Perfect Dark

released on May 22, 2000

Perfect Dark is a first-person shooter video game developed by Rare and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 video game console. It is considered the spiritual successor to Rare's earlier first-person shooter GoldenEye 007, with which it shares many gameplay features. Perfect Dark was first released in North America on 22 May 2000; PAL and NTSC-J releases followed soon afterwards. A separate Game Boy Color game, also titled Perfect Dark, was released in August 2000 as a supplement to the game and allows certain features within the Nintendo 64 game to alternatively be unlocked via a Transfer Pak.

The game features a single-player mode consisting of 17 main missions in which the player assumes the role of Carrington Institute agent Joanna Dark as she attempts to stop a conspiracy by rival corporation dataDyne. It also features a range of multiplayer options, including a co-operative mode and traditional deathmatch settings. Technically, it is one of the most advanced games developed for the Nintendo 64, with an optional high resolution graphics mode and Dolby Surround Sound. A Nintendo 64 Expansion Pak is required to access the game's campaign and most of the multiplayer features.

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Used to be my most favorite video game of all time.

While not as popular or influential as its predecessor, Goldeneye, Perfect Dark certainly has its fans. I am not really one of them, so I don't have a whole lot to say about this game. Ok, byeee!
I have little reverance for this one, probably due to me skipping it when it released uhh, 23 years ago!? Jesus Christ. Of course, when collecting N64 games I knew I had to pick Perfect Dark up, as it's still a fairly iconic (if late) entry in the system's library. Not that it means much, the Nintendo 64 was so bereft of worthwhile games that the hurdle to collecting them is cost, not quantity. Point is, I finally possessed a copy that I paid real money for, and if you've made it through any number of my N64 reviews, then you know what that means: I've. Gotta. Finish iiiiiiiiit!!
Unfortunately, it just didn't land the same way with me that Goldeneye did. It's a fine game, but I think there's something to be said about Goldeneye's simplicity, and how Perfect Dark with its greater number of moving parts sometimes trips over itself. Some of the mission objectives just aren't that compelling, weapons just don't quite feel as good... About the only thing it really excels in over Goldeneye is its inclusion of voice acting and stronger focus on storytelling. Of course it looks better, too. Rare really wanted to push the graphical capabilities of the Nintendo 64 with Perfect Dark, and their efforts did result in one of the better looking games on the system. It also resulted in an absolutely atrocious framerate, and while Goldeneye is itself a far cry from "acceptable" in this regard, Perfect Dark bottoms out so much that a lot of the game feels like it's being played in slides.
None of that is enough to get me to hate the game, but it does make it difficult to fall as deeply into Perfect Dark as I'd like to. Some people feel very passionately about this one! I mean, I can kinda see why. There is some appeal to being able to hang out with a funny little alien. I love Elvis. Everyone loves Elvis. But there's just a bit too much here holding Perfect Dark back, and considering I lack the necessary amount of nostalgia to look past its faults, it just ends up being a very average - at times outright mediocre - shooter for me.

Perfect Dark habe ich damals herbeigesehnt wie kaum ein anderes Spiel. Die Preview-Screenshots in diversen Spielemagazinen habe ich mir bestimmt stundenlang angeschaut. Als ich dann endlich das Spiel in den Händen halten durfte, habe ich jede Minute genossen.
Perfect Dark ist ein enorm umfangreicher Shooter, der technisch absolut alles aus der Konsole herausgeholt hat und jedes verdammte Feature des N64 unterstützt hat. Die Missionen sind extrem abwechslungsreich, die Locations könnten vielfältiger kaum sein. Meine Lieblingsmissionen dürften die Carrington Villa und die Air Force One sein.
Genial finde ich die Idee, das Hauptmenü direkt spielbar in das Carrington Institut zu packen - unnötig, aber sehr faszinierend. Zumal es optional ist, aber wenn man sich drauf einlässt, gibt es viel zu entdecken, und man kann eben dort schon einige wichtige Figuren aus dem Spiel kennenlernen. Nicht zuletzt hat man dadurch später, wenn sich das Spielgeschehen tatsächlich in das Institut verlagert und man dort aktiv kämpfen muss, einen tatsächlichen strategischen Vorteil, was der Immersion enorm hilft - nicht nur die fiktive Joanna Dark kennt sich dort natürlich aus, weil sie dort arbeitet, sondern auch wir als Spieler. Das ist einfach sehr geschickt verpackt.
Nicht vergessen darf man bei dem Spiel den großartigen Score, den ich mir damals auch auf Audiokassette aufgenommen habe. Kann man sich heute immer noch sehr gut anhören.

Goldeneye 007 was a bridge to a new philosophy of design and direction. but I have always understood that game more as a proto hitman(?)
-Seeing the state of the later fps that based their structures designed on the scripts to lock the player in a "moment to moment" of constant cinematographic linear stimulation, or in a constant return to emulate or restore the boomer shooter again .. I find this game very admirable.
seems to be more dedicated to its gelatinous and exploitative -almost parody- internal logic about how a spy should proceed in a video game, taking into account the most bombastic pop aesthetics and packaging it in a shooter.
-For me it works because it seems to reject to a certain extent the idea of ​​levels as simple arenas or mazes where you can get lost to kill and score points and decides to focus on making the environments seem like places of certain spatial and functional logic within limited possibilities. Environments where gadgets play a tremendous role btw
but at the same time, as I said, the game knows that it wants to be a shooter and
It puts a lot of emphasis so that corners, stairs and doors are always hot spots for firefights in close quarters.
And I think that's the point, the diegetic excuse of the spies takes you away from hellscapes and battlefields to get into laboratories and rooms that replace the labyrinths and arenas of the most past shooters.
-Here I enjoy every shootout that more often than not seems like an archaic Gun-Fu confrontation in which I am vastly superior to my opponents - especially in the xbox360 version-
There's something very well built about Perfect Dark's gunplay that stands out in corner play. Taking cover for yourself, pulling the trigger a couple of times to shoot in a controlled manner at enemies that Joanna Dark targets almost automatically within the frame, reloading with that animation... It all adds up to articulating a fantasy of tactical action that if Holds a moment to moment with room to breathe