Dual Eyes Cooperative GoldenEye Review

Check out our video review:

GoldenEye 007 was a groundbreaking game for the 64. The local multiplayer was extremely popular. You know what would have been cool, though? If you could play through the campaign cooperatively with a buddy. Well there is a mod out there called Dual Eyes that adds coop functionality. It can be played on an actual 64 and we tried it using the EverDrive and found it to be unplayable. The frame rate takes a big hit which is understandable. The mod does work on an emulator and the frame rate takes a shit with that as well unless you use an emulator that can run the game at sixty frames per second. So that’s exactly what we did for this review. We played through the mod using the 1964 emulator that was designed to run GoldenEye at sixty frames.
The mod changes the main menu so you can select a level, choose your character, change your controls, and aiming style. You can also adjust your health which seems to set the difficulty. Multiple players or controllers are required to even start playing through a level and apparently Dual Eyes does support up to four players. Each player can select one of multiple characters before starting a level and you need to hope you both don’t spawn in the same spot otherwise your stuck. It happened to us multiple times, forcing us to restart the levels. There is a cheat menu that allows you to enable various cheats, although many of them don’t work. We played through the mod twice. Once normally and again with cheats just for the hell of it.

Players can move around and shoot, pick up weapons, and interact with things. Unfortunately, friendly fire is a thing. If a player dies, they can respawn. You don’t have access to the watch and even if you fail an objective, you can usually complete the mission anyway. We discovered that if a player does die, they sometimes aren’t able to get back to where they were due to a door being locked, possibly requiring another player to open it if they can get to it from the other side. The mod is a bit buggy. The readme file will list some known bugs so do expect the experience to be a bit broken. Apparently dual-wielding weapons will break the game and you’re unable to drive tanks. Despite the bugs and issues, the mod is functional and can be quite enjoyable.
We downloaded the mod from the N64 Vault website and it comes with a file labeled “Part 1” which leads us to believe or hope there is a “Part 2” somewhere or it’s being worked on. One of the links from a Google search indicates a “Pack 2” was a “bit further behind” but the link itself takes you to the N64 Vault home page. So we can’t even confirm if this “Pack 2” is what we think it is. I bring this up because the level select menu does not contain every level. However, we found a video on YouTube that shows off the mod with levels that don’t seem to be available in the version we downloaded. So either the video is a lie, teasing a different version, or we just missed something. Unfortunately, the readme doesn’t mention anything about missing levels or how to access them. The information on the mod page indicates this version is Remade as in another version was available and apparently it was very unstable.

We were able to play through and complete most of the levels that were readily available from the get-go and you can play through them in any order. There are three “Random” level slots and all of them seem to do the same thing. They select a random level. The levels are laid out exactly as they are in single player except now you’re playing through them with additional players. You can still interact with characters and acquire certain mission items but failing an objective does not mean you fail the mission. You can often just head straight to the exit and then you’re taken back to the main menu. You can kill all the scientists, kill Natalya, kill each other, and still complete missions. Needless to say, the mod does make getting through the levels extremely easy.
We did play through this first using Project 64 before switching to the 1964 emulator. The mod seems to be configured to run in widescreen which you can set in the standard game but the menu and HUD appear to be stretched. The gameplay looks fine for the most part. It looks like GoldenEye being played on an emulator. Because the game is being played at a higher and mostly stable frame rate, some of the enemy animations look weird and fast. But enemies moving at different speeds is also mentioned in the mod’s readme file as a known issue. The mod doesn’t really do anything to change the audiovisual presentation. The music and sound effects are the same as in the standard game. On the technical side, Dual Eyes is quite broken. As mentioned before, we would sometimes start a level in the same spot, forcing us to restart, there are some obvious visual glitches, and the game crashed on us multiple times.

From what we played, Dual Eyes is a mod that needs work. But we had fun. It was fun running around with a buddy shooting enemies. Dying wasn’t that big of a deal and we didn’t have to worry about time limits, rescuing people, or protecting Natalya. In fact, you can shoot her right in her fucking head and still complete the mission. But in all seriousness, it’s broken. If there’s another version out there or way to play through all the levels, we’re not aware of it and our biggest complaint is the lack of information regarding the mod itself. It seems incomplete. Our Google searches did not come back with a lot  of links to sites that reference the mod. Information seems limited.
Ultimately, we had fun with Dual Eyes. It would be a lot better if it was more complete but if you’re just looking to play through some GoldenEye levels with one or more friends, give this a shot. It’s broken, it’s flawed, and if you don’t play it on an emulator that can run the game at sixty frames, you may be in for a slideshow of an experience but it is a free mod so there’s no reason not to check it out if you’re at all interested.

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