Nintendo 64
Perfect Dark

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Sound:
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Overall:
6.89
7.02
6.93
6.98
Votes: 55
Reviews: 5


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Reviewer: Rambo Date: Jul 12, 2022
I have been an fps-obsessed gamer since the moment I laid my eyes on Wolfenstein and Goldeneye. I spent many hours on a great many of fps titles with Perfect Dark being among the earliest games I have played and beaten. Despite time, age, and succeeding generations of graphically superior fps titles, I still return to Perfect Dark. It's not out of nostalgia or blind reverence for Rareware; rather it's simply out of love for how good this game is and always will be.

Graphics: 9
At the time Perfect Dark had some of the very best graphics among 5th generation titles, however it has obviously aged not so gracefully like mostly everything released from that era. Still, it holds up remarkably well and its impressive just how beautiful and varied this game looks. There are many different levels and geographical locations with some impressive physics to boot. Depending on where you shoot an enemy they will react differently to each disparate wound, and enemies can lose their guns as well if you shoot their hands. And if you shoot an enemy fast enough while they're seated on a chair or sofa they'll slouch over where they were killed. For a game without rag-doll physics it proved that it was not necessary if death animations looked and felt responsive. Even when you shoot enemy AI in the head their heads will jerk backward. Additionally the destructive environments really enraptured me when I was younger. I'll never forget running and shooting enemies through shelves of glass bottles in Carrington Villa. It was viscerally intense and exciting and felt truly ahead of its time.

Sound: 10
The music, dialogue, gun and environmental sound effects are terrifically immersive. For the time it was a benchmark for comprehensive sound design, and despite 22 years having now passed it's still superb. Cutscene dialogue is very well paced, albeit campy at times, but gameplay dialogue is timeless with lines I still quote to this day. Ultimately however the music and gun effects are the strongest audio elements to Perfect Dark with impeccably crisp, sci-fi sound design.

Gameplay: 10
Where do I begin. The campaign is among the top five or six best fps experiences I've ever had. Gunplay is intense and objectives are challenging and memorable. The sheer innovating aspects of the gameplay alone is incredible: alternate firing modes, portable turrets, makeshift gun mines, xray rail guns, spy drones, hovercrafts, intelligent companion AI, a free-to-explore headquarters, Cooperative/Counter cooperative campaign modes and responsive combat physics and terrific enemy AI. I wish younger generations could play this game before they play too many modern titles. It's simply amazing what Rareware was able to achieve in singleplayer alone. And there was multiplayer too.

The multiplayer foundation set by Goldeneye was revamped many times over. The addition of bots was absolutely mind blowing at the time. I spent countless hours playing by myself in 5 v 5 matches of king of the hill and team death match. You could customize your bots and equip AI with unique fighting styles and personalities. There was one bot called "peace sim" whose sole fighting style was running around the map and disarming opponents. You would be in the heated firefight and out of the blue emerged the lab-coat Dalai Lama karate chopping your team and rendering you defenseless against gun totting foes. There was just so much customization and variety to multiplayer that it was never the same experience twice. There were also multiplayer challenges to complete to unlock characters, maps and bots.
In sum Perfect Dark's singleplayer and multiplayer gameplay is absolutely legendary and is still very fun and better than most games released after it.

Overall: 10
This game is a masterpiece. As a sum of all its parts its a complete work of art and a remarkable achievement for video games as a whole. FPS games would not be what they are now if it wasn't for games like Perfect Dark. From beginning to the end this game is an awesome experience and I find it ridiculous for anyone to play this and to walk away from it bored and unimpressed.

On the very last level as the credits rolled I remember noting in my head how special this game was. I was around 10 or 11 at the time, so I wasn't very sophisticated and treated video games as merely entertainment. I watched the end credits and marveled over the game, feeling accomplished and invigorated by it. It was the first time I regarded video games as more than just a game, but also as a work of art, like any great painting or movie. It's truly a monumental accomplishment. Every FPS gamer should play this title. It's like loving film and never studying Kubrick or Lynch; or loving painting but never marveling over Vangogh or Monet; or loving music and never listening to Miles Davis or Chopin. Perfect Dark really is that kind of creative force for fps games and video games as a whole.

 

Reviewer: Kev Date: Jul 18, 2019
Perfect Dark, spiritual successor of Goldeneye 007, which is usually deemed one of the best games for Nintendo 64 and, surprisingly enough, a very good game based on a movie, with all of you knowing that movie-based games don't tend to go too far regarding success and such. Perfect Dark shows off Joanna Dark, a female agent taking the mantle of the protagonist in her own story, and akin to James Bond, is deployed in special missions based around objectives, working for her own organization, the Carrington Institute, versus the internationally known dataDyne organization, known to be both a weapons developer, and covering much more than what meets the eye...

However, Brady? Don't listen to him, he may be "that one guy" in the parties. Perfect Dark is the name, but is it perfect? It may as well be.

Graphics: 9
Graphics that seem quite ahead from their time, comparing even to PlayStation like graphics, in some regards. Even then the models of the characters, while expressive, do not include facial expressions nor actual hands, said assets covered only by straight faces and fingerless hands, apparently. Let that aside, and you'll find beautifully designed environments with creativity all around. You may usually find yourself gazing at the flying cars around the nightly dataDyne building, along with the rest of the buildings, windows lit and showing an otherwise unknown life; you may stand in awe at the modern design in most of the levels you'll be in.

