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`GoldenEye: Rogue Agent` named worst console game of 2004

07-Jan-2005 • Gaming

CHUD.com have voted "GoldenEye: Rogue Agent", the latest title from EA Games based in the James Bond universe, as the worst console videogame of 2004.

"It has been easy to hate Electronic Arts this year, considering how they don’t seem to mind spending billions of dollars to force their competitors out of business, yet they can’t be bothered to pay their own employees for their time and talent. In a way, this almost excuses Goldeneye: Rogue Agent…why spend months polishing and fine-tuning a game if you’re not going to be paid for your work? Better to just churn out an inferior product and allow the Empire’s stock prices to take a hit, right? But while I might sympathize with the developers’ plight, that doesn’t mean I have anything nice to say about Rogue Agent.

Listen, if you’re going to make a sequel to one of the most beloved games of all time, you can’t half-ass the job. Just by slapping the Goldeneye moniker on your game, you’re immediately opening yourself up to a flurry of tough criticisms, and you’d better be prepared to deliver.

This means paying attention to the fine details and making intelligent decisions. Casting the player in the role of a villain in the James Bond universe is a neat idea. Forcing the player to fight unending waves of evil faceless henchmen instead of Bond and the forces of good…that’s not such a good idea.

Rewarding the player for performing evil actions is a cool touch. Defining those “evil” actions as things like shooting enemies in the head (Headshots in a shooting game? Why has nobody thought of this before?) or throwing grenades is just laughable.

Taking elements from other successful games is common practice in shooters. Blatantly stealing the rechargeable energy shield and duel-weapon setup from Halo, on the other hand, just makes you look pathetic. Even worse is when you mangle these simple concepts. The defensive nature of the recharging energy shield is completely out of place in a brainless run-and-gun game like this--enemies will patiently wait for your shield to recharge, meaning that if you die while playing Rogue Agent, you’d better be either retarded or missing crucial fingers--and the duel-weapon setup never becomes a factor thanks to a surplus of ammo scattered throughout every level. Way to miss the point, dumbasses.

Leaving aside these fine details, you also need to pay attention to the most fundamental aspects of basic gameplay. For example, if you’re trying to make an exciting, fast-paced shooting game, maybe it’s not such a hot idea to have a protagonist who moves like he’s underwater. Seriously, I’ve seen Resident Evil zombies shamble faster than this alleged superspy. And in a horrifyingly bad design choice, picking up the heavy artillery--you know, the fun guns--makes your character move even slower.

And here’s another thing that’s important: animating the goddamn characters. Trust me, even if it means paying the animators to stay late, this is still something you need to do. If you don’t properly animate the bad guys, they tend to jump and jerk their way across a room instead of moving with any sort of fluid motion, which makes aiming and shooting an absolute nightmare. Strafing in endless circles while your opponents wink in and out of existence tends to dilute the fun factor pretty goddamn quickly, guys.

As lame and horribly dull as the single-player campaign is, Rogue Agent still could have been redeemed by a decent multiplayer mode. After all, the original Goldeneye still boasts one of the most addictive and perfectly balanced multiplayer modes in gaming history. How then do you explain the plodding, tortuous multiplayer in Rogue Agent? Why are all the weapons indistinguishable from one another? Why are the limited maps so dull and claustrophobic? Why does my character move like he just ate a gallon of Valium? Why can’t the framerate keep up when there are only two people shooting at each other in an empty, low-rez room?

Some might argue that there were worse games in 2004, and I’m sure you’re right. I never played Bad Boys: Miami Takedown or Barbie’s Goddamn Pastel Princess Adventure or any of the other bargain bin games crapped out by unknown developers, and I don’t plan on doing so. But I am confident that 2004 never saw another game with such a high pedigree to live up to fail so completely and spectacularly as this one. Rogue Agent is one of the most boring shooters I’ve ever played in my life, plagued with fundamental gameplay flaws and graphical hitches and glitches. It’s a miserable, lazy attempt to cash in on Goldeneye’s legacy, and in a perfect world this opportunistic piece of **** wouldn’t have sold a single copy."

Thanks to `Ken` for the alert.

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