|A first-person shooter that mixes spy and sci-fi, Perfect Dark is both a thoroughly engrossing one-player experience and a riotously fun multiplayer romp. Easily one of the best games of its genre on any video game console, this long-awaited follow-up to GoldenEye 007 is a must-have for Nintendo 64 owners--and a damn good reason to be one if you're not.|
The futuristic Perfect Dark casts players as Joanna Dark, a secret agent who becomes embroiled in a sinister conspiracy involving aliens and an evil corporation. Gameplay is broken down into missions, each with objectives that must be unerringly completed before progressing to the next mission. This is not your typical kill-anything-that-moves game: putting a bullet in the wrong person, not keeping the right one alive, or perforating a seemingly unimportant inanimate object can often result in mission failure.
While Perfect Dark's solo missions play out much like those in GoldenEye 007, the game's fantastic multiplayer options are another matter entirely. Cooperative and counteroperative simultaneous-play modes allow for another player to join in on a mission as, respectively, a teammate or the enemy. However, the real fun here is in the highly customizable Combat Simulator, a one-to-four-player simultaneous-play mode that features both free-for-alls and team-based challenges and can include up to eight Simulants, computer-controlled combatants of varying behavior.
Although Simulants make for decent adversaries or teammates, you'll want to grab a friend--and an Expansion Pak, as only 35 percent of the game is available without one--to fully enjoy Perfect Dark. --Joe Hon
Pros: One of the best first-person shooters on any video game console Outstanding multiplayer game with huge replay value Bevy of game options, cheats, and secret features Excellent training mode with challenges all of its own Cons: Graphics get ugly when playing with more than two players