Thank You Rare For The World's Greatest Video Game.
Shout it from the rooftops. The best video game EVER - yes EVER - is here. (source: Nintendo Press Office 2000). Dust off your N64 - and plug in Perfect Dark.
Oh how we've waited - longed for this game even. Perfect Dark is more than the spiritual sequel to Goldeneye, unquestionably the console's greatest game to date, with a definite nod towards Blade Runner. Nintendo and Rare have delivered a game which opens the next instalment in video game history. The N64's dead is it? Um, think again.
The date is 2023. Daniel Carrington, Head of the Carrington Institute has been watching an unusual corporation - the dataDyne Corp. Turns out this organisation is hiding extra-terrestrial beings (both good and bad) from the outside world. The MI5- like Institute is onto them, particularly after the disappearance of one its members, Dr Carroll. The brief goes out to top notch agent Joanna "Perfect" Dark. The girl goes to work. Get in, get Carroll, get out. If only life were as simple as getting the ball back from next door's garden. Not this time - the plot twists, turns and spits you out very quickly if you're not very very careful.
Plug your console in - slap in the cartridge and prepare yourself for a long and at times very unhealthy relationship with Ms Dark. Any game claiming to follow up Goldeneye requires respect - that's why Rare took three years to develop it. Rare have built in Surround Sound and Acoustic Shadowing Technology which deliver some of the most gripping and atmospheric effects ever seen. There are three difficulty levels, Agent, Secret Agent and Perfect Agent. The missions are tougher, the plot more complex, the story more engaging - this is a test of every skill needed in gaming.
With Joanna you get fully tooled up. There are more than 40 futuristic weapons including the deceptive Lap Top Gun, the ballistic force of the horrendous N-Bomb, the brutal Slayer which fire your fly-by-wire missiles and the ingenious Farsight XR20 allowing you to fire through walls. You also get the best in gadgetry including Infrared and Night vision.
Content is king - detail is everything. The little touches mean everything. The enemies within dataDyne have shit loads of artificial intelligence - you'll never know what they're going to do next because they'll be watching you and working it out for themselves. The detail in the characters is also outstanding. Enemies will beg for mercy, call you a bitch, swear at you behind your back - you'll want to kill them. If they take a head shot, it gets very messy. You can even nick weapons out of their hands when they're re-loading.
The Goldeneye four player death match you loved is back. The multi-player challenges are more demanding and varied, and includes 'one-hit kills,' 'hold the briefcase' and 'hacker central.' What's added this time around is that the one-player mode has been replicated for the two-player mode. You can play the entire game with or against your mate.
You'll wet yourself with a combination of fear and excitement. Take all the best bits from Goldeneye, all the extra bits you wanted in Goldeneye, then add a whole load more and you've got Perfect Dark. Perfect.
One word of warning. We recommend you get an expansion pak. You can play without it, but you won't get the single player mode or bits of the multi-player mode. If you bought Donkey Kong you're laughing. If not get down the shops.
Perfect Dark is available on June 30th for N64 priced £49.99 rated 18.
Expansion pak £19.99