Sound: 10
If there's something that one can't let go off the hook, is the music in the game. Great, catchy, well developed by Graeme Norgate and Grant Kirkhope. Calm feelings, futuristic environments, and even music that might as well be out of this world, in some particular environments. Let's not forget about sound effects, as well; what's better than dual wielding and shooting two DY357 Magnums?

Gameplay: 10
Yes, the controls may feel rather weird, Brady, but it goes far from that. While it may feel weird to move around with a mixture of moving and aiming with both the control stick and the C-buttons, you can get used to it soon enough, as soon as you find yourself in the heat of a gunfight. It also gives the chance for speedstrafing, a common tactic known in either speedrunning or general playing, for a small speed boost. However, what's the gameplay about entirely? Playing and replaying the missions in various difficulties to get the feel of the entire game, secret missions a la Goldeneye 007 unlocked by completing all missions in their difficulties, and of course, the Multiplayer, that which gave so much fame to Goldeneye, returns to Perfect Dark in the form of bigger possibilities and things you can make. Want to make a team battle between you and other sims with a team representing the Carrington Institute and the enemies under the flag of dataDyne? You can also choose the music, too! And let's not forget about the Challenges, sweet (and bittersweet) challenges with enough difficulty to keep you either playing nicely along or stuck in anger (specially at challenges 22, 26, and the infamous last three).

Overall: 10
I might as well be biased, this game being part of my childhood. But you can't deny it is a good game, huh? I could even give it a 9 out of 10, but there's something special about the game that always brings me back. The multiplayer is quite enjoyable, the missions and getting better at them pose a nice challenge. Just goes to show off how Rare's work gave birth to such masterpieces, Goldeneye and its successor.

Just play it! Rev up the story or play against other sims or even up to three friends in fun matches. It's pretty much worth it, promise.

 

Reviewer: Brady Date: Jul 24, 2009
Perfect Dark is the name, but is it perfect? Not really.

Graphics: 9
Perfect Dark has very good graphics for the type of game it is in my opinion. It makes you feel like you are there yourself to a point.

Sound: 8
Perfect Dark has great sound. The music sound is loud by default, but it can be turned down. It has great music and sound effects.

Gameplay: 2
I hate to comment on the horrible game play from Perfect Dark. But the control design is the worst feature in this game. The control styles most people like do not exist in the game. It should have allowed players to customize the buttons and such within reason of where it could. In addition, the pipe level is difficult and allows the player to fall off too much such I thought showed as very bad feature. I wonder why they work so hard on the other features of the game and forget to fix one of the important ones, the controls.

Overall: 5
Aside from the bad controls perfect dark is good game. It is full of good graphics and sound, but its controls are so horrible that I had to give it a below average score. I have to say that perfect dark is a good game, but I want to say that I do not recommend it for the ones that are like me and want the great controls.

Perfect Dark is the name, but is it perfect? Not really. It is a shoot them up type mission game with a female instead of a male similar to other mission impossible type games, but it lacks good controls and so do some of the others that's my main point.

 

Reviewer: Thomas Gebert Date: May 3, 2009
What an amazing game. The sound, the graphics, the story, it's all there. Sure, there may not be any prerendered full motion video there, or Oscar winning performances, but this game is darn good, and I have a blast playing it every time.

Graphics: 10
This game really pushed the N64 to it's limits, the graphics are extremely detailed and pretty. The characters all look like people, and the guns look like guns, but no one looks pixelated like in Doom.

The reason the graphics were so good was because of the expansion pak, which I think Rare really liked to use. It added some much-needed extra RAM and made the graphics far more detailed.

Sound: 9
The sound is pretty good, but it does sound a little compressed, and sometimes it seems a little off during the cinematic scenes (though it's hard to tell because their lips don't move). The soundtrack is pretty nice though, and I found it really does help the mood of the game.

Gameplay: 9
The gameplay is pretty much identical to GoldenEye, but it is actually better I think. All the guns have 2 modes, they are easy to swap out, and the control feels very fluid. The only complaint I have is that sometimes, though not often, I was a little confused on where I had to go.

Overall: 10
Perfect is in the name for goodness sakes, and this really does show N64 perfection. This game is a blast to play and definitely should be in everyone's collection.

This may be the best first-person-shooter for the N64, rivaling against quake and Goldeneye. I really think that the genre would not be where it is today if they game hadn't revised the engine dramatically. The cinematics are pretty fun to watch, the worlds all seem pretty interactive, and there are plenty of levels.

 

Reviewer: Brady Date: Apr 14, 2009
Perfect Dark is the name, but is it perfect? Not really.

Graphics: 9
Perfect Dark has very good graphics for the type of game it is in my opinion. It makes you feel like you are there yourself to a point.

Sound: 8
Perfect Dark has great sound. The music sound is loud by default, but it can be turned down. It has great music and sound effects.

Gameplay: 2
I hate to comment on the horrible game play from Perfect Dark. But the control design is the worst feature in this game. The control styles most people like do not exist in the game. It should have allowed players to customize the buttons and such within reason of where it could. In addition, the pipe level is difficult and allows the player to fall off too much such I thought showed as very bad feature. I wonder why they work so hard on the other features of the game and forget to fix one of the important ones, the controls.

Overall: 5
Aside from the bad controls perfect dark is good game. It is full of good graphics and sound, but its controls are so horrible that I had to give it a below average score. I have to say that perfect dark is a good game, but I want to say that I do not recommend it for the ones that are like me and want the great controls.

Perfect Dark is the name, but is it perfect? Not really. It is a shoot them up type mission game with a female instead of a male similar to other mission impossible type games, but it lacks good controls and so do some of the others that's my main point.