Perfect Dark

Perfect Dark is 'Goldeneye 2' in all but name. Fans of Bond's N64-outing will feel straight at home when Perfect Dark hits the streets yet there's plenty of fresh features in there.

Instead of Bond, player's take control of Joanna Dark, a special operations expert sent on a mission to recover a scientist kidnapped by the dataDyne corporation. The differences from Goldeneye don't end there either - Perfect Dark is set in 2023 and has a mysterious sci-fi plot (involving little grey aliens and supposedly some form of coverup) to back it up as well.

Rare, the developers of the game, aren't giving too much about the game away as they understandably want to keep as much under their hats as possible. The teases. You can understand their caution though as there is apparently around and hour and half's worth of cinematic sequences. And that includes speech! That's a lot of story telling.....

Still having trouble imagining what it's going to be like? Imagine Goldeneye gameplay meets the futuristic world of Blade Runner. Rare have thought long and hard about how to better their previous effort and it seems as if they have succeeded, taking Goldeneye's ideas and developing them further.

Remember the differences in difficulty level and the extra mission objectives on the harder levels? Rare have kept the idea but made the missions a lot tougher. One of the objectives on one level for example involves obtaining a key code necklace from a person that, not only can the player not kill but who also puts up a fair old fight in relinquishing it. Without it you won't be able to access the later parts of the level and complete the rest of your objectives.

But enough about the cerebral challenge, what about the meat and veg of the first-person shoot-em-up, the GUNS?! People who like their games loaded with plenty of weaponry don't need to worry as Perfect Dark boasts around 40 weapons. Some are old fashioned hand weapons like knives and crossbows but the most impressive kit has to be the futuristic weaponry. Perhaps the most impressive seen so far has to be the Far Sight a gun that tracks thermal images - even tracing them through walls! Even the deathmatch makes a triumphant comeback. Goldeneye has arguably the best multiplayer game around but once Perfect Dark comes out, we'll have a new champion. Some of the weapons are designed with these scenarios in mind and help tease out the people who usually fight cheaply. There'll be no door-blocking tactics in this baby. There'll also be bots, computer controlled opponenents to fight against. And fans who fear they'll miss Goldeneye's deathmatch arenas needn't worry as some will be making a snazzed-up comeback.

Expect the usual high-quality visuals from Rare, especially in the animation of the enemies. See them wince as you despatch them..... The environments are huge and fantastic-looking and the lighting effects are some of the best you will see.....

Perfect Dark will be a must for Goldeneye fans which, by now, should mean almost every single N64 owner out there. Bigger, bolder and just all-round better in every aspect, Perfect Dark will be huge for both Rare and game players out there.

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