- Publisher: EA Games
- Developer: EA Los Angeles
- Release: PlayStation 2 / GameCube / XBox, 22 November 2004
- Genre: Action (First-person shooter)
- Players: 1-4
The first thing you should know about Rogue Agent is that it both is and isn't a James Bond game. 007 himself only shows up as an NPC in the first mission, a training simulation based on the Fort Knox scene from Goldfinger, and he "dies" early on. The player-character, code-named "Goldeneye", is fired from MI-6 for the mishap, only to ally with Auric Goldfinger's enterprises. Together with the likes of Oddjob, Pussy Galore, and Scaramanga, they wage war against Dr. No, all of whom are alive because screw canon. The core concept to take from all this is that you are a bad guy squaring off against other bad guys, and thus have the freedom to kill the non-protagonistic bad guys in all manner of ways which would be too good for Her Majesty's Secret Service.
|Consoles like these operate machine traps.|
More prevalent are the abilities bestowed upon you by your player-character's golden gadget eye, hence the title. Starting from the second level on, a new Goldeneye power is unlocked for each mission. First is MRI Vision, which reveals enemies from behind walls. Best used in conjunction with the Mag-Rail gun, which is slow to fire but shoots through walls (oh, that's another type of Rogue Bonus!). In level 3, you get the EM Hack, which disables enemy guns and can turn on machines from afar. In level 4, you get the self-explanatory Polarity Shield, and for level 5, you get the Induction Field, which grabs and throws enemies through pseudo-telekinesis. All four abilities are limited by a power level which recharges automatically. So does your health. Body armour doesn't regenerate, obviously, but it's so frequently dropped by enemies that it might as well. And maybe it's just my playing style, but grenades seem to be more effective in Rogue Agent than in other first-person shooters I have experienced.
|MRI Vision reveals enemies behind walls.|
But the point which clinches it for me is how long the levels are. There are only eight levels in all, but barring the first two, they can take upwards of an hour to complete. Compare that with, say the 1997 Goldeneye, which had 20 levels which generally lasted no longer than ten minutes apiece. Call it my bias, but a format like that invites me to go back to the game again and again and replay the missions just for fun. With Rogue Agent, on the other hand, each level is a endurance test, something I dread going back to. And it's that one little point which relegates Goldeneye: Rogue Agent to the status of merely "good" as opposed to "great"; which keeps it from being worthy of standing next to its Nintendo 64 namesake. Or Nightfire.
+ Fairly well-executed dual-wespon combat.
+ The weapon combinations and Goldeneye powers give you lots of ways to play.
+ The enemy AI and dialogue adapt to the current situation.
+ Awesome soundtrack by Paul Oakenfold.
- The levels are too few and too long.
- Difficult in a number of unfair ways.
Control: 4 deathtraps out of 5
Design: 3 deathtraps out of 5
Graphics: 3 deathtraps out of 5
Audio: 5 deathtraps out of 5
Value: 2 deathtraps out of 5
The Call: 65% (C)
The Call: 65% (C)