Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Goldeneye: Lipstick and Blusher Agent

I was playing with a couple of friends on Xbox Live last night (one of whom is responsible for the play-on-the-word-rouge in the title). We played Halo 2, and Project Gotham Racing 2, and Rainbow Six 3 - in the last, we even managed to complete a level, which was quite amazing for us, given Kieron's propensity to get lost and my propensity to die. Then we decided to go and try Goldeneye: Rogue Agent, which we all have due to the genius that was the senitel weapon in Nightfire. There's no senitel weapon in Rouge Argent.

Anyway, we went online, and found that we were the only people in the world playing the game. Three of us. Never mind; we're quite happy to blow each other up, shoot each other, and try and activate a pit as the others walk over it.

But we couldn't. Unless there's some hidden option which we've entirely missed, it seems that each map has a fixed number of people that are needed to play on it. Unless there are that many people, the game won't start, and while you can go around and kill others and pick up weapons and so on, it won't keep score.

There are three maps on which you can play with two players. For the rest, you need at least four. There is no map you can play with just three players. None of us has ever seen anyone else playing the game online. As a result, 90% of the game's online content is utterly useless and will never be played by anyone.

It's a shame, as some of the arenas look quite interesting. There's certainly been some care put into the way they were designed, and there's a fair few good ideas floating around. If I were one of the level designers, I'd be feeling amazingly downheartened knowing that due to iditoic decisions made by the game design team, my maps could never actually be properly used.

Good job, EA.

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