Perfect Dark

April 14, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Posted in Articles, Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Ask most gamers over the age of 16 or so the defining question ‘What’s your favorite classic game?’ And the usual reply is ‘GoldenEye!’ for the Nintendo 64. A little while after GoldenEye, and Rare took things even higher with their totally new IP, Perfect Dark. Based around a female spy this time but sprinkled with some creativity and ingenuity that has put Perfect Dark at the top of where most First Person Shooters inspiration comes from today.

After a massive battle over the rights of GoldenEye, Perfect Dark managed to see the light of the Xbox Live Arcade to bring joy to the old fans, and remind everyone else of how good this game actually was, and still is.

The story is set three years after Perfect Dark Zero. Joanna has taken up working with Carrington as an Agent and is one of the highest ranked spies working under Carrington Institute. Joanna is sent on a simple mission to extract a scientist known as Dr Caroll from that of a rival defense contractor, Datadyne only to learn things run much deeper than anyone could have thought.

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What really makes the games story stand out most is how large and diverse the levels are. Some missions are split into sub chapters, each with their own missions to achieve. The game follows GoldenEye in the sense that with knocking up the difficulty comes more objectives to complete in your mission. This style of adding to the difficulty is a great way of opening up the level even more. With unlocking certain doors you may have just walked on by in an easier difficulty, or even giving you access to an entirely new area and new weapons.

Things you do in some levels can affect the next; a good example is of a 3 part Mission later in the game. The first part being at an airport. If you put your weapons in a briefcase and onto a conveyor belt, your entire load out you had on you will then be available when you sneak onto Air Force One, in the following mission. From that, in the Aircrafts cargo bay, you’ll find a Hover bike. Lower this before the end of the level and in the following level, you’ll have a Hover Bike to use, which is handy being one of the larger and open ended levels in the game! Its things like that, which can be done on easier difficulties even if its not required by your objectives that really adds such a depth to how you play through the missions, keeps them interesting each time.

Very much following the style of GoldenEye (quite rightly being its successor) the game has a simple and very easy to pick up feel about it, especially for a First Person Shooter. The game has a subtle auto aim which will become quite helpful when in sticky situations along with your impressive weapon load outs.

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Now, there’s a weapon for everybody in the game, from pistols to throwing knifes, to alien laser guns to deadly accurate assault rifles, the sheer amount of weapons is only overshadowed by the fact you have a secondary fire with each. Meaning there really is the perfect weapon for you with fire modes which you can use for your playing style. Secondary fires in Perfect Dark however doesn’t mean ‘burst fire or single shot’ secondary fires mean depending on your weapon you could melee, turn your assault rifle into a turret, a threat detector for turrets/mines and more. Each weapon has its own individual and sometimes unique fire, which can be switched between at the tap of a bumper. Taking your time with each weapon, learning how it works and what its secondary fires are really pays off and taking that time is easy with a multiplayer I personally still feel is one of the best accommodating Multiplayers in any video game.

The reason I stand by that statement is due to the sheer amount of options you have within it. Technically, the game has tons of options to fiddle around with, so it’s definitely worth having a gander at not only just the menu’s on both the game itself and the multiplayer so you can really make it YOUR game and suit how you like to play.

To give you a good idea of how customizable and creative you can get with creating multiplayer matches I’d say the only game that’s ever done just as well is Halo or Timesplitters 2. The only thing PD trumps it on is the bots.

Something I sorely missed after moving onto newer games and consoles were bots. Only really ever brought back in games like Timesplitters, bots gave you not only a chance to hone your skills, but just something challenging to play against whether on your own or with friends.

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The bots can also be given distinctive personalities to really mix things up. The set-ups are quite basic to begin with, but by playing the Challenges (either alone or with 3 other mates) you can unlock plenty of more bot personalities and the ability to have more in a level. Maximum of 8 bots, add yourself and 3 other friends in the mix. And you’re in for some big fun. Just don’t forget the explosives!

With general HD re-vamps the game is a lot sharper, this however shows in the lighting. The game had quite strong lighting (all lights can be shot out mind) and now with the HD bloom to it, the lights feel even brighter, which is good…if you like headaches.

The HD revamp also comes with cleaner looking character models, including bodies and faces, including a few faces you may see making other games, Peter Moleyneux and co?

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The games main-story will have plenty to run through as Perfect Darks ‘Perfect Agent’ difficulty is notoriously hard. Not only that, but there’s plenty to just keep you coming back to it. Along with fully co-op playable campaign and a very rare game type Counter-Operative in which your mates will have to stop you from finishing the level!

There are also the little hidden things including weapons that could be described as the Golden Gun, but that’s all I’m saying about that. There’s also new to the arcade version some secret crowns to earn in each level. These are specific requirements in which you must usually get hold of a hidden weapon in the level and use it. They are pretty challenging, so you’ll have to do a bit of searching on the internet to find out what to do!

On top of that there’s the endless fun that is the multiplayer and challenges to complete. If that’s not enough, there’s a shooting range and cheats to find and unlock by finishing levels in record times and just having a little wonder around Carrington Institute in your down time.

Perfect Dark also likes rewarding its players, with a record 20 achievements (still only adding to 200 gamerscore) there are also gamer pictures, a theme and avatar clothes to earn whilst playing!

Perfect Dark is back and finally getting some well deserved Xbox Live attention. With enough GoldenEye weapons and some multiplayer levels to keep even the GE>PD fans happy. Its one of the best, defining and groundbreaking First Person Shooters. Perfect Dark hits the arcade and gives some of the current shooters a run for its money. Speaking of, value for money on this game is an incredible steal at just 800 Microsoft Points, why haven’t you got this game yet? And why aren’t Rare getting on and making a true sequel?!

9.0

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