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Perfect Dark

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Reviewed by Jason Plonka If you are in to video gaming, even the slightest bit, then you have heard of Perfect Dark. Though the game came out just a couple of days ago, the frenzy has already started. As you know Perfect Dark, or PD for short, is a First Person Shooter that is trying to put your Goldeneye cartridge in the dust. With all the hype you must be wondering if it lives up to the expectations, if the framerate is really that bad, or if it is worth the money. Like all hit games this game has several high points, whether it be story, guns, sound, or graphics. Perfect Dark has some excellent features, take a look at some of them:

Graphics: 10 out of 10

When news of Perfect Dark first surfaced the graphics were what was really in the news. We have expected the best and Rare has done its best to give us the best. All characters, guns, and levels look outstanding. Every gun has a unique reload animation, and the characters have several death animations. The lighting effects are what really stands out, unlike Goldeneye, in PD if you shoot out all the lights in a room, the room gets darker. Things as small as this don't really account for its excellent effects, but the bigger things like the way the ground reflects, the way the nightvision goggles look, and also the effects from explosions. Another great point of the graphics is the characters themselves, with several bodies and faces you have tons of people to see, to meet, and to shoot. PD has just some excellent graphical features, like Goldeneye when you shoot blood stains their clothes, in PD blood stains the walls, the ground and their clothes. Yet another high point is that bullet holes stay in the walls longer, bodies stay on the ground much longer, in fact they can stay for minutes, once the body is gone the blood stains are still their, for the custodian has not come yet. But what brings PD down is the dreaded word framerate, the framerate has been in the news for quite a while know, and it is still a problem. Not a big problem but it does get annoying. In specific areas and times the framerate slows down and gives the game a choppy feel.

Music and Sound: 10 out of 10

PD's sound is top of the line, never have I seen better on any N64 game. The voices of Joanna, to the voice of Elvis, the alien that helps you, all sound so real it will surprise you. But what makes the sound so great is that the people talk when you shoot them, they plead for their life, curse at you, or my favorite is what they say when their gun doesn't work. The simple fact is sound makes a big influence and Rare has put a little gold in this one. Some enemies yell "What the heck" when you take their guns. The music has that familiar Goldeneye sound to it with a bit more of a techno influence, and if I'm not mistaken, there are some tracks from Goldeneye in PD. Sound effects all sound realistic and many of them are from Goldeneye. You will feel right at home playing this semi-sequel.

Game Challenge: 10 out of 10

This game is hard. Agent and Special Agent are for wimps, but Perfect Agent is the toughest difficulty mode I've ever played in a 64 game. The Enemy AI in this game is superb. Bad guys will do just about anything to rid the world of you. The only think you can do about it is to run, or bust a cap in theirs. Certain missions have "Scary Grenade People", as I call them, and are pretty much suicidal. they will pull the pin on a grenade and run after you with it if they can't shoot you. I could go on and on and on about the AI in this game, but I won't. Just play the game and you'll find out what I'm talking about. The multi player challenges are easy up to number 20. Then they start to get hard. REAL hard.

Game Play-Fun: 10 out of 10

PD has some of the best game play I have ever seen. PD has objectives that make you think before you pull the trigger. Sometimes you may not start with a gun at all, but with your fist, this makes you be cautious so that you can sneak up on someone and steal their gun. Some missions are as simple as exit the building, some are as hard as finding and retiring the presidents clone or uploading a virus in Area 51's computer system. The game makes you use your brain, use your weapons any way you can. Got a Dragon, but no ammo? 5 people coming down the elevator, what do you do? Throw it down and the proximity mine kills them all, then take their guns. The combination of Mission Impossible style missions, the weapons of Turok, and the enjoyment of Goldeneye all rolled up together and you have one real fun game. Quote: Weird Al "Shoot first and ask questions later"

Replayability: 10 out of 10

The replay value of this game, as far as I can see, will never be surpassed. The multi-player mode alone is large enough to keep you playing for months. There are different stimulants, which are computer-controlled characters. These stimulants can either help you or harm you, depending on what you choose. There are also many different types of stimulants to choose from. The MEAT Stimulant is the weakest character in the game. They run randomly around and their accuracy and artificial intelligence is very weak. On the opposite end, a PERFECT DARK Stimulant has an artificial intelligence that will cause them to hunt you down, and stalk you until you have been killed. Other special stimulants include the VengeSim, which will take revenge on anybody who kills it during the game. A JudgeSim has a strong sense of justice, and will attack any player who appears to be gaining an advantage. There are many stimulant to choose from. The multi-player game also contains old stomping grounds from Goldeneye. Including the Complex and the Temple. There are many more that must be earned by beating the challenge multi- player missions. Another great feature that will increase replay value is the number of weapons included in the game. There are about forty weapons to start out with, and each of these weapons has a secondary feature, effectively doubling the number of total weapons.

Game Value: 10 out of 10

This game has broken all boundaries and will raise gamers standards to a new level. With incredible graphics, play control, replay value, and sound, Perfect Dark is the perfect game to own. Very highly recommended, and for close to $70.00, a must buy for happiness!!!

Multi player: 10 out of 10

Like multi player levels. Now I have to hand it to RARE. Every level is different from another. No two levels are the same. But some of them are pure crap. Like Pipes and Car Park. In all seriousness, if you like these levels, you have problems. And the three level ported over from Goldeneye. Temple, Felicity, known as Facility in Goldeneye, and Complex. Temple looks kind of like the one from Goldeneye but with small differences. I can't name them all and I'm not saying that it's a bad thing. But it's not a total port from Goldeneye. Felicity is, but the major problem with this level is that if this were a woman, she'd have way too much makeup on. Same lay out but it no longer looks like a military bunker, it looks more like a doctor office. It looked better the other way. And now for Complex. Complex is the true port. Nothing has been changed. I didn't like this level in Goldeneye. Too many corners, hideaways, and lookout for a one on one battle. But now throw in 4 or 5 stimulants and this level is the bomb. And not to say that Perfect Dark did not have it's own levels. Villa, Grid, and Ravine, my favorite. I won't go into these levels, even though they are all great levels. I just wish they had ported Severnaya Bunker. That level was the best. This was never a problem in Goldeneye. All levels were cool and unique

Overall: 10 out of 10

This game rocks. Rare has outdone themselves with this game. Around the internet, people have been complaining about the framerate. Don't worry about it!!!! At no point in this game is it ever any worse than Goldeneye!!!! Fans of Goldeneye will love this game, and even people that don't like 1st person games should give this game a big chance.

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