- System: Xbox 360
- Publisher: Microsoft
- Genre: fps
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Year 2020. Before the Skedar Invasion. Before the promotion at the Carrington Institute. A young Joanna Dark sees herself immersed for the first time on a spiral of conspiracies that could endanger the future of the deplorable future society. Still being a mercenary of uncertain convictions, Joanna is still far from her heroic profile as a perfect agent. The events that she will be forced to experience will lead her to a dilemma that will decide her future and forge his personality. As both she and her father Jack are being harassed by a new force that could unleash chaos. This time, for Jo, it won’t be just saving an anonymous world, but to preserve what gives her humanity before turning into the cold and merciless Perfect Dark.
As splendid as it looks is shown the last Joanna Dark adventure, after five long years since her premiere with Perfect Dark on Nintendo 64 and having got through GameCube, Xbox and finally Xbox 360. In the time between one game and the other, and without taking into account the Game Boy game, a new generation of videogame systems was born and two have disappeared, they’ve got time to launch Conker and to remake it, and even Rare itself has changed their godfather as they became part of Microsoft Game Studios. Too many years that generated too much expectation. These expectations were added to the ones that the original N64 game rise. Seeing how things went, Perfect Dark Zero faced the hard and doubtable challenge to become the perfect game.
Looking for the perfect multiplayer
Being an action title by Microsoft, Perfect Dark Zero stands out again for its multiplayer capabilities. Xbox Live possibilities have always been one of the main selling points on the videogames department at Microsoft, and PDZ, knowing its precedents, was always a great candidate to exalt those possibilities up to the unreachable. That’s why Rare didn’t want to let anybody down on this aspect.
Nothing less than 32 people can play simultaneously on the same scenario. And also, these matches can be played via online or by the traditional way, having also the possibility to include bots controlled by the CPU on both cases. And to evade the scenario’s saturation having so many people, it’s possible to modify the level’s size to adequate them to such a vast amount of people.
Apart from the classic death match, Perfect Dark Zero offers a new kind of gaming, more tactics, inspired in Counter Strike: Dark Ops. Here we have to accomplish certain objectives assigned on rounds by teams which members have only one life, starting with limited equipment and organized before the game starts. It good to know that, in order to help team cooperation, there are exclusive channels where each member can communicate with the rest of the team. Although the effort to avoid gamers from finding locations or plans goes far beyond, as even on the radar will only feature those characters making enough sound to be discovered. And by fortune, it’s the end of the ‘instant death’ phenomenon after resurrecting near an enemy. On Perfect Dark Zero there are special chambers where we can get some equipment before getting into the match again after being killed.
A total of 22 weapons are available, with the return of some must-have ones from the original, new evasive and defence movements absolutely intuitive (pressing A is the only thing you need to crouch, stand or roll), new vehicles (among them a jetpack), and new gadgets to add to classics such as the data collector.
Conspiracy on the net
After years of silence and lack of informations, the first general look at Perfect Dark Zero on the eve of the 2005’s E3 couldn’t have been more disgusting and confusing. A week of stange images rain marked the beginning of May, during that week we got to see up to half a dozen different Joannas, born from different designs and development stages. After a few days, players from around the world were able to see a bunch of screen captures and artworks, on which we could find things such as the game cover, its multiplayer version, its new adventure mode or even its first steps when it was an Xbox title. Nothing new, but exaggerated, as Microsoft used the same strategy of disconcert when, after the official announcement of Rare’s purchase on the X02 event in Sevilla, they unveiled some renders that belonged to a first stage of development of PDZ in GameCube. In any way, reminding the world that Joanna was still there is what counted, especially after a lustrum since she disappeared and never came back.
Despite all of this, Rare always had optimistic voices about the game’s development. Duncan Botwood, originally out of the development team, came back alongside Mark Edmonds to the Perfect Dark universe by Microsoft initiative. It mattered little that both GoldenEye veterans had said that they were tired of FPS games, as the future of the most awaited shooter of the XXI century and the new Xbox were in dispute. This way the team that was originally lead by Chris Tilston was modified and the biggest development team that Rare had ever united was born. A group of people that also worked for some years on three different systems.
Bootwood re-confirmed this colective concern about creating the perfect game: “We don't want to release anything and hear that we're not happy with it.” In reference to the huge expectations, he stated that they were doing “everything” they could “to make a good game that we want to play ourselves,” to which he added that “the quality has to be as high as we can possibly get it.” Great expectations for the first big shooter on Xbox 360. 2005 marked the change or the debacle. The return of Perfect Dark.