Perfect Dark Zero

a game by Microsoft
Platform: XBox 360
Editor Rating: 8/10, based on 1 review
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 2 votes
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There aren't many games with a pedigree like this one. Perfect Dark is one of the classic titles, with fantastic gameplay that proved to many that the N64 was a system worth playing. In development hell for years, Zero, a prequel to the famous original, was originally bounced around as a Gamecube title, and then finally landed as an exclusive title for the Xbox 360 launch. It's been developed for years, but was the time really worth it?

First, I'll say that I have a love/hate relationship with this game. As I usually like dispensing bad news, I'll start by complaining about the storyline. It's really substandard, with mediocre voice acting. For gameplay, there are two serious problems. Many of the areas in this game are simply cluttered with gorgeous graphics. Combine that with a poor system for showing you who is killing you (and what direction they're coming from), and you've got a game that makes it really hard to find a target. In addition, it's actually really hard to search out many of your mission objectives, as there's no good path flow. In addition, the onscreen help (a waypoint and path system) doesn't actually appear until you've trundled around a bunch.

Now that my bitching is out of the way, I can say that this is ultimately a good game. Weapon loadouts are easy to manage, giving you a certain amount of inventory to work with, and numerous fun weapons. There's a different path through the game depending on your difficulty setting, which means you could actually play through the game a couple of times, and that's before you get to co-op mode. Co-op mode gives each character a unique experience, as you actually take different paths through each level at various times.

Multiplayer deserves a special mention, as for launch titles, it's this or Call of Duty 2, in humble my opinion. A normal deathmatch mode is accompanied by a counterstrike like mode called Darkops, both of which provide a really satisfying online experience. So satisfying is the experience, that you'll forget that some of the multiplayer levels aren't laid out that well, either being way too big, or sardine tiny. Take that with a grain of salt though, because you need to remember that this game is designed to support 32 players, so I'm a little harsh, having not played in too many epic games yet.

Finally, not to forget, this game looks really really nice graphically. I'm impressed with the quality of the Xbox 360 graphics, and with the complexity of some of the design in Perfect Dark Zero, it seems to take good advantage of the capabilities. In short, it really looks like a next-gen game.

All in all, I have some sizeable reservations, but this game is still well worth the full purchase price. With replay value like this, and lots of multiplayer, how can you go wrong?

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