It finally happened. After years of rumours, legal deadlocks and an almost infinite amount of red tape, Golden Eye 007, Rare’s accidental N64 masterpiece, is finally free. The game, in all its hard-hitting N64 glory, will be released on Game Pass and Nintendo Switch Online on January 28.
The game has been updated to run in high resolution and at a much smoother frame rate, a godsend for those of us who remember when it ran at around 15 frames and was the size of a postage stamp. This will be especially beneficial in the game’s four-player split-screen multiplayer, a mode dubbed down to single frames on the original hardware.
On Microsoft platforms, the game is only coming to Xbox Game Pass at this stage. Apologies to the PC players. Maybe it will eventually find its way to you. Golden Eye 007 will also launch on Nintendo Switch Online the same day as part of the N64 library. That version won’t be as fluid as the Xbox port, of course, because the Switch simply can’t match the Series X|S on hardware.
However, the advantage of the Switch version is that if you have the wireless N64 controller, you can play the game as it was originally designed. As someone who has unlocked every cheat code the hard way on my old N64 cartridge, I can only imagine what a breeze it will be to check it all off with an Xbox controller. Play it with an N64 controller and remember how hard it was to beat this game, I beg you. That we unlocked anything with it is a damn miracle.
Someday someone will tell the story of how this port made it to modern consoles. I look forward to hearing about it.
Golden Eye 007 drops for Xbox Game Pass and Nintendo Switch Online starting January 28.