It is finally here, after many years
of waiting for it, Perfect Dark Zero has finally landed. It is amazing the
changes that this game has gone through since it was first announced and the
biggest of the changes is the platform it finally was released on. This game has
graced three consoles now: GameCube, Xbox, and finally the Xbox 360. Now that
this game has finally been released, how does it stack up, and is it the killer
launch title that Microsoft was hopping it would be? Read on to find out the
answers to these questions.
Perfect Dark Zero is a prequel to
the game that was released on the Nintendo 64 so many years ago. The game puts
you in the shoes of Joanna Dark as you and your dad try to complete various
missions. The players find out that you are sort of bounty hunters in a way but
it has a really “James Bond” feel to it, and that could be due to the games
roots: Golden Eye. Either way the story will have players going on various
missions trying to complete objectives such as covering Jack as he tries to
escape to many other weird and outlandish missions. Are you up to this
The developers at Rare did a good
job with many things in this game. One of the best things that I really liked
was the gun management and the implementation of the guns. For instance you
can’t carry a rocket launcher and then a laptop gun, your inventory is not big
enough for this. So when you are playing through the game you will have to make
decisions on which guns you think will be the most useful to you in the
up-and-coming situations that you will face. Another good thing about the guns
is that each of them has a second use which ranges from silencer, sentry turret,
grenade launcher, and various other inventive ways to use the guns.
One thing that I thought was very
interesting about this game is that your running speed depends on which gun you
are carrying. For instance you can’t carry the M60 and expect to go sprinting
throughout the level taking out any enemies that come up on you. No
if you are using bigger guns you will expect some lower speed while running and
the opposite is true if you are using more of the pistols. So this is a trade
off – do you sacrifice speed for power and vice versa?
The biggest annoyance in this game
is the lack of a jump button. I don’t know what the reasoning is behind this,
but in this post-Halo world there needs to be a jump button. While playing it
for the first time I kept hitting all of the buttons trying to find it and
nothing. Instead of a jump button to avoid enemy fire players can take cover
behind objects or do a quick roll to hopefully get out of the line of fire. The
problem with the quick roll is that if you time it wrong you will take some
pretty hefty damage. Even though there is no jump button all of the alternatives
that you can do in the game are really nice and gives you a really good idea of
how to craft a nice strategy to play with against an enemy.
I know many of you are wonder: what
about the graphics? Well let me tell you that the graphics for Perfect Dark Zero
are really good. The developers really dug into some of the power of the Xbox
360 to produce some of the visuals and special effects that you will be seeing
in this game. This is magnified even more so if you own an HDTV and play it in
the higher resolutions. Everything in this game is brimming with details and it
is the gamers who truly benefit from this. Each and every gun that you will get
to fire in this game has its own unique look and feel to it and it really
separates it from the others.
The environments that you will be
doing your various missions on are really nice and varied, and are also brimming
with details. While playing through the game you will be going through
snow-covered places, then deep in the jungle, various high-tech buildings, and
many more places. The best part is that when you first start off in a level it
will look all peaceful but that will not last very long. By the time you are
finished, the place will be riddled with bullet holes, pieces of shrapnel
everywhere, and bodies that will be littering the place. Then when you start
using heavy artillery you will be in for a nice treat as the explosions for the
game are out-of-this-world realistic looking.
Another thing that the developers
implemented really well is the rag-dog physics. Once you kill various enemies
you will see them slump down in various ways in weird positions depending on the
location where you shot them and how close in proximity you are to them. It is
funny and at times it is distracting to see the different positions of the
bodies that are littering the area that you doing battle in. The enemies will
even recoil when they are shot, and will react differently as well. It is a
sight to behold and shows the power of this next generation of consoles.
