Wrote this to a friend just now and decided to put it up as a review of this game (my first official one). Hope it helps you make up your mind:
Review of Goldeneye...
Okay, first of all, the original came out when I was in college and I almost flunked out from too much Goldeneye! I was the reigning champ in my frat house (actually, went back and forth with one other guy for the #1 and #2 spots)... MANY a late night wasted and hours lost playing that game that changed my world.
But I digress. Point is: I was VERY excited for Reloaded.
Single player game is great. It is a lot of fun. As far as the story goes, think of this like Evil Dead 2, compared to Evil Dead... It is not a remake like Rob Zombie's Halloween and not a sequel at all... it's more like a re-telling. It's kind of like the Johnny Depp Willy Wonka compared to the original film with Gene Wilder -- whether or not you hate the newer one, it's the idea of re-telling the same story in a different way. Same story, but slightly changed characters, updated to modern times, etc. Same way Evil Dead 2 was a re-telling of the same basic story of the first one (evil things in woods attack people in cabin).
Gameplay is cool. A LOT of the game relies on stealth which actually is way more enjoyable than I thought. I like to be Rambo and run right in and blow shit up – but this game requires you to be slow and cautious and stealthy. A lot of people compare it to Clancy games – I have never played any, so I can't comment on the comparison.
Difficulty? Easy as shit! Really. I NEVER play my first play through on the hardest difficulty (e.g. Veteran, Legendary, Insane, Nightmare, etc.) – but for this, I DID!! Because with body armor and moving slowly, it is seriously one of the easiest "hardest difficulties" I have ever played. The only time I played on NOT the hardest difficulty was when it was related to an achievement. The ONLY part of the game that was hard on Classic 007 difficulty was Alec (006) at the end. But after an hour or so, I got it easy.
Achievements are also very simple. There are "collectables" (destroying emblems) which will reset/re-appear if you die before reaching a checkpoint after destroying them – be aware of that, as I finished a few missions without re-"collecting" after a death, and thus not all emblems were destroyed and I had to reply to get them... other than that, these achievements are actually quite fun – especially the timed ones and the stealth one. They seem difficult, but if you watch the videos and you are a somewhat good gamer, you'll have no problem. To me – THAT is what an achievement should be! A task or objective that you may not get on your first try, but is fun to figure out, try for again, and eventually get. To me, as a gamer – THAT is a satisfying achievement.
Spec Ops – since there is a cheat code, you don't even have to play them if you don't want to and just want the 1000gs. I didn't play more than 2 of them, so I can't really comment on them at all.
The biggest problem with the game and the achievements is the multiplayer. The movement and play is more like BF3 than CoD... slow, clunky, sometimes (nay, often) laggy... and it's a desolate waste land! NO ONE plays. There are two clans that play every night for leaderboard stats. They run around with RPGs, shottys, prox mines and body armor and are the highest rank (level 50 at what is the equivalent to 5th prestige). But even with them ruining more potential fun, I managed to do alright as I climbed up the ranks. I managed to get to rank 15 or 16 legit already from just a couple nights of play. Lots of bonus XP to be had for kills, streaks, etc. Unfortunately, the game types in which you can get achievements are dead zones. BUT, there does seem to be about 40 or so boosters that are always looking for a session and you only need 5 or 6 people to start a game. In a session last night I mopped up 7 achievements. It is a pain in the ass, but it is completely doable. Nowhere near the pain of Wolfenstein, AVP or CoD3. More like BF3 and BFBC2.
AND you don't have to grind to reach the top rank – there is one achievement related to a gun you acquire at rank 31, but if someone in your boost party has it, he can drop, you pick up and use. There is another achievement related to something you get at rank 42 (prox mines), but there is a way to boost it in one of the particular game modes (it just takes a while).
My overall opinion? I actually like Q of Solace better. But this was a lot of fun for the $10 I spent (got it on sale over holidays). The single player was great and the multiplayer is a minor inconvenience with some actual fun included. And the achievements are not hard if you watch videos, be smart, know what you are doing and are a halfway decent player. I would recommend it to anyone that likes FPS and anyone who loves Bond!