Gamespot / Rare

Okay, now the bad news: This port is pretty barebones and basic. We knew before today that the Xbox port would lack online multiplayer—only Switch is getting that—but since its release last night fans have found other shortcomings, too. To be clear: If you just want to experience GoldenEye again for a few minutes—which I think is true for probably 70% of people who’ll be trying this game out this weekend—this Xbox port is fine. It still supports the classic split-screen multiplayer, too (do you still have your cardboard screen divider?). However, if you want to spend more time with it or have played the original game endlessly, maybe even via emulation, you’ll likely be disappointed by some things.


For example, the game is locked to 30 frames per second. According to the devs behind the port, this is because the original ROM code is being used to emulate the game on Xbox. Which makes sense, the original game was designed to run at 30fps. However, fans have figured out ways to break this cap and for years now people have been playing GoldenEye 007 on PC at twice the framerate. And watching footage of one of these fan-created mods points to another issue in the newly released Xbox and Switch port: low-res text. It’s hard to read how much ammo you have left because it’s so fuzzy. Oddly, in-game assets look better and sharper. Again, this is a problem fans fixed years ago.

Other issues involve weird audio bugs, incorrect decals and textures, and noticeable rips and seams in the geometry when walking around levels. The devs behind this port suggest this is just a result of the game moving from SD to HD and that many of these issues are present, but harder to spot, in the original N64 version of GoldenEye. But GoldenEye fan projects like 1964 GEPD have greatly reduced flaws like visible seams in the level even when playing at 4K.

GoldenEye 007 on PC using the 1964 GEPD mod

Some especially diehard GoldenEye 007 fans are asking for an update to patch the game, improve it, and fix some of these issues. But that’s unlikely to happen as it seems outside the scope of this project, which more or less appears to be focused on simply getting GoldenEye running on modern hardware using the same N64 emulation tech developed for 2015’s retro compilation Rare Replay.


Ultimately, while I’d love for this port to get some more enhancements, like 60fps support, I also understand that, given the legal baggage the game’s saddled with, it’s kind of a mini-miracle that GoldenEye 007 is playable at all on an Xbox console. If I want more bells and whistles, I know where to go and how to get it running on my PC. But if I just want to chill out on the couch and play some GoldenEye for a few minutes, this new port will do just fine. And maybe one day that awesome-looking remake that leaked in 2021 will officially see the light of day…