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GoldenEye’s canceled Xbox 360 remake leaks online, and it’s playable

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Remake of the N64 game was reportedly canceled over rights issues

Screenshot: GoldenEye 007

A remake of the Nintendo 64 classic GoldenEye 007 has leaked online, and it’s playable on PC using an emulator, Video Games Chronicle reports. The game, which was originally destined for the Xbox 360’s Live Arcade service, includes the original single-player campaign, as well as local split-screen multiplayer, but online multiplayer and leaderboards are reportedly missing. The whole package has received a graphical overhaul, but players can switch back to the original graphics with a button-press.

The remake was never released, after it was canceled back in 2008 as it neared completion. According to a report from 1Up at the time which has now been corroborated by VGC, the issue came down to the sheer number of rights-holders for the game. This included not just Nintendo (publisher of the N64 original), and Microsoft (owner of Rare, the original game’s developer), but also Bond-license holders Eon Productions, as well as the actors whose likenesses appeared in the game.

Footage of the remake has surfaced before, including a two-hour gameplay video that emerged just last month, but now the single-player campaign and local multiplayer game is playable for anyone who’s able to find a copy of the ROM on file-sharing sites and configure an Xbox 360 emulator (Xenia is apparently the way to go here). But if that sounds like too much effort, then this livestream from Digital Foundry offers a great overview of the contents of the remaster:

Although this specific GoldenEye 007 remaster was never released, there are a host of other related projects that saw the light of day over the years. While the complexities of the Bond license may have prevented Rare from remaking GoldenEye, it was eventually able to release a remake of its spiritual successor, Perfect Dark, on Xbox Live Arcade back in 2010. Perfect Dark was a similar style of game to GoldenEye, and ran on an upgraded version of its engine, but was based on an original IP.

Meanwhile, a separate GoldenEye 007 remake was eventually developed by Activision (which held the rights to develop and publish Bond games between 2006 and 2013) and released for the Wii in 2010 (it was ported to the Xbox 360 and PS3 the following year). This remake was generally well received, but it bore little relation to the N64 original. At the time, many remarked that it felt more like a Call of Duty game that also happened to be based on the 1995 Bond film, rather than a remake of the 1997 game.

Away from official projects, there have also been a number of attempts at fan-made remakes of GoldenEye 007 over the years. GoldenEye: Source was a remake of the original game’s multiplayer made in Valve’s Source engine (it’s available to download here), while GoldenEye 25 was an attempt to rebuild the original game’s campaign in Unreal Engine 4 that was shut down last year.