The audio for this game is really
out of this world, especially if you have a Dolby Digital 5.1 setup. In many of
the mission you will not have your handy-dandy radar to help you find the enemy
positions. Since this is the case you will have to rely on what you hear in the
game; if you hear gunfire from one area then you know what is about to happen
and you can prepare for it. Sadly the voiceovers for this game are a mixed bag;
some of them are really good and immerse themselves in their characters, while
other voices are plain annoying. I don’t know if this is due to the voice actors
or if the dialog was just poorly written. Either way it does get annoying.
The music for this game is really
good as well. While playing through this game the music will carry you from
mission to mission as you are trying to accomplish your goal. The developers did
a really good job with the implementation of this. The multiplayer doesn’t
contain any music, but never fear since this game is on the Xbox 360 just hit
the nifty Xbox guide button, select some music either from your hard disk or on
your mp3 player and viola instant music. This is really a great feature, and the
game becomes that much more enjoyable as you are blasting your friends or total
strangers on Xbox Live while jamming out to your own music selection.
The multiplayer for this game is
really nice and there are a lot of options available for players to participate
in. The biggest mode is that player will be able to play co-op with a friend
sitting next to you or online with a stranger. The game becomes a lot more fun
when you do this as you relive the moments with another person, also this adds
some more strategy to the game seeing how you will need to get out of various
Besides that there are two different
multiplayer types – standard death-match games and then dark-ops games. The
standard death-match games include: death match, capture the flag, and
territorial gains. If you have ever played Counter Strike then you will know
what to expect with dark-ops. In this mode players will have a stockpile of cash
and they will have to purchase weapons with this money, the longer you stay
alive then more money you will receive to buy better weapons. There are a
various different gameplay types that you can play with in this mode that will
keep you entertained for quite some time.
The best thing about the multiplayer
in this game is that if you can not find enough people to play with all you have
to do is add some bots. I really enjoyed this feature and wish many other games
would add this in … *cough cough* HALO *cough cough.* This makes the game more
interesting with more players in the game and a lot more challenging as well.
Even thought you can adjust the bots difficulty level, they will not be as fun
as playing with more humans, but it is a great place holder till you can gather
up some more friends..
Perfect Dark Zero is rated Mature
for blood, violence, and language. It will take 100KB for game saves.
If you have played the Nintendo 64 original, or
any first-person shooter game, then you will know what to except out of this
game. The game is really fluid and runs at a high frame rate. What I liked about
this game is that the weapons that you carry will affect your speed, just like
it would in real life. My only question for the developers of this game is:
Where is the jump button? Even though this was a slight annoyance to me, the
game is still a blast to play.
Perfect Dark Zero, Xbox 360, and an HDTV are a match made in heaven.
With this setup you will see the reasons why Xbox 360 is a next-generation
console. The graphics are really gorgeous, and it just will leave you wondering
if this is what a first generation game looks like for the platform, what will
be in-store for us when developers really get to know the hardware.
I really liked the soundtrack for this game; it really works well with
the theme that this game carries. While the some of the voiceovers are decent,
others are not so good. The sound effects that are heard throughout the game are
really realistic and sound really good, especially if you have a Dolby Digital
5.1 system to immerse yourself in while playing it.
Perfect Dark Zero has an adjustable difficulty level before you take on
each mission. Each level will add its own variety of challenges, which makes the
game fun and accessible for all types of players.
What I really liked about Perfect Dark is at the time there was really
no “futuristic” first-person shooters, or if there are it is so far out in the
future it becomes not that fun. This game strikes the balance and really made
things interesting, especially with the gun selection.
Playing with friends either online or offline is a blast. I really
liked that you not only can play death match-type games but this game also has
some co-op play that will drain many hours of your life. Not only that but if
you do go into death match games you can add bots to play against. This is a
great thing because many times you will not have enough people to play with
online or at home so you can add some bots.
What people want to know is Perfect Dark Zero this generation’s Halo?
Sadly, the answer to that question is no. That does not mean that the game is
bad by any means, this just means that the game has room for improvement. Don’t
let that statement distract you as you will have a blast playing Perfect Dark