Perfect Dark Zero

Genre: First Person Shooter
Platform(s): X-Box 360
Allegiance: Rare Ltd.
Vintage: 2005
Rating: T
Intelligence Agency Report by: Dave K
You are Joanna Dark, daughter of famed bounty hunter Jack Dark. You’ve received an assignment to rescue a scientist who was working for Data Dyne but recently went missing, but the mission goes awry when Data Dyne gets involved. Now you’re out to get revenge and to discover just what Data Dyne was after.

Weapons Expert Report by: Dave K 
Overall 7.75
(not an average)
Version Reviewed: X-Box 360 

Rare was definitely a game design company in trouble when they were sold by Nintendo to Microsoft. However, Microsoft decided to give the floundering company a second chance in a big way, as Rare was given the task of designing and creating a game for the X-Box 360’s launch. Not just a game that would showcase the 360’s capabilities, but one that could attract new fans as well. In response, Rare decided to dig into their vault and bring back one of their most popular titles for the Nintendo 64, Perfect Dark, and create a new version of the game for the X-Box 360. 

Perfect Dark Zero stepped up to the plate and showed just how superior the X-Box 360 was over the previous generation of consoles. It is graphically stunning in every aspect. The levels excellent with attention paid to even the small details. The character designs are excellent, especially Joanna, who is not the stereo typical big chested scantily clad woman normally seen in video games that attempt to appeal to horny young teenagers, but rather a much more realistic looking character, with realistic proportions. 

But while Perfect Dark Zero is graphically amazing, the story line is lackluster at best. From the first mission onward I was completely disinterested with regards to what was going on. It’s rather simplistic and dull – rescue a scientist, learn about some weird device the evil villain wants to find, stop evil villain from using this device. They throw in a love interest to try and make it more interesting, but it didn’t work and actually made the storyline less interesting. The story is supposed to be a prequel to Perfect Dark, yet they have nothing in common. 

The gameplay of Perfect Dark Zero is nothing overly revolutionary. As with previous titles, such as Goldeneye, your character is unable to jump. A new feature to the game is that your character is able to duck for cover behind certain objects. When you do this your view switches over to a third person view so that you can see when you’re being attacked from other directions better. The controls handle similar to other first person shooters and they’re easily altered so that controls functions can be applied to whatever button you wish. It also brings a new game style previously seen only in Counterstrike, where you earn money to purchase better weapons and body armour. 

Perfect Dark Zero also strived to have excellent music and sound effects in order to show off the 360’s ability to work with a home theatre system, and it works quite well. There is a decent sound track that fits with the action of the game. The sound effects are done very well with the only issue being the one gun, the Shockwave, which just sounds odd. Finally the voice acting is done quite well. The voices all at least fit the characters, even if they don’t seem entirely suitable for this style of game. 

While not as great a launch title as some past titles such as Halo or Mario 64Perfect Dark Zero will at least be a memorable one, despite its deplorable plot, for how it was able to demonstrate the X-Box 360’s capabilities. As such it is still a game worth owning, especially if you can obtain one of the limited edition copies, because you can enjoy the fancy case too.