View Full Version : Perfect Dark Zero -- Xbox360

12-28-2005, 01:40 PM
This is The Mor's first official Xbox360 review. I have many 360 games at my disposal, but I decided to do Rare's 360 flagship first because this is the "big-name" shooter that's supposed to sell units.

Perfect Derk Zero is the prequel to the original Perfect Dark released on the Nintendo 64 half a decade ago. The original Perfect Dark was probably the peak of the N64's performance. Perfect Dark Zero (PDZ) is Rare's attempt at keeping this franchise alive.

Story - PDZ has you playing as a young Joanna Dark. This is the same character you play in the N64 classic, only as a rookie spy/killing machine. The story in the game isn't really anything to brag about. You're a new spy, some people die, and vengence is required. Blah. Halo2 has a much better story line. It almost feels like they made all of the game levels, then created the story around the game to try and link it together.

Graphics - Before I start on PDZ's graphics, try and understand that it's a first generation 360 title. I can't compare it's graphics to regular Xbox or PS2 games, because it's obviosly superior. I compare it's graphics to other 360 titles, and what is expected of next generation graphics in my opinion (my review, so it's my opinion ;) ).

The graphics in PDZ look good. They're sharp, and the textures have a lot of detail. Some people may argue, "It looks GREAT! There's nothing out there like it!" While that's true, PDZ didn't impress me like a next gen console game should. It looked good, and there are no serious graphical complaints. There were a few moments where I was jaw-dropped and said, "That looks amazing" (when you see the entire space shuttle and you can look all the way to the top). But for the most part, I wasn't amazed. This isn't a bad thing. It's still leaps and bounds ahead of the best looking PS2 games, and I'm sure the 360 power is just in it's infancy. The bigest complaint I have as far as graphics are concerned is something I call the plastic effect.

When developers are trying to show off all of their graphical prowess, they add lighting effects to everything... Even stuff that probly doesn't need too much... Like skin and hair. All of the characters in the game seem to look like they're plastic action figures. Nobody looks human, they all look plastic. It looks good, but their skin doesn't look like skin, and their hair looks like it was snapped on.

Sound - No complaints in this department. I have to use the stereo from my 51" HDTV (it's rather nice), so I'm not equiped with a surround sound system (maybe thestern will do us the honor of checking in later and enlightening us). But the sound effects and music are very will done.

Gameplay - PDZ is a very solid first person shooter (FPS). What do expect from the people that brought us Golden Eye for the N64. There's a few problems I ran into in the jungle levels where the AI can spot you very easily, and even with different vision it's a pain to get to them... Not bad per say, but annoying. The biggest gameplay fowl up Rare did (or didn't do) was not including the ability to jump. This is more important to some gamers than others, but as you play the game, there's times where it will feel like the map is much smaller simply because you can't jump over a stupid 3 foot rail. In multiplayer it is really annoying... Again, this may not be a bad thing depending on what kind of gamer you are. I just felt like I wanted to jump the entire game... And couldn't. Instead they gave you a worthless roll/dodge move that has proved 100% useless to this point. I would trade that stupid dodge crap for a jump any day of the week. It's 2006... In this day and age, there in no reason that an FPS shouldn't have the ability to jump. I know they made Golden Eye and the original PD, and they wanna stick to a formula that works. But it's a new age. Get with the program Rare.

My second big gameplay issue is the length of the game itself. the 12 levels of PDZ can be finished in 4 hours or so. Hell, the last level is just the boss. I'm not gonna lie to you and say I beat it on hard. But on a medium setting, I found the game way too short, and easy.

Multiplayer - The multiplayer is ok at best. I'd still much rather go for a Halo2 or Battlefield2 match anyday. The multiplayer feature feels cheap, and there's not much to it. You got yourt basic modes (CTF, Deathmatch, Territory). The lack of a jump really pisses me of in multiplayer.

Overall - If you like FPS games and need a 360 game, pick up PDZ. It's definitely not a must-buy in my opinion, simply because there are current gen games that do everything PDZ does (and better). Graphics aside, it's just another FPS.

7.8 of 10

Other reviews:

Gamespot - http://www.gamespot.com/xbox360/action/perfectdarkzero/review.html

IGN - http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/670/670730p1.html

TeamXbox - http://reviews.teamxbox.com/xbox-360/1072/Perfect-Dark-Zero/p1/

12-28-2005, 02:22 PM
Thanks mor, good review :up:...i actually just got my 360 today and PDZ was part of the package...i'm a huge FPS fan and i had some high hopes for this...mainly multiplayer. BTW who doesn't have a JUMP button??? haha thanks again

12-28-2005, 04:07 PM
good review The Mor. A couple of my friends got 360's on launch and were bragging about how awesome this game was going to be (I was more interested in Call of Duty 2). When the first game night rolled around (we play every Thurday after work, whether the women like it or not) we played for a couple hours and I was very disappointed. If it had been a good game I would have a 360 by now, but it didn't impress me. After 2 hours of complaining about it we went out and bought Call of Duty 2. Since then I don't think we have played anything else. COD multiplayer is awesome, even though it is small, and the game is 10 times better.

12-30-2005, 03:00 AM
Perfect Dark second opinion/addition from thestern.

I won't go into details about the background or story of this game. Mor has already covered that well enough.

Just to note Mor and myself have the same brand HD television the only difference is mine is a slightly newer model but essentially the same. It should also be noted that 1080i and 720p are supported. I prefer 720p myself as that was what the 360 was specifically designed for. Again it's a matter of preference because different televisions yield different results between the 2 modes.

PDZ is definitely one of the prettiest games I've played but, not THE prettiest. Honestly the games graphics as many other 360 titles at this time only shine with a HDTV setup. In 480p and 480i the game doesn't look much better then any current xbox FPS. As Mor said before it's only a first gen title and a launch title at that so it's not going to be leaps and bounds better than anything you ever seen.

Surround Sound
My surround receiver was a wedding gift so it's not the greatest in the world but it gets the job done. I have my 360 hooked to my surround system using a optical cable for optimum sound quality. PDZs surround is some of the best I've ever heard and is well utilized. In PDZ enemy chater, gun fire or even moving objects all sound like where they're supposed to be. It helps make the experience more immersive.

Mor pretty much said it already so I'll make it short and sweet. The game is fun but it wouldn't have hurt to have a Jump function. Lack of jump didn't bother me as much as it did Mor but, it would have been a welcome addition. I agree with Mor that not adding jump seems like a step backwards. And yes the game is to short if you're really into the game you could maybe beat it in 1 or 2 sittings.

Unlike Halo 2 this game does have a online CO-OP. The online game is the same as the offline except there is 2 of you and a few more enemies. I played with someone over in the UK and there was absolutely no lag. The CO-OP isn't anything innovative but it does seem to make the game a little more interesting.

Bottom Line
The Mor is a big POO head and smells like old people!!! Just kidding.:)

PDZ is a great game but it's short comings hurt it in a lot of ways. I would recommend this game as a purchase but, because the length of the game is so short it's really only worth a rent.