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There are vehicles to play with as well. The hovercraft is fun and reminded me of the warthog in Halo, and like the warthog you need a gunner with you to make the most of it. The jetpacks are pretty cool too, allowing you to fly around the level while shooting enemies. Although the vehicles are worked into the solo game, it’s in the multi-player scenarios that they really come into their own.
Talking of multi-player, Rare has put a lot of effort into this area and the results are very impressive. I’m a big fan of co-operative play in FPS games and have spent many hours playing both Halo and Halo 2 in split-screen co-op mode. For me, the biggest disappointment with Halo 2 was that you couldn’t play co-op over Xbox Live – thankfully Rare hasn’t made that mistake. In PDZ you can arrange a co-op session with one of your friends on Xbox Live, or even just join in with a total stranger – whichever way you do it, playing PDZ in co-op is even more fun than playing solo.
Rare has also worked hard on the non-co-op side of multi-player, and you’ll find a decent amount of options for some online fragging. Obviously you’ve got standard deathmatch scenarios, but you can also play team based games in a similar style to Counter Strike. Rare told me that it will be releasing extra multi-player maps very soon, and there will even be single player content available for download too.
Despite the name, Perfect Dark Zero is not perfect, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t a great game, because it is. Even with my gripes I can’t help but love PDZ, because the moments of genius still outweigh the moments of frustration.
I’ve been waiting a long time for Joanna Dark to make a second appearance, and on the whole Perfect Dark Zero makes the wait seem worthwhile. I’m not going to pretend that PDZ doesn’t have faults because it does, but I have still found myself playing this game more than any other launch title.
The single player missions are challenging enough to keep you playing, while Perfect Dark fans like myself will want to see how Joanna ends up at the Carrington Institute.
With Kameo, Rare proved that it could make a game with unparalleled visuals, but distinctly lacking gameplay. With Perfect Dark Zero Rare has managed a far better balance. Ultimately, if you’re thinking about what games to pick up with your X360, make sure that PDZ is on your list.