Review by Icy Guy

"Step into the dark for something perfect. (BLAH! That was bad.)"

After numerous delays, near the end of May 2000, Perfect Dark made its entrance into the world. Gamers all around the world were wondering: ''Will it be better than GoldenEye 007?'', ''What will it play like?'', ''What will the music sound like?'' (OK, maybe that was just me) and ''What will the graphics look like?'' On May 23, 2000 the game was released. People were stunned by many things: the gameplay, the graphics, the Combat Simulator mode, the music, and the M rating. Read on to find out why...

Story (7.75/10)- The only reason I gave this score is because I've seen better with the likes of the Syphon Filter series. It goes something like this (somehow I avoided spoilers, because this is something similar to what appears in the manual): You, Joanna Dark, drop into the dataDyne skyscraper to extract some scientist dude with the alias ''Dr. Carroll.'' So you do just that. Then you find out some info about some conspiracy, and that's where my storytelling segment ends. It gets interesting, but I won't add any more spoilers.

Gameplay (9/10)- This game was revolutionary in that it pioneered the introduction of computer-controlled players (''Simulants'') into a frag fest, allowing for a single-player multiplayer-type mode. Those Simulants have varying behaviors and sometimes cheat (Rare even said so). It was called Combat Simulator. You can customize anything, from the various scenarios, guns, arenas (coughcoughfacilitycomplextemplecoughcough), game speeds (like Slo-Mo), limits, and teams. YES! Teams!

Single player is pretty good, but you need the Expansion Pak. The enemies are smarter, although they can't seem to hear gunfire very well. They will do everything they did in this game's predecessor (roll, sidestep, jump, among other things) and more things. They will call for backup, punch you, kick you, belly crawl, search for you, and actually shoot over railings this time! Death animations are nice (and a bit realistic) and usually entail your foe moaning (''Ah! I'm dying!'') and toppling over into a puddle of bodily fluid.

Guns are cool, but if I said too much, I'd start a spoiler. Each gun has 2 functions, which is nice. Ever want an assault rifle capable of rapid fire and grenade launching?

Graphics (7/10 w/out Expansion Pak and 9/10 w/Expansion Pak)- The visuals in this game are sweet for an N64 game! (I don't care what one reviewer says: you should always take into consideration what the system is capable of.) The smoke doesn't hang around as long as it did in GoldenEye 007, which is a nice break. Blood looks nice, as it is a rich maroon as it splashes against a wall. The frame rate is good until you kick the game into High-Res mode- it takes a large shot. Still, the light glare and gun reflections look nice, as well as the cinemas.

Music (10/10)- I don't know how Grant Kirkhope is so consistent with his tunes. The music can only be described as ''sweet!''. It is basically techno with some strings. (It sounds better than you think.) Just when you expect more techno during the credits, you get an excellent...[Note: Script Error.];). Go buy the soundtrack: you won't regret paying for those 2 discs (NP sells it).

Sound (9/10)- Finally! Voice acting! There is a great cast, with varying voices (you'll hate your friend's voice; kinda like Jar Jar for PD). Your enemies even talk, although it isn't always clean. They'll ask their friends to cover their ''butt,'' call you another word for a female dog, and use a saying synonymous with ''block it.'' All the voices are pretty clear. The gun sounds are sweet (listen to those magnums!), and the sounds of empty shells clinking on the ground are just as sweet. Are you sure this is a cart?

Control (10/10)- Excellent. In the default setup, the stick moves, C Buttons control sidestepping and looking, B reloads and opens doors when tapped, B activates your gun's Secondary Function when held, A changes guns, and Z shoots. Pretty easy, eh?

Multiplayer (9/10)- A real gas. It's fun playing with 1-4 friends against computer players, but you can mix and match the teams for neverending fun. You can even mix and match bodies and heads! Create your own setups for more fun!

Replayabilty (9.5/10)- You'll want to do the levels over and over to get the timed cheats, which are pretty cool. You could also go through the levels to improve your times in the hopes of joining the PD Elite. Then there's Combat Simulator if you get bored with everything else (you can create setups resembling a certain bullet-dodging movie). More replayability than you can shake a loaded Magnum at.

Buy or rent?- Buy if you feel you can handle it. I'd advise renting it first, but then you'll turn on the Paintball mode (makes blood multi-colored) and Language Filter to get past that stuff, giving you a game well worth $40.

Overall: A darkly perfect 10 out of 10.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 09/12/01, Updated 09/12/01


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