Release Date: May 22, 2000
Platform Played On: N64
2018 Placement: #82 (=)
What It Is:
Rare’s follow-up to the legendarily successful Goldeneye, Perfect Dark is a first-person shooter that puts you in the shoes of Joanna Dark. A completely original story that has her fight against a corporation called DataDyne against a backdrop of alien conspiracies and war. It’s a mechanically sound shooter that adds a bunch of cool weaponry to your arsenal – from my personal favorite Laptop Gun to the Callisto NTG (a funky alien machine gun) all the weapons are creative and fun to wield.
It also offers a truly amazing multiplayer mode that has loads of options for customization, with up to four players able to play locally – a must in the N64 days. So not only was the campaign very strong, but it gave you the ability to make your own fun which felt like it was only limited to our imagination at the time. In addition, it allowed you to make profiles which would save your data and statistics which was positively enthralling to the nerd side of me.
Why It’s Important To Me:
While I’m a little hazy on the entire plot of the campaign, that’s not why the game is particularly important to me. This is a game me and my friends played just as much (if not more than) Goldeneye when I had parties and sleepovers and get-togethers and everything else I did in high school instead of having sex. I had so much fun messing around in the multiplayer modes with my friends and building bonds and memories through this game that it has to have a place on my top 100.
There’s also…wait for it…alright you guessed it, the music. While the soundtrack isn’t entirely bangers, there are two stand-out tracks that I still remember to this day and will jam out to every now and then: the Pelagic 2 and the DataDyne Extraction. (If you give those a listen, please stick around to the end of them to also hear the intense/”oh shit action is happening” remixes that played organically in game.) Both of these songs were also turned into amazing remixes by Strike911 on OCRemix, unfortunately I can’t find them online anywhere but thankfully I still have them on my computer/phone. (Streaming music is bad kids, remember to keep actual copies of things you want to always be able to listen to!)
My Strongest Memory:
In the aforementioned multiplayer mode, you could set the AI to many different difficulty modes. The dumbest setting was “MeatSim” – basically a walking target who can’t hit the broadside of the barn. The hardest setting was “DarkSim” – they’re the opposite, insanely good and will hunt you to the ends of the earth. And they don’t miss.
My friends and I came up with a game in multiplayer we liked to call “Kill The President.” We (usually a group of 3 or 4) played against two AI – one MeatSim (the President, a dumbfuck) and one DarkSim (his Secret Service bodyguard, fantastic at his job and probably underpaid, we love him). Our objective was to get enough kills on the “President” while avoiding his bodyguard who would absolutely murder us on sight if he found us. It was the absolute highlight of all the dumb games we invented while playing Perfect Dark. It was a laugh riot combined with the existential dread of a horror movie. We screamed in terror, shouted plans and then altered them on the fly as they went to shit, and just in general had an absolute blast with the game.
Why It’s #82:
Perfect Dark is a solid game from my teenage years. My high school multiplayer experience was basically Perfect Dark and Super Smash Bros. It’s another game that will likely always get an inclusion on any top 100 list I ever make and where it lands will be dependent on how I feel at the time. If this one and the 2018 list are any indication, it’s got a perfect spot carved out just for it at #82.