Perfect Dark’s Revival Has Been a Long Time Coming
Perfect Dark made its triumphant return during a surprise announcement at The Game Awards 2020. There are still so many rumors and theories about The Initavite’s Perfect Dark, but one thing is certain, the game has been a long time coming.
Between being a cult-classic on the Nintendo 64, a game that saw a transition onto the Xbox 360, and a first-person shooter that went on an extremely long hiatus, many wondered if Perfect Dark would ever see the light of day again. But fans have been asking and hoping for it for years, and that wish has finally been granted.
The Nintendo 64 Classic
The love affair of Perfect Dark’s began on the Nintendo 64 in the year 2000. The Nintendo 64 cult-classic is known as a spiritual successor to Golden-Eye, one that is in many ways a better experience basically in every way. It also has a 97% on Metacritic. So many players appreciated the extremely fun multiplayer experience that can be had both with bots and split-screen in games of Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Capture the Flag, and unique modes like Hold the Briefcase. The deep campaign was also thoroughly enjoyed thanks to an enticing interstellar war story starring a female antagonist, Joanna Dark. Perfect Dark is also perhaps the best looking Nintendo 64 game.
Perfect Dark Zero was the 2005 follow-up on the Xbox 360 to the Nintendo 64 hit. While a solid title, it isn’t considered the success of the original, both critically (it has a 79% on Metacritic) and in terms of being remembered as a cult-classic. In the end, even if Perfect Dark Zero is not necessarily a bad game, the Perfect Dark franchise is beloved thanks to one single game, the N64 cult-classic, and that makes it pretty special.
The wait for Perfect Dark has been incredibly long. In fact, a fifteen-year hiatus can be somewhat of a death sentence in the world of gaming. Nintendo fans are still waiting for another F-Zero or Mother/Earthbound, for example. Throughout the years, there were many rumors about Rare rebooting Perfect Dark or even Nintendo bringing the franchise back. But years of waiting, years of empty E3 conferences, have made it seem perhaps less likely that the Perfect Dark revival would ever happen.
An interesting aspect of the wait has to do with Microsoft’s acquisition of Rare (the developer of the first two games). The Perfect Dark on the Nintendo 64 is the beloved version, and within just a couple of years of Rare being under the Microsoft umbrella, it felt like Rare was no longer making iconic platformers and first-person shooters and instead relegated to experimental Kinect projects. Rare’s next Perfect Dark was unfortunately nowhere to be found. But someone else was set to take over.
Perfect Dark Is Back
The Initiative’s Perfect Dark announcement at The Game Awards was one of the biggest surprises at the show. The trailer itself is jaw-dropping, building up to the reveal of Joanna and her new adventures. The gameplay looks both intimate and stealthy, like the original, but bold and vast, something that would take the series to a whole new place entirely, which could be very good for the franchise.
The difference between Perfect Dark then and Perfect Dark now could be drastic. First-person shooters have come a long way since 2000 and 2005. But the spirit of the franchise will likely be intact. The spy genre in the campaign, the female lead, the stealth elements, and the interesting campaign will likely be there. For the multiplayer, it will be interesting to see where The Initiative takes it. Regardless, it’s been a long time coming, but it is wonderful to see that Perfect Dark and Joanna Dark are finally back.
Perfect Dark is currently in development.