For a time, the Nintendo 64's Goldeneye 007 was the greatest game in the world, but Rare's shooter hasn't aged gracefully, the two decades since its launch making its controls feel clunky and its graphics look sludgy. Nevertheless, people who played Goldeneye 007 back in the late '90s will likely have their heartstrings tugged by a video posted today that claims to show 30 minutes of an unfinished Goldeneye 007 remake for Xbox 360, what appears to be a faithful remastering of the original game that keeps its levels, guns, and sound effects, but gives the whole experience a much-needed visual sprucing up.
It's hard to confirm the veracity of the footage, posted to YouTube by Rare Thief, but there's certainly enough history to indicate a Goldeneye 007 remake was indeed in the works at British developer Rare. The game's existence was confirmed in 2008, and was reportedly just two months from completion when development stalled. The problem was money: Microsoft, Rare's new owner, couldn't reach a licensing agreement with Nintendo, the two companies battling over whether Nintendo would receive a one-off fee or a continued cut of the game's sales revenue.
The Xbox Live Arcade game was two months from completion in 2008
The game was originally destined for Xbox 360, via Xbox Live Arcade, and would apparently have allowed players to switch back and forth between original and updated graphics at will, with both versions running at a smooth 60 frames per second. In addition to a visual overhaul, the Xbox Goldeneye 007 would add online multiplayer, with leaderboards, three new stages taken from the singleplayer story and the ability to equalize player heights to ensure no wily competitors cheated their way to success using the pint-sized Oddjob.
N64 nerds have other options to get their Goldeneye 007 fix, including Goldeneye: Source, and the full remake that debuted on Wii in 2010, and the Xbox Live-enabled Perfect Dark remaster — Goldeneye's spiritual successor. But even if this 30-minute video turns out to be a clever fake, it's hard not to wistfully imagine what could have been, the game's raspy bullet sounds, dumb enemies, and big red crosshair transporting me back to a time when games were simpler and Goldeneye was still brilliant.