GoldenEye 007 is being ported to Switch and Xbox, but these re-releases of the Nintendo 64 classic have notable differences in features and modes.
Fans of James Bond video games and FPS titles in general can rejoice, with the classic Nintendo 64 shooter GoldenEye 007 now finding its way onto modern consoles. This includes not only the hybrid Nintendo Switch but also Microsoft’s Xbox family of systems. Despite both being based on the N64 classic from 1997, there are some notable differences between each version.
From graphical power to notable modes, there are a lot of elements that separate the two ports of the decades-old game. These include where and how they’re played, with the availability of one version likely drawing the ire of some gamers. Here’s a look at the differences between the Switch and Xbox versions of GoldenEye 007, and how these make one version the better buy of the two.
The Nintendo Switch & Xbox Versions of GoldenEye 007 Aren’t the Same
For those who wish to play GoldenEye 007 on the Nintendo Switch, it won’t be as easy as simply downloading it from the Nintendo eShop. Instead, players will need to subscribe to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pass, which gives them access to classic titles from the Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, and the Sega Genesis. This subscription service has been lambasted by gamers and critics alike, especially given that the quality of Nintendo’s online functionality is largely seen as inferior to that of its rivals. Ironically, the Switch port will be the only one to support online multiplayer. Also, it’s arguably expensive for such a sub-par service, making many still bemoan its handling.
Even though the Xbox version of GoldenEye will be without online play, it will boast the console lines’ well-known achievement system and superior resolution to the original release. It’s also locked behind a subscription service, with Xbox owners needing to have either an Xbox Game Pass subscription or own the Rare Replay compilation that came out in 2015. In the case of the latter, the original GoldenEye 007 will then be available free of charge. The Xbox version also contains the classic campaign mode and support for dual analog sticks, plus the local split-screen multiplayer mode that originally put it on the map back in the N64 days.
The Xbox Version of GoldenEye 007 Is Better – But Just Slightly
Both ports of the N64 game have their pros and cons, and those wanting a seamless return to their GoldenEye glory days will be in for a rude awakening either way. This is something that many gamers might feel can be dealt with, as the game had forever been locked behind legal issues and other problems when it came to being ported to new hardware. Still, given all the missing and new features in each version, there’s a definitive superior among the two versions.
In the end, it’s the Xbox port of GoldenEye that offers the best value, as it features numerous control options, upgraded graphics, and the classic campaign mode. Sure, it lacks online multiplayer, but it makes up for this by basking in nostalgia. Physical “same-room” multiplayer was what made the game such a hit, and the re-release was always going to appeal most to the gamers who played it when they were younger. Thus, reliving these memories in the most literal way possible might not be such a drawback. Similarly, those who didn’t grow up with GoldenEye can go back and play it as it was, allowing them to see just what the hype was all about.
The Switch version may offer online play, but that’s about the only advantage it has among the two ports. Said online mode and the game as a whole are locked behind a much-criticized subscription service, which some might cynically see as a roundabout form of marketing for the service. For those who want to play GoldenEye as they remember it, but with some enhancements, the Xbox version is definitely the way to go.