Goldeneye 007: Nintendo Switch and Xbox release date, Game Pass and Rare Replay details - remastered version

No, you’re not allowed to play as Oddjob

Gamers of a certain age will fondly be able to remember sitting down with a group of friends and playing multiplayer sessions of GoldenEye 007 long into the night.

The mid-90s James Bond classic was one of the finest games released for the Nintendo 64 console, and revolutionised the first-person shooter genre, paving the way for games like Halo, Half-Life and Call of Duty much later down the road.

Its graphics may seem crude by today’s standards, but the game gave players a chance to enter the world of James Bond like never before, depicting locations and action set-pieces from the 1995 film of the same name (still this writer’s favourite ever Bond).

Now, a whole new audience will be introduced to the game, as a ‘remastered’ edition of it launches on modern day platforms, over 25 years after it was first released. Here is everything you need to know about it.

What is GoldenEye 007?

If you’re young enough to not remember GoldenEye 007 the first time around (and good for you), the game is a first-person shooter in which players guide Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond through various stages.

Each level has a set of goals that the player must accomplish - such as acquiring or destroying specific items and objects, eliminating adversaries or freeing hostages - while navigating enemy forces and enemies.

(Image: Xbox Game Studios)
(Image: Xbox Game Studios)
(Image: Xbox Game Studios)

The game loosely follows the plot of the 1995 film of the same name, and features many of that movie’s locations and characters, as Bond attempts to prevent a criminal syndicate from using a satellite super-weapon.

The game pioneered innovations like atmospheric single-player missions and stealth components on home consoles, and marked a shift from bombastic, Doom-type shooters to a more realistic aesthetic.

But it wasn’t just in single-player where the game shined. GoldenEye 007’s multiplayer split-screen deathmatch mode - in which players could fight against one another across levels on a single console - is one that is rarely bettered, even by modern video games.

What’s new in the ‘remastered’ version?

While you might see a lot of reports of this latest version of the game being a ‘remastered’ version, that’s not entirely true.

Instead, the game is being presented more or less as it was back in 1997, with very few graphical touch-ups applied. That being said, the entire presentation has been given a 4K makeover, meaning that even the blocky graphics of the 90s will look a lot sharper on modern TV displays.

That relatively bare bones ‘remake’ might be a good thing though; a modern ‘reimagining’ of the game was released in 2010 for the Nintendo Wii, to a mixed response.

It will be interesting to see how well the game holds up to modern standards - both visually, and in terms of gameplay - but here’s hoping it can capture a new audience of young players who are perhaps too young to have already discovered its charm.

Recent stories, like this study that suggests TikTok using Gen Z teens have found a new love for Jane Austen novels, prove that the younger generation isn’t entirely averse to ‘old’ media.

GoldenEye is not Jane Austen, of course. But could we see snippets from the game cropping up on social media feeds in the weeks and months to come?

Unfortunately, though the split-screen multiplayer remains present and correct across all ‘new’ versions of the game, it hasn’t been updated to include online multiplayer. That probably won’t be too much of a concern, being that half the fun of the original’s multiplayer was being able to taunt the friends in the same room as you as you played, but it would have been a nice, modern touch.

When can I play it?

The original game will be re-released on 27 January 2023 for Xbox One and Xbox Series X and S. On Nintendo Switch the game will be available to subscribers of Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.

Is it on Game Pass?

Yes! GoldenEye 007 will be added to the Xbox Game Pass library on 27 January, meaning those who have subscribed to the service will be able to download and play it at no extra cost.

It’s also being added to the Rare Replay collection, a bundle of games from iconic British developer Rare that was released way back in 2015.

Rare also developed GoldenEye back in the day, and though that collection of games has been available for nearly eight years, it gets an update with GoldenEye 007 at no extra cost.