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There's an interesting two-player
match that brings to mind the way those nefarious men-in-black in
The Matrix "body-jack" their way toward their intended
target. One person plays as Joanna Dark, running through the same
levels and enemies as in the single-player game. But a second player
automatically body-jacks into the enemy character who is nearest to
Joanna. If the second player is shot dead (the health of enemies is
much lower than Joanna's), then his or her point of view immediately
jumps to the next closest enemy that Joanna encounters.
Speaking of The Matrix, Perfect Dark can also be made to
simulate a slow-motion effect during the heat of action. Watching
characters on the big or small screen engaging in such surreal
sequences is certainly cool, but can be a bit disorienting. Though
it can be useful in order to better respond to action that's
happening much too quickly, it's an effect better suited for
third-person games where you can see your character on the screen.
That's a minor quibble, however, as
is the unimpressive soundtrack, even if it is in Dolby Surround.
(GoldenEye 007 had the advantage of access to music from the James
Bond franchise, so it's hardly fair to fault Perfect Dark on this.)
None of this, however, takes away from an otherwise excellent game.
Perfect Dark brings to console gaming what enthusiasts of PC
first-person shooters already enjoy, and surpasses many of these
games for the PC with its multiplayer features and storytelling.
Freelance writer Howard Wen has also covered videogames for
Salon, Wired and the O'Reilly Network.