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Perfect Dark

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Dec 16, 2021

Perfect Dark is a first-person shooter developed and published by Rare for the Nintendo 64 video game console in 2000. The first game of the Perfect Dark series, it follows Joanna Dark, an agent of the Carrington Institute research centre, as she attempts to stop an extraterrestrial conspiracy by rival corporation dataDyne. The game features a campaign mode where the player must complete a series of levels to progress through the story, as well as a range of multiplayer options, including a co-operative mode and traditional deathmatch settings with computer-controlled bots.

Nintendo 64 video game
This article is about the Nintendo 64 video game. For other uses, see Perfect Dark (disambiguation).

2000 video game
Perfect Dark

North American box art
Developer(s) Rare
Publisher(s) Rare
Designer(s)
Programmer(s) Mark Edmonds
Composer(s)
Series Perfect Dark
Platform(s) Nintendo 64
Release
  • NA: 22 May 2000
  • EU: 30 June 2000
Genre(s) First-person shooter, stealth
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

As a spiritual successor to Rare’s 1997 first-person shooter GoldenEye 007, Perfect Dark shares many features with its predecessor and runs on an upgraded version of its game engine. GoldenEye 007 director Martin Hollis led the game’s production for the first fourteen months of its near three-year development cycle before he left Rare to pursue other interests. The game is one of the most technically-advanced titles for the Nintendo 64, and requires an Expansion Pak to access the campaign mode and most of the multiplayer features. Shortly before the game’s release, a feature that would have allowed players to place a photograph of their choice onto the face of their multiplayer character was cut due to sensitive issues surrounding the ability for players to attack images of real people.

Upon release, Perfect Dark received critical acclaim and sold relatively well, eventually joining Nintendo’s “Player’s Choice” game selection. Critics widely praised its graphics, artificial intelligence, and number of multiplayer options, but some criticised its inconsistent frame rate. The game received the BAFTA Interactive Entertainment Moving Images Award for 2000 and the Golden Satellite Award for Best Interactive Product in 2001. The game is occasionally cited as one of the greatest video games of all time. A remaster, also titled Perfect Dark, featuring enhanced graphics and online multiplayer, was released in 2010.

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Perfect Dark is a first-person shooter where players complete levels to unlock content and progress through the game’s storyline.[1] Players manoeuvre their character from a first-person perspective and have the ability to lean left or right, look up or down, crouch, crawl, and drop from most ledges;[2] there is no jump ability.[3] Interaction with the environment is via a single context-sensitive button, which can activate computers, operate lifts, and open doors.[2] Players can carry an unlimited number of weapons, ranging from handguns to assault rifles, rocket launchers, a shotgun, a sniper rifle, and combat knives.[4] Besides their primary mode of fire, weapons have a secondary function that enables an alternate fire mode or grants players special abilities.[3] For example, the secondary function of the K7 Avenger assault rifle detects threats like explosive devices.[4] Most weapons have a finite magazine and must be reloaded after a certain number of shots.[2] Some can be used in duplicate, one in each hand.[4]

Players have a certain amount of health which decreases when attacked by opponents. Although the game does not feature health recovery items, players can pick up shields that protect them with a secondary health bar.[5] Players and opponents can disarm each other at close range, and players may use this feature to steal weapons or knock foes unconscious.[4] Damage taken during combat is location-based, with a shot to the torso causing more damage than a shot to a limb.[6] A number of tutorials and training activities can be taken in the game’s home level.[3] The most notable of these is the shooting range, where players can test their proficiency with the game’s weapons in individual challenges.[7] In addition to training activities, players can find information about the game’s locations and characters, which are gradually unlocked as they complete levels.[7]

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