‘Perfect Dark’ Shines in Game Remake

Isiah Reyes

The name’s Dark: Perfect Dark.

Some people call “Perfect Dark” the unofficial successor to “Goldeneye 007,” one of the most famous first-person shooters of all time. Other people call “Perfect Dark” the game that defined their childhood with memorable gunfights in the elaborate combat simulator.

Now on Xbox 360, gamers can relive their memories all over again by downloading the “Perfect Dark” port through Xbox Live Arcade for only $10. But for a game that was released 10 years ago, is this remake even worth it?

For many fans who know this game inside out, they’ll be pleased to know that the story of the game has remained unchanged. Just like the original: you play as Joanna Dark, one of Carrington Institute’s most preeminent agents.

The first mission out of 17 requires you to infiltrate the headquarters of dataDyne, an evil defense contractor, to rescue Dr. Carroll. Later on, you’re sent to Chicago where it’s discovered that dataDyne has connections to the Skedar, which are big reptile-looking aliens who can transform and disguise themselves as humans.

The Skedar are in an interstellar war with the Maians, who are peaceful, short gray aliens with big heads, and they have close ties to the Carrington Institute. As the story progresses, the Skedar plan on assassinating the President of the United States and replacing him with a Skedar human-looking clone and. well, as you can see, the storyline meshes into this giant sci-fi thriller.

In terms of actual game play, the controls are almost identical to the original, which may not be a good thing. The main problem is the “rubber band” style manual aiming, where the crosshair jumps back to the center of the screen when you aren’t moving it, making it very difficult to hit anything with good accuracy from afar.

Another thing that is the same is the voice acting from the original. Yes, the president’s funny “I asshume you have some?” line is still in there, as well as the “Why me?!” line that’s said when you shoot down enemies. And of course the awesome fast-paced soundtrack returns fully in-tact.

However, not everything is the same. One of the biggest and most notable changes is the ability to play online. There are six scenarios to choose from: combat (regular death match), capture the case, hold the briefcase, king of the hill, hacker central and pop a cap. All modes are fun and each offers a different way of obliterating the opponent.

The best thing about “Perfect Dark” is definitely the multiplayer mode. The levels are unique, there are many characters to choose from and the weapons are plentiful.

Ah, the weapons. They’re so much fun.

There’s one gun called the Farsight XR-20, which has the ability to shoot through walls across the entire level. The enemies will just walking around, minding their own business when–BAM! Down they go. Another weapon is the Laptop Gun, which has the secondary function to stick to walls and act as a sentry turret. Then there’s the Slayer, which shoots a remote-controlled rocket you can use to fly around and seek players to detonate.

You can play with up to four players via split screen or online with eight human players and four bots.

The cool thing about the bots (known as simulants) is that they can each have their own personality. If you set one as a “Venge Sim,” he will hunt down the last player who killed him. If you set one as “Kaze Sim,” he will do anything to take down the opponent, even in a suicidal fashion if he must.

Other simulant types include “Turtle Sim” (slow), “Rocket Sim” (loves to use rockets) and “Coward Sim” (runs away from confrontations). There are also many more.
Another notable change to this remake is the graphics. It looks much better than the original. The textures are clearer and some of the character’s appearances have changed. Specifically Elvis, the main Maian alien. He looks radically different (And with a head that big, that’s no joke!).

However, the graphics are still outdated by today’s standards. Sadly, the characters still don’t move their mouths when they speak. Talk about outdated.

Speaking of old-school, this port really reminds us old-timers how it used to be back in the day.

First of all, there are no little arrows that point to where you need to go like in current games. Meaning you have to use those critical thinking skills you’ve learned in college to figure out what the objectives are asking you to do.

There are also no checkpoints, so if you die at the end of a mission, then you’ll have to repeat the whole mission over again. If you want to achieve perfection (this game is called “Perfect Dark,” after all), then you’ll have to study the game’s every last detail.

Another thing this game doesn’t have is regenerating health which has become so popular in today’s games. When you get hit in this game, the only way to recover health is to find shields, which are very rare, even on easy mode.

Basically, this game doesn’t hold your hand and coddle you, which is a good thing. Gamers are so dumb these days that any other objective than “make it to the end of the level” confuses them and puts them into the fetal position.

So with all the classic elements of the game still present, and with the addition of smoother graphics, online game play and added achievements, it’s safe to “asshume” that this remake of “Perfect Dark” is definitely worth the $10. In fact, it’s the perfect steal.

“Perfect Dark” was developed by 4J Studios and is available now on the Xbox Live marketplace for 800 Microsoft points ($10).