GoldenEye 007 for the Xbox 360, as captured by Rare Thief
Thanks to some serious legal gymnastics, the video game makers at Rare have been able to re-release a lot of older software they made for other companies. That includes a ton of the games made while the company was part of the Nintendo "second-party" family in the '90s. The exceptions have been held back due to legal clearance issues and copyrighted characters, and none seems more legally thorny than the legendary GoldenEye 007. Companies like Nintendo, Activision, and MGM all have legal claims to this movie-gaming mess of licensing.
Those legal issues didn't stop a team of Rare developers from remastering the 1997 N64 classic from the ground up and prepping it for launch on the Xbox 360. The existence of this unreleased remake has been proven out by leaked image and video snippets over the years, but we've never seen anything quite like Tuesday's megadump of information: a full 30 minutes of GoldenEye 007 running on debug Xbox 360 hardware.
The footage, captured and posted by gaming history site Rare Thief, contains both campaign and multiplayer gameplay. This Xbox 360 version appears to retain most of the original's aspects, including level design, mission structure, sound effects, and low-poly geometry. The "remastered" aspect comes primarily from wholly redrawn textures and added graphical flair, such as better-looking skyboxes and extra bits of geometry. The video shows an on-the-fly graphics toggle that lets players switch between N64 graphics and redrawn graphics at any time to really see the difference; this function also appeared in both recent Halo game remasters. The other obvious improvement: a silky smooth 60 frames-per-second visual refresh that far exceeds the original game's 20 FPS in campaign mode (and even lower performance in split-screen).