Back in 2010, following the release of the Xbox Live Arcade remake of Perfect Dark, I remember hearing rumours that Rare’s classic Nintendo 64 shooter GoldenEye 007 would also soon get the remake treatment.
Though that didn’t happen, there were several reports that a version of the game designed for the Xbox 360 was actually finished, but couldn’t be released due to licensing issues.
Fast-forward to 2020, and that rumoured remake has not only been confirmed to exist, but it’s actually playable on a PC using an emulator.
According to Video Games Chronicle (VGC), GoldenEye 007 was originally planned to be released as an Xbox 360 Live Arcade title that included the title’s original single-player campaign, local split-screen multiplayer and, possibly, even online multiplayer and leaderboards.
The game also received a substantial high-definition graphical overhaul, though players can also switch back to the classic N64 visuals by tapping a button. The controls are also revamped to feature Halo-like twin-stick navigation. Anyone who played the original GoldenEye will likely remember that the N64 gamepad’s yellow C-Buttons were also used for navigation since the controller only featured one joystick.
VGC says that the game was cancelled back in 2008 prior to the release of the Perfect Dark remake due to several rights-holder issues. The game’s rights holders include Nintendo (its original publishers), Rare (Microsoft owns Rare), James Bond license holders Eon Productions, and the actors whose likenesses appeared in the game.
While footage of this great-looking GoldenEye remake appeared last week, it’s now actually possible to play the game if you’re able to hunt down a copy of the leaked ROM and tweak a popular Xbox 360 emulator called Xenia.
Digital Foundry has an excellent analysis of the leaked ROM up on its YouTube channel if you’re interested in a more in-depth look at the game.
It’s also worth noting that while this GoldenEye remaster never saw the light of day, Activision did release a poorly-received spiritual successor to GoldenEye 007 for the Wii back in 2010 that featured frustrating motion controls. The game was eventually ported to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 the following year.
It’s unclear exactly how the game leaked, but it’s believed to have briefly appeared on a beta tester and media platform called PartnerNet that was only available on Xbox 360 development kits, before quickly being pulled. It’s possible that someone has had the GoldenEye remake sitting on a hard drive for nearly a decade and has been waiting to release it.
Hopefully, this leak’s popularity encourages Nintendo, Microsoft and the various holders of the James Bond license to come to an agreement so the remaster can get a legitimate release.
Source: Video Games Chronicle