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Perfect Dark Zero

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Perfect Dark Zero
We could've at least gotten a follow-up to the original game, Rare!
Genre(s): First-Person Shooter
Platform(s): Xbox 360
Release: November 22, 2005
Developer(s): Rare
Publisher(s): Microsoft Game Studios
Country: United Kingdom
Series: Perfect Dark
Predecessor: Perfect Dark (GBC) (by release date)
Perfect Dark (by release date)
Successor: Perfect Dark (2000) (chronologically)
Perfect Dark (reboot; upcoming)

Perfect Dark Zero is a first-person shooter video game developed by Rare and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was exclusively released as a launch title for the Xbox 360 video game console on November 22, 2005 in North America and December 2, 2005 in Europe. The game is part of the Perfect Dark series and a prequel to the original Perfect Dark. The story of the game follows bounty hunter Joanna Dark as she joins the Carrington Institute agency to prevent rival corporation DataDyne from getting possession of an ancient artifact which endows individuals with superhuman powers.

Bad Qualities

  1. Troubled development: It was originally in development for the Nintendo GameCube, but after Rare was purchased by Microsoft, it was later switched to the original Xbox, but then got rushed to the Xbox 360 at the last minute, resulting in many planned features being scrapped.
  2. The plot has little to no build up and feels poorly written and bland, especially compared to the previous game.
  3. Stiff controls that feel like they were taken from a GameCube controller, making Joanna control like a tank.
  4. Compared to the original game, this has linear hallway like level design and no exploration. Sometimes, the levels can feel extremely empty.
  5. Joanna is no longer an interesting female protagonist as she is dumbed down to having a dull personality and her redesign makes her look more like a Kim Possible Cosplayer.
    • She also speaks with an American accent, despite talking British throughout the first game (sure she was born in Atlanta Georgia but that still doesn't explain how she started talking British all of a sudden).
  6. Lackluster graphics, even for Xbox 360 launch title standards; there are also lots of ugly filters and poor animations. Even Star Fox Adventures, a GameCube title that was release three years prior and also developed by Rare, had much better looking graphics and animations than this.
  7. The mission briefings have boring, uninteresting dialogue.
  8. Annoying loading screens. Even though they go by quickly, most of these loading screens load a cutscene with more story content that no one cares about.
  9. The game literally shows you where to go if you get lost, discouraging any exploration.
  10. While some of the music is good, there are some forgettable tracks.
  11. Horrible intro with bad effects, and it's trying to be a James Bond-esque intro but it fails horribly.
  12. Strange product placements, such as Joanna using a Samsung tablet as a gadget.
    • There's a pointless minigame you must play to even use a gadget!
  13. The loadout changing mechanic, while unique, becomes pointless quickly.
  14. Average and boring multiplayer that removes everything that made the multiplayer in games such as Halo fun.
  15. The bosses are extremely easy, since you can just shoot them to death, especially the final boss.
  16. Forgettable characters with no depth whatsoever.
  17. Limited multiplayer character selection.

Good Qualities

  1. It's one of the first online multiplayer games to support up to 32 players.
  2. Some of the weapons from the original make a return, like the Laptop Gun.
  3. Despite the average multiplayer, there are some good modes.
  4. The bots in multiplayer have names that reference other Rare games.
  5. The weapons are still fun to use.
  6. As said above, some of the music is good, even though some of it is forgettable.


While Perfect Dark Zero received mixed to positive reviews from game publications at release, fans of the original and gamers were heavily disappointed and panned the game. It is even considered to be the game that started the decline of Rare from a once loved company.



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