GoldenEye homage Agent 64 has left me shaken and stirred

First things first: There's no multiplayer. Sometimes you can't have everything, but what you can have is a shot on the newly released demo of Agent 64, a lovingly crafted homage to the Nintendo 64's classic GoldenEye—which is very long-in-the-tooth now, but probably remains the best James Bond game ever made.

The game is out in early access later this year, was shown during the PC Gaming Show, and developer Replicant D6 intends to release with three story missions, and add more missions episodically until its launch proper. The missions are structured like GoldenEye, with multiple difficulty modes that mix-up and add objectives, and that goes for more-or-less everything about Agent 64.

If you think these screens look a bit fuzzy, for example, that's because the game applies a visual filter that makes the display vaguely reminiscent of a CRT. The aesthetic follows the blocky layouts of the N64 original, and incorporates elements that are instantly familiar: I had to smile when, halfway through the demo level, I had to drop into a toilet cubicle.

Agent 64 shooting some enemies.

(Image credit: Replicant D6)

GoldenEye was built for an N64 controller, and elements of its gunplay echo through into a Agent 64's M&K configuration, such as holding the right mouse button to 'fine-tune' your aim. Certain elements of combat have been tightened-up, so you can fire faster for example and hip-firing is perhaps more effective than it should be, which gives this a breezy and pacy feel that suits this kind of tribute project.

As a player, you just want that dopamine hit of the once-treasured experience being relived—but often such projects get bogged-down in exact recreations. Agent 64 feels like GoldenEye, it looks like GoldenEye, and it's built like GoldenEye. But it's also sensible enough to realise that following the template too precisely would probably be to its detriment as a contemporary experience. If you have any affection for the N64 classic, Agent 64 will leave you smiling.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."