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Sat 10th Apr 2010

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mariusv commented on Review: Perfect Dark (Nintendo 64):

Even though the reviewer seems to imply otherwise, my opinion is that Goldeneye is (or was) way better than this game (for me it's actually "the best FPS of all time"), and I'll explain why ! First of all, it was extremely innovative for the genre, surpassing not only the console first-person shooters but even the PC shooters of that time. On the other hand, Perfect Dark's impact was not by any means as memorable, and if you already had a PC, there were much better shooters available like Half-life, Unreal Tournament, or Deus Ex at the time of it's release.

Second, while it arguably had better graphics, Perfect Dark's level design was poor compared to goldeneye, and the story was lame to say the least. So while Goldeneye had some very well thought, diverse and interesting scenes to play around (like facility, bunker, silo, control, caves, aztec, and many others!), Perfect Dark's levels on the other hand were pretty dull and uninspiring (and repetitive), and that hurt it's replay value a lot. And the alien levels...let's just not bring them into discussion okay ?

Third, the overall feel of Perfect Dark was pretty chessy, like a very bad movie with poor voice acting and ridiculous plot and characters (by the way, that "Elvis" dude/alien is by far the most annoying and laughable character in video game history!). In contrast, Goldeneye's story was actually pretty good for a video game, especially a first person shooter !

Fourth, the weapons and targeting system. I never really liked sci-fi based weapons, and, while the "terrestrial" weapons in PD were actually ok, the alien-based ones were simply horrendous (just like the aliens themselves!). On the other hand, being based on real world guns, Bond's arsenal was far more rich and compelling than Joanna's
. Not only did the weapons look and sound right, but they also feeled right, and the distinct sound that the bullets made when hitting enemies was especially rewarding (even if it wasn't very realistic). In Perfect Dark that sound was removed, much to the dissapointment of Goldeneye fans. Also, the simple and intuitive red reticule was removed and replaced by a much more complex and pretty much useless one. (guess that people at rare had never heard of the saying "if something ain't broke, don't fix it!")

And last but not least, the gameplay. I'll say this straight: to this date, I have never encountered a fps that surpasses goldeneye in gameplay terms or downright thrills. NONE. I don't know about you, but there's something extremely exciting and rewarding about completing several well thought objectives in a similarly well thought enviroment, dodging cameras, alarms, and bullets, WITHOUT DYING, often within a timelimit, that makes any other shooter out there (including the broken perfect dark) seem superfluous. That said, the adrenaline rush this game inflicts to you is simply overwhelming and almost every level is hugely thrilling in it's own way, making it by far the closest experience to a (albeit fictious) 007 agent that you'll ever get.

Then there's the replay value. Back when it was released, I could play this game (either in the storymode, either in the "timeattack" mode) all day long, for months and months, and not get bored for a second. It was just that good (this cannot be said of Perfect Dark, who's boring level design, disconnected mission objectives and ridiculous aliens made it much less enjoyable) Overall, I think I have finished the game at least 10 times, altough this could be an understatement. Even now I feel like I could play it again, but the very dated graphics keep me from doing so. Recently I have found out that a remake was due to launch this spring, but it was cancelled because a disagreement between Microsoft and Nintendo. "Bugger" is all that I can say.

PS: I'm not going to comment about the multi-player aspect of the two games because I didn't really get the chance to sample's Perfect Dark's multiplayer, and, while I have played Goldeneye in (two person) split screen for a while and I liked it, the singleplayer was much, much more entertaining for me, and it is the reason why I'm writing this review 13 years after it's release !