Perfect Dark Zero

April 26, 2006 · Print This Article

Probably the most anticipated launch title of the Xbox 360, Perfect Dark Zero has finally arrived. After the original title became an instant classic on the Nintendo 64, the sequel has seen a rough road indeed. At first, there was speculation that the game would hit the Gamecube since Rare still worked for Nintendo. However, Microsoft made a decisive move and purchased Rare, attempting to bring games such as this to the Xbox. Countless delays ended up pushing the game to the Xbox 360, and ended up making it the premier Xbox 360 launch title.

Despite this rough road to release, Perfect Dark Zero came out as a surprisingly good final product. Many games that see such an incredible amount of delays and problems usually turn out unimpressive, to say the least, but Perfect Dark Zero breaks this trend and ends up being a solid game with good fundamentals.

Arguably the biggest surprise with Perfect Dark Zero is how truly incredibly it looks. Since the game was originally scheduled and designed to be an Xbox release, it was widely expected that the game would probably look only a little better than a standard Xbox game. This, however, is simply not the case. Perfect Dark Zero looks absolutely gorgeous in every regard.

Sure, it has a few kinks and hindrances, but on the whole Perfect Dark Zero is a fine tuned product in its graphical department. The characters were expertly designed and the animations for them were given great attention. The lighting was well done, and the environments are extremely populated, detailed, and, therefore, very impressive indeed. Most importantly, the special effects look gorgeous and give the game that finished, polished look.

This polished presentation matches the polished gameplay very well. In fact, the amount of time it took to get Perfect Dark Zero to store shelves is clearly reflected in how much detail was spent in developing the graphics and the gameplay of the game. Although the gameplay isn’t unique by any means, it is highly refined and polished, and it controls like a dream. The core fundamentals are all right, making it an enticing product.

One thing that fans of the original game will notice is the more realistic weapon assortment in Perfect Dark Zero. Although it still has some great, deadly guns, it doesn’t nearly have the assortment of alien and outlandish guns that were in the N64 predecessor. These guns, however, are absolutely perfect for the game. The design of them is incredibly refined and they work and look incredible. From the muzzle flash to the final product of a dead enemy, everything about it is just amazing.

The AI and storyline in Perfect Dark Zero are designed purely to complement the action sequences. The firefights in the game are incredibly fun and engaging, but the AI and story aren’t necessarily impressive. On one hand, the AI actually fits since gamers won’t find them overly difficult. Difficult AI would have made the hectic firefights very frustrating indeed. Also, the story exists, but it isn’t exactly gripping. It is there merely to escort you into your next fun gameplay sequence in the story.

The audio department of the game complements the graphics and gameplay absolutely perfectly. The special effects in the form of gunfire and explosions sound wonderful and these excellent sounds actually make the visual counterparts look even more impressive. The voice acting is also solid and carried out very well, partly making up for the lackluster storyline in the game.

Perfect Dark Zero is absolutely filled with replay value. The cooperative mode will keep many players and their friends coming back, allowing gamers to revisit the game and play through the campaign with a companion. After that is completed, gamers can take their skills online and square off with more than 30 players in a variety of original and fun gameplay modes via Xbox Live. Really, the Xbox Live online mode of the game is probably the best aspect of the game entirely.

Perfect Dark Zero may not end up being a classic like the original, but it is still a solid game that holds its own. It has good gameplay fundamentals, beautiful graphics, wonderful sound, and limitless replay. Simply put, Perfect Dark Zero is well worth the price tag.


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