...Actually, don't. Instead, let's celebrate this occasion with one of my favorite video games of all time, Perfect Dark! This game comes from a genre I don't hold much love to, so it's obviously something special if it managed to hook your buddy, jaded old Phil! See why I love Perfect Dark so much with my review!
You're really on the mark, Ms. Dark.
I'm a bit of an old fart when it comes to certain gaming genres. For instance, the first-person shooter has come really far as a genre, especially this past decade. However, I still enjoy the basic gameplay of games like GoldenEye, and yes, the subject of this review, Perfect Dark. There's something special about how these games were designed that make them preferable to me than something like Halo or Call of Duty-- though I'm not saying both of the latter series are totally similar. To this day I find Perfect Dark one of the greatest first-person shooters around. It's a philosophy and foundation that developer Rareware had that makes this game still so enjoyable to me that we don't see in first-person shooters of today. A real shame, too, as I'd probably love and play the genre more if more games went the Perfect Dark route with its design.
Perfect Dark has the lead Joanna Dark, an up and coming special agent for the Carrington Institute on her premiere mission, an extraction at the DataDyne Corporation of a person of great interest, Dr. Caroll. What follows is a (pardon the pun) dark scheme and conspiracy that runs all the way to involve the presidency and two alien races. The story unfolds throughout the single player campaign in cutscenes, and these are relatively acted out okay. No big expense was given to the voice actors, as most are from Rareware's own developers. Still, it's an engaging enough story with some clever dialogue sprinkled in to keep players hooked if the missions don't do so themselves.
However, this is probably impossible, as the missions in the single player campaign are absolutely superbly designed. Unlike the majority of first-person shooters out today, Perfect Dark uses an objective-based mission system instead of the typical corridor shooters available en masse on the market nowadays. Levels feature split paths, multiple ways of completing missions, and plenty of ways to succeed and fail at the many objectives in Joanna's missions. Sometimes the objectives can feel a bit obtuse, making the player a bit confused as to what he or she actually needs to do to succeed and complete them. However, most of the time one can simply pause the game and read the mission briefing details to get a better idea on what needs to be accomplished.
|A secret agent always has to dress the part, right?|
|Though I'm starting to think Joanna's finding |
dressing up for missions to be a bit stimulating.
|Play cooperatively with a friend...|
|...Or turn a friend into an enemy with the Counter Operative mode.|
There is also a myriad of guns that feel excellent to hold and unleash death with. There are assault rifles that second as grenade launchers, fly-by-wire remote controlled rockets, a gun that takes the form of a laptop which can be tossed onto a wall or ceiling to be used as an automatically firing sentry gun, combat knives that can either slash into or be chucked into a foe's flesh, a gun that can enter an enemy into psychosis, flushing drugs into them that makes them turn on their allies, and so many more awesome guns. The creativity in the weaponry is only rivaled by the Ratchet & Clank series, which is high praise, if not a weird contrast-- one mature shooter and one cartoony action-platformer.
|From shotguns to high capacity machine guns,|
Joanna Dark has a license to kill and thrill.
|Yes, even some GoldenEye relics have returned|
for Perfect Dark's multiplayer madness.
Perfect Dark is one of the Nintendo 64's best looking games, and it's because of the expansion pack that so much content is available. For those without the necessary peripheral inside their Nintendo 64, most of the game is locked away, so it's really important to acquire that accessory. Meanwhile, the Nintendo 64 version can suffer some tremendous slowdown at times, putting the game in single digit frame-rates at times. The Xbox Live Arcade version is in full HD, offering little in the way of slowdown. Its controls take some getting used to (it is particularly hard to move at maximum speed with the default controls), but overall it is the better version. Both versions utilize the same extraordinary soundtrack that switches between regular and action-packed versions of themes when the action gets intense.
|Not exactly dressed for this sort of thing, is she?|
[SPC Says: A]