Perfect Dark Zero

Perfect Dark Zero

Overview

After all the hype, after all the controversy, after all the promises, the Xbox 360 has been released, and along with it has come a very big launch lineup. Launch titles may not be a fair yardstick on how the console performs, but it does make an impact. Today we are going to check out, by far, the most anticipated game of the Xbox 360 release. This game comes from Rare a studio who has been famous for making great innovative titles. The game is Perfect Dark Zero and the big question is, can the game live up to the hype? Read our full review to find out!

Gameplay

Some may wonder why it is that Perfect Dark Zero has gotten so much hype. Well the main reason is because there was once upon a time a fantastic shooter called Perfect Dark and was created for the Nintendo 64. This game really took the shooter genre to whole new levels by offering one of the most immersive and enjoyable shooters of that generation of video games. The game brought with it quite a large following that has stuck with this game until now with the release of the Xbox 360 and the prequel to the smash N64 hit, Perfect Dark Zero.

One of the key elements of Perfect Dark Zero that was so impressive was the storyline, which have you playing as Joanna Dark, one of the coolest spies you will ever see, who had to go through a lot of trouble to save the day. Now this game Perfect Dark Zero takes place before the events in the N64 blockbuster, where you get to see how she became a part of Carrington Institute. The story in this game is really a very engaging, and expands the whole story arc quite well with a ’next-gen’ feel.

Alright so the story is good but what made Perfect Dark great was the gameplay. This is really where Rare needs to come through again in order to make a great game. Perfect Dark Zero has two entirely different games in one. You have the single player experience and then you have the multiplayer experience, which is honestly very different. Starting with the single player you will find right away that this isn’t your typical FPS. This game moves at a much slower and realistic pace, and therefore you just have to be patient with the game and things will start to come together. The actual gameplay itself just didn’t feel as new or innovative as I would have hoped either.

When playing Perfect Dark Zero, I have to say that I was really hoping for just something more. When I played through the single player, there were a few things that I was hoping for and mainly just a new feel to a shooter. Sure the game moved a bit slower and had some neat gadgets, but the game just became rather tiresome after a while. I also felt as though the game could have tried to mix things up more, and keep you from having to do the same thing over and over again. With that being said, the single player was still good but not great.

Now the big excitement of Perfect Dark Zero was of course the multiplayer, and this to be where the game comes through in a big way. The multiplayer is a very different experience from the single. Not only do you have a bunch of different multiplayer options, but you also have co-op, which allows you to play through the single player with a friend online. This experience really enhances the single player experience and really is a lot of fun. The games online are just picture perfect and mostly lag-free.

The multiplayer experience in PDZ is just very complex, very diversified, and just an enjoyable mode. The game doesn’t do anything overly revolutionary, but then again it is one of the most enjoyable games to play online on the 360. So boil this all together and you may not have the gameplay marvel that was Halo for the Xbox, but it is still a great feeling game that is just a lot of fun to play.

Graphics

You would expect in a game like PDZ there to be plenty of graphical beauty. Although there are some great visual qualities to the game, it also has some unfortunate downsides as well. The visual quality of this game does have some next "gen" feel to it. I think this is most apparent in the environments, which have a lot going on in them and are fully decked out with detail. The game unfortunately doesn’t do as well on the character models, as these are just nowhere near as impressive and just don’t consist of the same great detail that you would hope for.

The game moves at a very good smooth pace, which is of course a good thing, and fortunately doesn’t suffer from any frame rate issues or anything of that nature. I was impressed with the game’s visuals, but at the same time, I wasn’t blown away by them like I was with Halo on the Xbox. You can see Rare put a lot of time and hard work into them, but you also see room for improvement.

Fun Factor

Like I was consistently stating throughout the gameplay portion of this review, Perfect Dark Zero’s single player just didn’t have the depth that I was really hoping for. When I look at the potential of the single player, I just see so much more than what we were given. Granted this is not a bad single player, it was just I was hoping for more. The multiplayer end of things picked up its fair share of the bargain, however with great co-op and just a very fun and smooth playing game that has so many options it will keep you busy for quite sometime.

Overall

When I look at Perfect Dark Zero I see a good solid game that was unable to match the hype that was surrounding it. This in no way shape or form is a bad game, but I also felt like there was more they could have done to take it further. If you liked the original game or really just want to check out a glimpse of what this next generation console is like, then check this game out. It’s not perfect but it is still a ton of fun to play.

The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.