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Perfect Dark is now, unbelievably, a decade old- but does the N64 classic still hold up after all this time?

Posted by Staff on Jun 17, 2010 14:21 (Jun 17, 2010 14:21)

Written by: Ian
Still Perfect?
"Perfect Dark" is now, unbelievably, a decade old- but does the N64 classic still hold up after all this time? At the time, it was one of my favourite ever games, and I put at least 100 hours into it, so when I saw that an updated version would be released, I was obviously stoked.
The story still holds up well to be honest, which most old games don’t! The voice acting also helps, which is still decent.
Basically, you get a big, evil corporation, a futuristic setting, a British secret service agency, and captured alien technology- which plays out over a pretty huge single player, which is still definitely worth playing through.
Perfect Dark is a fairly traditional FPS- there’s no cover mechanic- but it seemed revolutionary at the time- with secondary fire modes, talking enemies, tiered missions, and alien weaponry (particularly the farsight, which automatically found enemies, then let you take them out, through walls). It’s less so now, but many more modern FPS games could still take a leaf out of Rare’s book.
Perfect Dark XBLA screenshot #1
There’s just so much to do. As well as the 10 hour single player, which has dynamic objectives across the three difficulty levels, you can walk round the Carrington institute and speak to the employees and also take part in a training sessions on the firing range or holo-system. Then there are the challenges to do on the multiplayer levels, and the fact that you can play the game co-operatively, or in the innovative counter-operative mode, which pits one player as an agent and the other as a bad-guy trying to stop Joanna.
For the mere price of 800 MSP, I feel like I could easily sink another 100 hours into Perfect Dark, even if some aspects haven’t aged well, particularly the pathfinding in the single-player missions.
Perfect Dark XBLA screenshot #2
The controls, which again were limited by the performance of the N64 at the time, as so much more improved now that you have two joysticks- although especially on the lower difficulty levels there is a more than generous amount of auto-aim to help you out. All the little improvements mean that after 10 years, you can finally play the game the way that it was meant to be played!
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Perfect Dark
Xbox Live Arcade

ESRB - Mature 17+: Titles rated M (Mature) have content that may be suitable for persons ages 17 and older. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
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3395. F1 2010
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3396. Perfect Dark
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Perfect Dark
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