I’ve never finished the single-player GoldenEye, even though I’ve been playing it since 1999 – and that’s mainly because of how good the multiplayer side is. I’ve had to dig up a Nintendo 64 and four controllers for so long to play the 1997 Rare game with friends to grab the golden gun, but it’s finally over.
On January 27, 2023, GoldenEye was made available for both Nintendo Switch and Xbox Game Pass, and while the Switch has an exclusive online multiplayer, the single-player campaign and local split-screen multiplayer are available on both platforms. While you’ll need a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership to play this game on Nintendo Switch, it’s worth paying the price of entry to play one of the best games from Rare.
However, since the game is available to play on any device that supports Game Pass from the cloud, such as Steam Deck and Android handhelds, I thought I’d give GoldenEye a try on an iPad Pro with an 8BitDo Pro 2 controller attached, and I was delighted with how far we’d come in 25 years since the release of the game.
Skip Tina Turner
Although my dog Jolly likes to wake me up early, it didn’t bother me today as I was able to try out the game on both Switch and iPad. Oddly enough, the control scheme on the Switch is clunky, with the left fire trigger and only one analog stick to control movement.
On the iPad via Xbox Cloud, though, it’s a treat, with dual analog controls that reminded me of Halo, and fire action properly placed on the right trigger of my 8BitDo Pro 2. Connecting to 5G and Wi-Fi wasn’t an issue with GamePass – although latency wasn’t as good as my experience with GeForce Now, I completed the first three levels with no problem.
Since the Xbox Cloud also has touch controls, playing them on the first level wasn’t as much of a problem as I expected either – everything worked as intended, and if some buttons were too far apart I could easily adjust them to bring them closer together.
However, playing the game on the iPad reminds me of how much of a challenge it must have been for Nintendo, its original publisher, developer Rare, and MGM, owner of the rights to James Bond.
In the late 1990s, a remaster for the Xbox 360 was in development, but rights issues allegedly got in the way and it was scrapped. This one seems to be different – although there is a native widescreen here, none of the textures and graphics have been reworked to meet the needs of HDTVs.
But that doesn’t matter – I can now play the single player campaign on my iPad and play multiplayer both offline and online on my Switch wherever I am, and that’s glorious for me.
Now, if Rare might want to bring Perfect Dark and Blast Corps to the same platforms again, that would be great, and I wouldn’t ask for anything more than maybe a 1997 Tomb Raider II remaster.