Thursday, July 25, 2024

GoldenEye 007 is Amazing but Don’t Sleep on Duke Nukem 64.

( I’ve recently sat and played a classic Nintendo 64 game in Duke Nukem 64. Actually, it’s more of a cult classic since it wasn’t exactly one of the blockbuster titles on the console. Regardless, it’s a game that really made me look at how good GoldenEye 007 was as a first-person shooter.

GoldenEye 007 is GOATed Hands Down

If you ask anyone who actually played the Nintendo 64 in that time period and asked them for a FPS take, GoldenEye 007 will pop up as the best FPS. Hell, even people who never played 007 will give it up to that Rare game. Also, it was made by 90s Rare which was dropping banger after banger on the Super NES and Nintendo 64.

Like, Rare just couldn’t be stopped as a developer at this time. So, the work on this game was extremely good and “good” might be underselling it. Having played a bit of the OG GoldenEye recently, I can say that it earned its first-pick honors. The solo campaign is a ton of fun and the shooting is at it’s best in this game and this game mode.

Then you get to the competitive mode of 007. I believe that this game gets most of its love from competition. It’s fast-paced, hectic, and rewarding. Sure, this isn’t Call of Duty or Battlefield but as a confined, console PvP mode, it was damn solid. Mind you, there is some cheesiness if anyone plays as Oddjob who was always difficult to hit but when playing characters of a similar height, this mode could be high excitement and very fluid for a late 90s shooter.

I point out “late 90s shooter” because by this point, the ability to look around with the mouse in games on PC and with the left analog stick on console was standard and still is standard. However, those early 90s FPS made you work for it with some difficult shots and enemy placement when the viewing motion was there yet technology-wise.

It’s something that would be mentioned as a feature on the back of video game box art back in the day. Anyway, we’ve praised GoldenEye 007 but what about Duke Nukem 64?

Don’t Sleep on Duke Nukem 64

It’s always easy to look over other contributors to a genre on a console when the star of the show is so good. Duke Nukem 64 is a different deal where it shines purely in the solo mode. The combat is rock-solid and the difficulty is appropriate on any setting. It was standard for games to have their sh** together when it came to the difficulty. The game was as hard as the option you picked.

That’s a discussion for another time. As for Duke 64, this game rocked when set to “Come Get Some” and “Damn I’m Good”. If you have the game or an emulator, I highly recommend playing it on “Damn I’m Good.” The shooting isn’t as tight as GoldenEye 007 but for this title’s map layouts and enemy types, it works.

It would probably be a little easier with 007’s aiming, actually. In competitive mode, Duke 64 was pretty mid. Sure you could lob grenades at your friends and unload with the shottie.but it didn’t feel as rewarding as when you pulled it off in GoldenEye. Despite that it could still be fun for a group of rowdy kids who hadn’t tried out 007.

Duke Nukem 64

GoldenEye Delivered on Mechanics but Duke 64 Had Creativity

I’d say that the only area Duke Nukem 64 clearly outpaces GoldenEye 007 in the creativity department. 007 was a video game adaptation of the 1995 Pierce Brosnan film. While the movie itself rocked, as a game that’s actually nothing special. Actually, game adaptations of films tend to be hit or miss. For the record, another hit was Mission Impossible 64–which was actually a better adaptation than GoldenEye.

Then you had Duke 64 which came in with its own lore of being loosely tied to Doom and Wolfenstein somehow. Now, I could be biased since I love a post-apocalyptic or dystopian theme but this was a fun setting for a FPS. If this was more of a city or world to explore than a series of levels, the Duke Nukem franchise would’ve probably gathered a ton of steam for sequels going forward.

Duke is a series that begs for an open-world action game where you run into all of this lore and the world is actually explained. That’s something that was always lacking with the series and where I have to give it to 007: Duke Nukem was a poorly defined game world in every game.

Of course, it was the 1990s and very little was actually explained in detail when it came to video games. A lot of this stuff was left to our imaginations even with the game art featuring a brief introduction. With that said, there was still more effort put into the creative side of Duke than GoldenEye although GoldenEye didn’t need to do anything extra.

Between the two which did you prefer? Is that a third or fourth entry you would put against GoldenEye 007? If so, share them in the comments!

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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