Perfect Dark review
Well, it influenced Halo! What more do you want!?

The good:

Highly addicting first-person shooting gameplay
A decent range of weapons
Character models look good
Soundtrack is catchy
Sound effects are realistic and well done enough
Tight controls

The bad:

Lagging problems
You need an expansion pack to play this, so there shouldn't be a reason for lag
Some of the color schemes are questionable
Feels inferior to Goldeneye


So this is the fabled Perfect Dark I've been hearing about...It is quite a fun game to play and if you liked Goldeneye, you'll like this game too... Well, let's get right to it!

To begin with, you're exploring some sort of lab and find yourself armed with a pistol right in front of you. Hmm...let's investigate the situation. Apparently, there's this alien invasion, and it's up to you, Joanna Dark, to take down all the aliens before the invasion succeeds and destroys the world or something of that nature...You have to wonder where Halo got its story (...screw it, the entire game) from. Let's hop to it!

In this game, you can either do your missions solo or co-operatively with someone (whether it be a computer AI or your mate). It's nice to know that this game at least includes a co-op mode to the single player campaign (which Goldeneye didn't do [not that it matters] and which Halo did do).

In the campaign, your missions range from rescuing the president to shooting certain guys and even disabling security cameras. Whatever you have to do, you need to finish off as not finishing even one required mission will result in having to start ALL OVER AGAIN!

Don't let your guard down by this - levels are long! Quite huge levels this game hosts. So big that there's a fair amount of backtracking required just to finish off some missions in the levels and access previously blocked areas.

There is a fair amount of stealth needed as enemies aren't that dumb, and are not afraid to shoot at you at point blank range if they have to. Some stealth will help you kill some enemies. Playing this game reminds me a lot of how weak the AI in modern FPS games are, with them just rolling around in their own filth. I pity them! Here, the enemies are relentless and actually require a bit of strategy.

Thankfully, there's also some good old "body hit detection", where shooting someone in the leg is not nearly as effective as shooting them in the head! Now shooting guys in the head isn't just to see all the blood splattering out of them, but to also do the most damage (there isn't much blood, well, not enough for a bloodbath anyway). Bit hard? The R button is your best friend. And speaking of the R button...

Controlling Joanna is easy (unless you're too used to 2 analog sticks... Don't worry, we'll fix that shortly). Using the ONE analog stick moves Joanna, and the C buttons act as the head moving...as in you look up, down, left and right, while the stick moves you forward or back while strafing you left or right. The Z button fires, the B button acts as your action button (it basically opens doors and the like which you'll be doing often), A switches your weapons and R acts as more definitive aiming. Similar enough to Goldeneye's controls? Should be.

Actually, the entire game feels like Goldeneye... Could it be because Rare made both games? Nah... I mean, look at Konami - I doubt Castlevania would feel like Contra anytime soon. There's one logical explanation for it though - Perfect Dark was meant to be a kind of sequel to Goldeneye... Basically, Goldeneye in the future, replacing terrorists with alien terrorists. Wow!

Hell, they even got the difficulty settings very close to Goldeneye's. The differences between difficulties are the quantity of missions and how much weaker you are to bullets. However, enemies take the same damage no matter what difficulty you play. But then again, you start in different areas of the level, depending on your difficulty level.

One more thing that seperates the two games is that Perfect Dark's weapons not only fire bullets, but a secondary set of bullets. The ammo quantity is lower but holy crap, are they more powerful or what...

My main problem is that you can't carry many weapons. With a boatload of weapons, you think you could carry many, many of them, amirite? NO! This game only lets you carry two guns at the most... Oh, come on! I want more! There are more different sorts of guns in here than Goldeneye, yet James Bond can carry loads of guns while Joanna can only have two!? This makes me angry! It'd make a hell of a lot more sense to carry more guns in this game!

The game isn't just shooting bad guys - it also has gadgets, just like in Goldeneye. Instead of having the advantage of being a spy, you're in the future! You'd expect most of these gadgets to be the way they are! Hell, some of them can even be used as weapons! Inventive! Then again, what else would you expect from a sleeper dart...

Final thing I want to cover is the multiplayer. Four player split-screen multiplayer is just the bomb! The menus have a lot of things in it to help you have the ultimate multiplayer experience. I think Halo 3 would be jealous with rage after seeing Perfect Dark's multiplayer (even if it was influenced by this game), because, excluding online capabilities (which N64 doesn't even have to begin with), Perfect Dark's multiplayer is everything Halo 3 wished it had. Many options, many skins, many levels, many weapon sets, many...oh Jesus. There is way more to cover, but you must experience it for yourself. Hell, why are you reading this? This isn't the best way to experience Perfect Dark!

So to break everything down:

Gameplay: 5
Highly addictive yet simple enough to grasp. Mission-based levels and loads of baddies to shoot - get out the guns, it's time to shoot some mofos!

Controls: 5
Tight as it gets and the scheme isn't all too forgettable either. If you're used to Goldeneye, you'll love these controls too.

Story: 5
The story is simple - KILL ALIENS! Simple enough, wouldn't you say? Huh? Actually, it feels more like filler. But then again, no FPS game needs a complicated story to distract from gameplay, so points for that.

Graphics: 3.5
You have an expansion pack, but this thing is lagging here, which is a real problem especially in the middle of a mission! Maybe the N64 is just being screwy... Regardless, the models themselves look good. It just pisses me off when the game lags often.

Sound: 4
The voice acting can feel a little dull at times, but the other sounds (like the music and gun shots) are very well done. You might find a better soundtrack than Perfect Dark's, but it's still a catchy soundtrack to be interested in.

Lifespan: 4
Beat the game in 3 different dificulties, experiment, what is there to do? Oh well, it's addicting I suppose. This took me about 30 or so hours altogether, but trust me, this game gets quite challenging, plus the multiplayer is pretty well done. Get your mates and kill each other.

Funfactor: 4
There's actually a fair amount of fun to be had in this game, especially for fans of Goldeneye. If this is your first FPS game, you will end up feeling right at home since it's not only fun challenging, but easy to learn too.

Bottom Line:
Perfect Dark is NOT a perfect FPS game and is disappointing to say the least (not overrated, just disappointing, I'm sure many other people love this game to death), but it's still enjoyable to play once in a while...oh, and it can be addicting as all hell!


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