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GoldenEye 007’s canceled Xbox 360 remake is now playable online

Do NOT pick Oddjob

Goldeneye 007 - James Bond, seen through a spy’s gun barrel, turns and shoots his opponent first. He is rendered to the best of the Nintendo 64’s ability, making him appear polygonal. Image: Rare/Nintendo
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Rare’s GoldenEye 007 on Nintendo 64 was a shooter classic, and many players still fondly remember facing off against their friends in the game’s competitive modes. VideoGamesChronicle reported on a fascinating development for those who wish they could return to the game — a ROM of a canceled Xbox 360 remake is circulating on file sharing sites. Players can revisit the single-player campaign and multiplayer, all remastered — or they can hit a toggle to put things back to the original N64 graphics, which are charming in their blockiness.

On Jan. 29, a YouTube user named Graslu00 posted a two-hour video of the remaster, which showed off the remake in extensive detail. There have been occasional glimpses of this project on the internet since its existence was leaked in 2008, but this was the closest look players had yet. Shortly afterward, the ROM was leaked, allowing people to boot up the game and relive a classic.

Grant Kirkhope, composer on the original GoldenEye, told VideoGamesChronicle that the game was never released to the public because of a complicated knot of copyright and legal issues. “The main reason it didn’t happen was because there were too many stakeholders,” said Kirkhope. “Microsoft, Nintendo and [Bond rights-holder] EON could never agree on terms, and that’s before you even start to consider getting all the original movie actors to agree to have their likenesses used again.”

A similar game, Perfect Dark, was Rare’s follow-up attempt at a shooter, and it owes a lot to GoldenEye. Perfect Dark was successfully remade, and is available on Xbox Arcade. At The Game Awards 2020, it was revealed that developer The Initiative will be creating a new Perfect Dark game.