Joanna Dark is on Xbox 360, but this time with her father. A scenario previous to the Nintendo 64 episode, aptly named Perfect Dark Zero. The game's first mission is to train Joanna, who must make her way through the corridors of the DataDyne thanks to the "Deathmatch" program, a sort of training simulation for commandos and military units. At the end of this basic training, Joanna leaves with her father for her first mission.
This one is by far the simplest. It is the extraction of a scientist kidnapped by DataDyne, a multinational company that produces many products and bribes politicians of this world. Of course, it is not yet at its peak (which will arrive only before its final fall in Perfect Dark) but already has enough henchmen to be among the greatest.
As regards the game in itself, things have changed quite a lot! Suppose the level design of certain levels is close to the first game. Is it worth remembering that initially, Perfect Dark was supposed to be the sequel to Goldeneye?
Thus, Perfect Dark Zero has a side much more "strongman" than infiltration. The action is meant to be non-stop, with large M60-type machine guns pouring shell casings in all directions. For little, it feels like Christmas, so much it sparkles everywhere! Enemies, mainly idiots, throw themselves on you without hesitation, sniping, machine-gunning or hitting you directly in hand-to-hand combat. Here, Rare seems not to have pushed the adversaries' intelligence very far, just enough that to hold head a few hundredths of a second. Moreover, they never chase the player and never hear Joanna coming from behind to kill them with a rifle.
However, a few novelties have entered this futuristic universe, starting with the roll, which avoids specific opponents' specific moves. Simple to perform, it gives the game a slightly more tactical dimension. The second novelty, the presence of cover shots: Joanna can hide against walls and target enemies without significant risk. The various vehicles available don't bring much to the game either. Perfect Dark Zero features hovercrafts that are particularly fun to drive, like the Warthogs of Halo. Unfortunately, these phases are far too few to really please.
Nothing could be more straightforward in terms of playability since our heroine handles as quickly as the good old Masterchief, with delicacy and tact. The life bar also looks like the one in Halo and fills up when Joanna is undercover. Nothing too overwhelming in the end. All in all, Perfect Dark Zero ranks as a very classic solo FPS.
As far as durability is concerned, Perfect Dark Zero does well. Its dozen levels, relatively long, exciting and challenging, will keep players on the edge of their seats. You'll need eight to nine hours if you play at the lowest difficulty level, about 15 hours in hard, and you can easily add another 10 hours in the innovative cooperative mode.
Graphics & Sound
Beautiful, refined, and impressive on some points, the title exceeded its expectations at launch. However, let us recognize a somewhat particular graphical style with this game which nonetheless, Perfect Dark Zero proves to be pleasant for the eyes.
As far as the soundtrack is concerned, we can say that it's half a fiasco, especially compared to the older soundtrack. All the more so as the music is far from being exceptional. They remain correct, but the atmosphere of the first Perfect Dark disappeared. Fortunately, the sound effects are, for their part, very successful, that it is on the level of the rendering of the explosions or the shots of cover; everything was thought to immerse as well as possible in the high tech universe of this episode.
If Perfect Dark first of the name was one of the best titles of the Nintendo 64, this second instalment, unfortunately, does not come up to its ankle. The AI is mediocre as possible, the soundtrack is very average, and the sagas universe has lost its charm. Nonetheless, it's not the best game on the Xbox 360 nor the worst.