Video games have certainly come a long way since 1997, and first-person shooters on consoles in particular have made significant technological strides in that time. Gone are the days of button-based aiming and shaping your hand into a claw to fire your weapon, but there’s something unquestionably classic about Rare’s Nintendo 64 masterpiece GoldenEye. And though a complete remake of the game for the Wii failed to attract much attention last generation, it looks like a much more faithful version almost saw the light of day.
YouTube channel Rare Thief — the channel’s logo is literally a padlock with the Rare symbol as a keyhole — released more than 30 minutes of footage that it claims is from an unreleased GoldeneEye remake for Xbox Live.
The footage might not appear stunning by today’s standards, with some muddy textures and ugly environments, but it’s impossible to deny that it’s a big step up from the original 1997 game. As with Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the game would have let you switch between the old and new visuals on the fly, and the new engine would run at 60 frames per second.
Luckily, there are several aspects of the GoldenEye remake that remain unchanged from the original. From the “pew pew” sound of Bond’s classic silenced pistol to the grunts of Soviets hitting the snow, it’s enough to make you yearn for the days of playing the game in your old living room while eating Lunchables and sipping Capri Sun. Wooden boxes and alarms still erupt into a massive flame if you shoot them a few times with your gun, and the game even included the game’s “Big Head” cheat. Multiplayer also makes a return, along with a few new maps, though Rare Thief notes that the remake would have also included an option to make all characters the same height.
GoldenEye remains one of the best first-person shooters of all time, with its classic Bond style and stealth segments still holding up in 2016. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ll just have to live with the classic Nintendo 64 version for now.