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Perfect Dark

Entry updated 9 April 2015. Tagged: Game.

Videogame (2000). Rare. Designed by Martin Hollis. Platforms: N64.

Perfect Dark is a well crafted First Person Shooter, much influenced by the gameplay of the non-sf James Bond licenced game GoldenEye 007 (1997 Rare, N64). The player character is Joanna Dark, a new recruit to the twenty-first-century Carrington Institute's covert operations group. The Institute is allied with the Maians, an alien race who resemble the "greys" described in UFO stories, while the reptilian Skedar are associated with a corporation called dataDyne. The linear plot (see Interactive Narrative) is based on an attempt by the Skedar to retrieve a weapon from a derelict spacecraft on the ocean floor, which they intend to use to annihilate both the Maians and humanity. The player is led through the story in a series of missions, with objectives including such tasks as contacting another agent or recovering a specific piece of technology. Gameplay concentrates on stealthy infiltration and combat with realistic Near Future weapons; the flavour strongly resembles that of such "spy-fi" works as Luc Besson's film Nikita (1990).

Related works: Perfect Dark Zero (2005 Rare, XB360) is a prequel, featuring Joanna Dark and her father as bounty hunters before Joanna joined the Carrington Institute. It is notably less science-fictional in tone than Perfect Dark, and its storyline generally takes second place to the gameplay. Perfect Dark (2000 Rare, GBC) is unrelated to the N64 game; it uses a two-dimensional overhead view to follow Joanna's attempts to shut down an illegal Cyborg manufacturer. Perfect Dark: Initial Vector (2005), by Greg Rucka, is a novel set between the events of Perfect Dark Zero and the N64 version of Perfect Dark, dealing with an outbreak of a weaponized influenza virus. Perfect Dark: Second Front (2007), also by Rucka, is a sequel. Perfect Dark: Janus' Tears (2006-2007) is a six-issue Comic by Eric Trautmann, set between Initial Vector and Second Front. [NT]


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