Perfect Dark Reboot’s Stunning Gameplay Checks All The Deus Ex Boxes For Me

Despite the development hell, the game's looking like a true treat for all immersive sim fans.

Story Highlights

  • After a phenomenal original, a weaker sequel, and multiple cancellations, Perfect Dark is finally back.
  • The reboot promises splendid visuals, creative level design, impactful gameplay, and cool gadgets.
  • I couldn’t help but notice the Deus Ex similarities; this is the closest thing to a sequel we never got.

The Perfect Dark reboot is real! Apologies, let me compose myself, it still hasn’t quite sunk in yet. When the Xbox showcase decided to bring in the heavy artillery that is Perfect Dark out of nowhere, I was as shocked as I was overjoyed.

I was a massive fan of the original, and the existence of a reboot was overwhelming news. A spiritual successor to the legendary GoldenEye 007, and the closest thing to a new Deus Ex, the reasons to be excited were plenty. Now, the game has given me another with its gameplay reveal.

YouTube video

Perfect Dark, Early Days

Before I go to the reboot, let me give you a little context about the series as a whole. After the legendary GoldenEye 007, Rare wanted to create something original, yet retaining the spy shooter soul, and putting a sci-fi twist.

GoldenEye's influence on the medium is undeniable | Source: Graslu00 (YouTube)
GoldenEye’s influence on the medium is undeniable | Source: Graslu00 (YouTube)

Thus, the name Perfect Dark was selected. This was the beginning of this legendary first-person sci-fi, spy shooter, immersive sim that broke all records. Perfect Dark was not only one of the most technologically impressive N64 games, but its design choices, enemy AI, gameplay elements, visuals, story depth, the execution of the concept, and multiplayer mechanics were downright unreal for its time.

Perfect Dark – The Greatest FPS Of All Time
byu/ManyATrueNerd inManyATrueNerd

After the first game, Rare was acquired by Microsoft, and thus Perfect Dark Zero was an Xbox 360 game, released in 2005. I’ll be honest, Perfect Dark Zero was not what I wanted the series to become. It was a solid game, yes, but the lackluster story, weak voice acting, and too much focus on the action above all were less than ideal. It became too much of a “first-person shooter.” The multiplayer mode was definitely enjoyable, but I preferred the original 100 times more.

byu/Rayuzx from discussion

Thus, when the game didn’t reach the heights Microsoft envisioned, it was canned. A two-part sequel was planned but never released. What with series like Halo and Gears of War at their peak, Xbox had more impending stuff to focus on instead

2020, however, marked the renewed interest in the series, and its triumphant return.

The Reboot’s Troubled Development

Wait a moment, it was announced in 2020, but the gameplay reveal took a whopping 4 years? That’s right, Perfect Dark was stuck in a little development hell. Being developed by The Initiative, a new studio formed by the former Crystal Dynamics head Darrell Gallagher, it was a joint effort between The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics.

However, as you know, Crystal Dynamics was sold off by Square Enix to Embracer Group, which shook the plans up a bit. Along came Embracer’s less-than-ideal treatment, and things became even more complicated. The company Certain Affinity was also involved in the development process to some extent, but there were some differences there as well.

Has any single company done more damage than Embracer Group to the gaming industry?
byu/TenOunceCan ingaming

All in all, with multiple conflicts, unforeseen circumstances, and then the invasion of COVID, Perfect Dark’s development suffered quite a lot. Also, the fact that it was built from the ground up on Unreal Engine 5 midway slowed the process even more. You and I both know what can happen to a game with this much rocky development procedure.

However, I was not ready to be so wrong, as Perfect Dark looks absolutely stunning and creatively supreme.

That was an amazing trailer huh?
byu/ElonTastical inperfectdark

Perfect Dark Reboot Looks Crazy Good

While I was done being shocked over the fact that a Perfect Dark reveal had started, I began worrying about the game’s state, considering this unfortunate situation. After watching it, I am confident in saying that I couldn’t have been more wrong. Perfect Dark not only looks gorgeous, but its mechanical depiction, a glimpse into the level design, and the creative gameplay all look perfect.

Man, Perfect Dark looks stunning | Source: Xbox (YouTube)
Man, Perfect Dark looks stunning | Source: Xbox (YouTube)

On top of that, the Deus Ex inspiration is even stronger with this one. For a moment I thought I was looking at Mankind Divided. It could’ve fooled me had the name Perfect Dark not appeared. A game on Deus Ex’s creative level and an immersive sim that looks so compelling is just begging to be played. 

byu/Turbostrider27 from discussion

The trailer provides a little glimpse into the story and what to expect. We see Joana Dark investigate some force-field-protected “secret lab” sort of thing in the sandstorms of Cairo. You can be sure more political conspiracies and covert ops will be at the center once again.

I can't shake off the Deus Ex feel | Source: Xbox (YouTube)
I can’t shake off the Deus Ex feel | Source: Xbox (YouTube)

This is further reinforced by the gameplay. With some slick first-person parkour, scouting out the area, and scanning a guard to gain entry, the stealth execution looked perfect. Things got even more interesting when the combat sections began. With advanced gadgets intensifying the hell out of the encounters, smokescreens and darts disabling enemies, and looking cool while doing so, I never thought a new Deus Ex-esque experience would be possible.

The Deus Ex Fan In Me Is Exhilarated

It’s a great day for all sci-fi immersive sim fans out there. Not only did we get a perfect revival of Perfect Dark, but it also looks the closest thing to a new Deus Ex game. I don’t know whether to be extremely happy for Perfect Dark or lament the fact that we were robbed of a new Deus Ex. Imagine the overwhelming potential it possessed; I’ll never forgive Embracer Group for crushing my dreams.

Anyone else getting Deus Ex vibes from the new Perfect Dark game?
byu/kranwag inDeusex

Well, no use beating myself over something I could never have changed. I believe in staying positive, and enjoying what’s possible. The reboot is not only sating all my pent-up thirst for a new Perfect Dark, but it’s also giving me the Deus Ex sequel I never got. I hope the final product is as overwhelmingly magnificent as this little showcase.

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Hanzala is a dedicated writer who expresses his views as opinion pieces at eXputer. He's always been fascinated by gaming and has been an avid consumer of many different genres for over a decade. His passion for games has him eager to encounter the latest RPGs and actively look for new Soulslike to challenge. He puts forth his experience and knowledge of gaming into captivating opinion pieces.

Experience: 8+ months || Education: Bachelors in Chemistry.

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