The reboot of Perfect Darks must remember one key thing that's far more than a spygame

The reboot of Perfect Darks must remember one key thing that's far more than a spygame

Following the back of a Gamescom where Xbox focused on well-known titles that will be available fairly soon, we decided to wait for a further update on some of Xbox''s larger and more mystery-shrouded games every now and then. Even so, we get a little surprise, however, with Perfect Dark, where Xboxs Matt Booty briefly deigned to discuss the hotly-anticipated reboot during a PAX West panel.

Booty, who is the lead of the now-spreading Xbox Game Studios portfolio of development houses and games, talked about how any reboot of the Perfect Dark franchise would be handled very meticulously, noting that properties like this do not always age well. And, you know, Booty is right. The next thing he said is curious and it is wrong for me.

What I think is super cool about Perfect Dark, what''s super cool about Joanna Dark, is the super agent fantasy, the spy, the sort of Bourne Identity, and the James Bond type of thing there, according to Booty.

That''s always a cool meme that people want to lean into, but again, we must make sure that comes forward in the right direction, so im only gonna stick to it very carefully.

Wrong is certainly unfair. I think everything Booty points out is correct, but it''s only accurate for half of the original Perfect Dark. Or, another way Perfect Dark is a spy game, and it is ostensibly about a female James Bond. But that''s both literally and figuratively only part of the story, and any remake of the franchise must embrace all of the original to channel what it made so popular.

Perfect Dark is not just Bond or Bourne, but the game''s opening scene takes place on a futuristic flying journey flying across a neon-lit futuristic city straight out of Blade Runner. Unless you discover the doctor, it''s not a person, but rather a sophisticated AI fitted with a flying laptop. Perfect Dark is a complete sci-fi.

From Area 51, you rescue a wise-cracking grey-style alien called Elvis who later wears a stars and stripes waistcoat. Soon, Perfect Dark feels as much Halo as GoldenEye, with Agent Dark finding herself on hostile alien spaceships, ultimately unleashing an assault on the hostile alien homeworld. Nothing is pushed back.

Don''t be fooled, the spy stuff is a huge part of Perfect Dark. I believe that traditional espionage-driven missions are the best in the game. Chicago remains my favorite, characterized by a high-flying level design, a beautiful rain-soaked atmosphere with outstanding music, and Jo skulking around in a Deckard cosplay trench coat.

All of this is a part of a wider game, and I agree with the fact that Perfect Dark is a fantastic game, and a better game than GoldenEye, but I disagree with it''s breadth. It combines spy and espionage as a springboard into a wider, madder story, and in doing so elevates itself beyond being a Bond clone. At the time, I imagine this was the point Rare likely wanted to draw upon and differentiate their new hero from

This isn''t just the be-all, end-all, obviously. It''s important to me that this Perfect Dark reboot addresses a variety of current game concepts, but that it examines the structure of the original game (in particular its open-ended but mangeably-sized, multi-objective missions) and that the studio now works on Bond, therefore Joanna and James futures remain a mystery.

The new Perfect Dark has been compiled with a clear sort of world state, although it is CG and short. We see a glimpse of a laptop gun (itself represents PD''s brilliant weapon alt-fire modes), and secrets as a camera zips through a clearly top secret laboratory. So far, so good.

All this might only be a near-future sci-fi tale, but it should be kept fairly grounded. I can easily see a version of this game that plays this relatively straight as a dark cautionary sci-fi tale about the combination of the ongoing climate apocalypse slow-burn and the unchecked power of corporations, ironically bankrolled by Microsoft. We will discover something like, shock-horror, the corpos actively sped-up and instig

Although it wouldn''t be as much of a surprise as in the original game, where alien influence really comes out of left-field, I really hope these corporations are bringing their climate change solutions from beyond earth to help us get to grips. This is the schlock I want to see. It''s a key part of what Perfect Dark is to me. It was largely missing from Zero, owing to it being a prequel, and it was honestly one of my main concerns with that game story.

Matt Booty, one of the cool things about Joanna Dark is the super-spy fantasy of it all, and her as an answer to 007. But thats only part of Perfect Darks'' appeal, and some of the campier elements, although perhaps not as sexy on paper today

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