EXCLUSIVE: Tribal Tuesday- The Unprecedented Features Of Perfect Dark

Perfect Dark is an excellent game with a plethora of features and customizations that just aren’t present in today’s first person shooters. That’s ironic, considering it has been nearly thirteen years since its original Nintendo 64 release. Typically things evolve to include and offer more than what has come before, but in the case of Perfect Dark I feel that things have rather retracted–and quite significantly to boot! Here is a full list

For anyone who grew up playing Rare’s Goldeneye 007 and Perfect Dark on the Nintendo 64, then you know of the immense impact that these two titles had on the console and the players themselves. They set the stage for what has undeniably become the most popular genre in gaming today: the first person shooter. Halo, Call of Duty, Killzone, Resistance, and hundreds more have spawned since Rare prepared the genre for the powerhouse it was to become.

It has been nearly thirteen years since Perfect Dark’s Nintendo 64 release and, ironically enough, did you know that today there has yet to be an FPS game with such unprecedented features that was offered in Perfect Dark? Check out this full list below and see for yourself…

GAME MODES– Single player missions.
– Exploration / interaction of game HUB.
– Combat Simulator / Multiplayer.
– Co-Op play, with either a human or a bot, and 5 different teammate “personalities” to select.
– Counter-Op, allowing a friend to play as enemy players while you play missions.

– 17 main missions, 4 bonus missions.
– Voiced and animated cut-scenes for all missions.
– 3 main difficulties, each with extra objectives and level extensions. 4th bonus difficult allowing for tweaking of enemy health, damage, and accuracy, all tweakable beyond main difficulty setting values.
– Varied mission design including all out war, infiltration, hacking, and others.

ENGINE, EFFECTS, AND AWESOME STUFF– Full, wide, and cinema modes.
– Normal and 16:9 ratios.
– Hi-Res mode for crisper display.
– Different languages.
– Surround sound support.
– Dynamic lighting from static lights, muzzle flash, and explosions.
– “Ting” sound of bullet shells accurate to how long they take to hit the floor.
– Different impact marks for different surfaces (wood, metal, ground, etc).
– Ability to shoot out lights, darkening rooms and areas.
– “Fishbowl” rendering effect on some items.
– Nightvision, x-ray, blur, and invisibility rendering.
– Bullet penetration accurate to weapon used and surface shot.
– Some reflection simulation.
– Blood decals.
– “Physics” head when shot. When hit will ‘jerk’ along the direction of the bullet.
– Knives + crossbow bolts stick and stay in objects.
– AI “hears” and “sees” the player. Possible to suppress sound and stay out of sight to avoid alerting the enemy.
– Different damage areas (head, torso, arms/legs), with different damage values and AI responses. Leg shots can cause limping, AI will hold wounds, and arm shots can cause enemy to drop weapon.
– Disarmed enemies can “give up” and raise their arms. Enemies can also pull out secondary weapon (pistol). This may be immediate, or they may initially “give up” then pull out secondary weapon when player looks away.
– Reload animations.
– Gangster-style gun twisting, yo.
– Breakable glass.
– 28 weapons, 5 throwable explosives, and 8 returning Goldeneye weapons. Nearly all weapons, the exception being Goldeneye weapons and some explosives, having secondary functions.
– Various gadgets including portal robotic cameras, night vision, x-ray vision, cloaking device, slow-motion enabling combat boost, hacking devices, and more.
– 43 unlockable cheats, from weapons to gameplay alterations.
– Ability to rewatch every cinematic in the game.

– 30 different multiplayer challenges, each playable with up to four human players.
– Quick randomised settings start.
– Pre-set game mode and settings to load and play immediately.
– Advanced game setup.

– 4 “Free For All” modes, and 2 specific “Teamwork” modes. All 4 “Free For All” modes can still be played in teams.
– Various game modifying options including One-Hit-Kills, Slow/Fast motion, radar and auto-aim management, as well as others.
– 13 “Perfect Dark” maps, 3 returning Goldeneye maps, and random map selection. All maps playable in all 6 game modes.
– 6 weapons per map. Selectable pre-set lists, random selection, or ability to set your own weapons. 38 different weapons/items to select from.
– Fine tuning of time, score, and team score limits.
– Human player handicap setting.
– Different team selection for each player and bot in the match.
– Ability to name and save these settings for later loading.

– Up to 8 bots per match, each completely customisable.
– 6 different bot difficulties.
– 12 different bot personalities, giving them special play styles such as going for the leading/loosing player, hoarding weapons without using them, offensive/defensive play styles, choosing a player and hunting them for the game, speed/shield bonuses, and hunting the player that last killed them. This option is set alongside difficulty.
– Ability to set character body and head, just like the player.
– Ability to send commands to bots, asking them to perform specific tasks or play a certain style.

CHARACTER OPTIONS– Ability to name your character.
– Individual character settings saved, allowing every player to set their own play style and difficult (eg: auto-aim, display sight, etc).
– Completed challanges recorded in player profile.
– Twelve recorded statistics include kills, deaths, accuracy, headshots, ammo used, damage dealt/received, games played, wins/losses, time played, and distance traveled.
– Four awardable medals (Accuracy, Head Shots, KillMaster, Survivor), with 21 different player ranking titles dictated by amount of medals earned. Difficulty of earning medals increases as ranking increases, preventing “cheap” medal earning.
– 60 body models, each with individual body matching first person hand models (most modern games still dont do this).
– 75 head models, each usable with all sixty body models.

– 42 different music tracks (originals + remixes).
– Manageable playlist, allowing the player to select a single track, multiple tracks to play with others ignored, and random track selection.

OTHER MULTIPLAYER DETAILS– Four human players along with eight AI controlled bots.
– 30 different multiplayer challenges, each playable with up to four human players.
– Eight potential team colours, with the player given the ability to custom name each one.
– Ability to lock setting changes to last winner/looser, random, or the host.
– Horizontal or vertical screen splitting.

Now today’s shooters have evolved the genre in their own ways, but not a single one of them has even come close to offering even a fragment of what Perfect Dark offered, as the above list indicates. In that regard, isn’t it fair to say that the genre has, perhaps, taken a step backwards as well? Or rather that Perfect Dark was just far too ahead of its time? Regardless of the reasoning, it goes without saying that we’re likely never to see another FPS include such a robust set of features and options again unless, perhaps, it comes from Rare themselves.

Special thanks to EatChildren of NeoGaf for the list!