Perfect Dark

On Xbox Live Arcade

A review by

Trey Fuquay


            When I originally heard about Perfect Dark being re-released as a downloadable game on Xbox Live, I just about fainted from the excitement. I’d get to re-visit one of my favorite all time FPS games, play the classic game, and kill off meat sims for sport (You know you did it too). I’m happy to say that it does not disappoint. The game is just like I remember it, with a bit of a face lift, and the amazing added online multiplayer. However at the same time, it does just feel like the same game. For those like me this isn’t a problem, but this certainly was meant more for the fans like me than new comers.  So with that all said, let’s take a more in depth look at Joanna Dark’s adventure from back on the N64, Perfect Dark.


            First of all, let’s just go ahead and get this out of the way. This game was put out on Xbox Live for the fans of the original game. If you’ve never played Perfect Dark, then I can’t say that you’re really missing a lot. With all the new FPS titles out there, you would probably be better off going for one of those instead. However there may be some who are curious enough to try it, or are the fans of the game from when it was on the N64 who will appreciate what they have done with the game. The new graphics face lift while nice, isn’t anything to be too excited over. Perfect Dark shows its age with dated graphics, and at times somewhat stupid AI. Personally I found the game a lot easier this time around on the Xbox 360 controller. However I also found myself at times just feeling bored and like playing this game again was a bit of a chore. This being the problem sometimes with going back and playing older video games, at the time they may have been amazing, but now it does feel a bit lack luster for the day and age.


            With that done though, let’s take a better look at why it is still worth the points to download this game. Beyond enjoying all the old features and goodies within the original game, online multiplayer has now been added. So now instead of just putting in a bunch of random stimulant bots to stalk down and eventually kill, you can actually team up with or play against your friends. Or go into a quick match, and find other Perfect Dark fans playing the game. A few annoying glitches pop up from time to time, including the annoying ability to place a small human head on the small alien bodies to make a much smaller target (if you don’t know how I won’t tell you in my review). However it delivers an enjoyable multiplayer experience, no matter if you play online, or in classic split screen mode with your buddies. Not to mention being able to find online buddies to do the challenges with helps a lot in getting those done instead of on your own.


            The original sound track is intact, which is a big plus for me as I loved the music in this game. It did a great job of putting you in the special agent mode, and fit into the scenes rather well. Though I wouldn’t have complained if they had re-cast the voice actors, and put in some different things for the guards to say but I’m nit picking a bit there. The graphic overhaul isn’t anything to be super impressed with, but it does make playing the older game much easier on the eyes. Can’t tell you how many times I wanted to go back and play some older games, but the older graphics just did a number on my eyes that they wouldn’t have before. Shows how one can be spoiled by the times I guess.

            My biggest complaints are ones that I had from when I first played the game. The manual aim is a bit sticky, and sometimes easy to over-correct. While the auto-aim feature doesn’t always seem to want to work, but when it does you’ll be landing dead on body shots. I also had trouble figuring out the proper zooming with the sniper rifle, since on the N64 version you used the four directional ‘C’ buttons and those are quite obviously absent from the 360 controller. The storyline is also a bit of a stretch, but what story involving aliens isn’t really? Though the involvement of the aliens does bring about my favorite gun in the game, the infamous Farsight. Add in some proximity mines and a Laptop gun in sentry mode and you’re well on your way to getting a good few kills. At least until someone else picks you off with a Farsight of their own.


Sadly due to this being a re-release of a game there isn’t a whole lot that can be said. Looks better, plays a bit easier, and the addition of the online multiplayer was well worth the price alone. Perfect Dark is a satisfying game, especially to the fans of the original. If that’s you, then I strongly recommend picking this one up. If not though, then you may wish to pass it by. I love it, but my opinion is a bit biased from having loved the game so much when it first came out. For now I’m going to go and make a team of all meat Sims for me to mow down. Hope you all enjoy the re-release of a classic FPS game, and as always, keep gaming.


Final Verdict: 8 out of 10