve Software's Source Engine by the talented chaps at Cyber Genetic Studios. A huge amount has been added to the graphics, animations and physics to bring the look and feel up to date and on par with any other modern shooter. I dug out some old screen-grabs from the original GoldenEye so let’s have a bit of a comparison just for funsies! On the left are N64 grabs, on the right are the new Source ones.

GoldenEye: Source Alpha Bond. James Bond. GoldenEye: Source Alpha Bond. James Bond. GoldenEye: Source Alpha Bond. James Bond. GoldenEye: Source Alpha Bond. James Bond.

You can clearly see the difference!

There’s a fairly wide variety of weaponry in place now although not all your favourites are in there at the moment. There are no grenades, lasers or Magnums yet but besides the usual suspects of Knife, Kosh PP7, KF7 Soviet, ZMG and automatic shotgun. You can also pick up the Golden Gun if you specify that mode when choosing your game.

Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between weapons at the moment. The shotgun is fine close up and the PP7 does feel light, but a bit of work is still needed to give the weapons more variety in their feel and effectiveness at the moment. Even the Golden Gun doesn’t feel all that special yet although it is worth picking up even if it’s just to run around shouting “I’ve got the Golden Gun, nah nah” at your fellow players.

GoldenEye: Source Alpha Bond. James Bond. GoldenEye: Source Alpha Bond. James Bond.

The characters are looking great. Bond moves in a suitably stylish way and comes with three colours of suit. Ouromov is decidedly creepy and Oddjob is delightfully short, rotund and menacing. I’m looking forward to seeing other characters like Jaws and Baron Samadi as the game continues to develop. If they are as well animated and have as individual a feel as the currently usable characters the death-match mode will go from strength to strength.