Eleven years ago today, one of my most anticipated games of the time came out: Perfect Dark. Like many teenage Nintendo 64 owners, Rare’s Goldeneye 007 which came out in 1997 was one my favorite games ever and for three years I wanted a new first person shooter to be just as good. Despite the fact that Rare would never make another Bond game, ever since the announcement of Perfect Dark (the kind of “spiritual successor” to Goldeneye 007), I clamored to anything new I could find.

Perfect Dark on Paul Gale Network
Perfect Dark

It was to my great delight then, that at my first E3 back in May, 2000, I was able to try out Perfect Dark and know right then that this game would be “the” title to steal my summer.

Less than two weeks after the show, I got the game and played it with all of my friends, each one of us competing for the highest rank in the game, attempting to beat every last challenge, and having one of the best times of our lives. The game really was stellar for the time and still holds up today in my opinion. It introduced 8 bots to an already fun 4 human player vs. mode, gave us the first slow-mo bullet time (yes, even before Max Payne), had plenty of cool weapons like the Laptop gun and Farsight, a shooting gallery, lots of voice acting for a cartridge game, great graphics that utilized the Expansion Pak, cooperative gameplay, and a bunch of memorable stages to shoot in.

It was my love of this game that made me create a proposal to Microsoft for a prequel that I called “Perfect Dark Zero” or my sequel, “Perfect Dark: After Dark”. That’s something that I gave to Ken Lobb at Microsoft and discussed with J Allard, amongst others at Microsoft and Rare, several years later.

Anyhow, why pick “11 years later” as a means to celebrate a game? To me it’s fitting because it’s 2011 that we learned that Perfect Dark Core is officially cancelled and that it’ll be my 10th time attending E3. It sure would be a big surprise if Microsoft secretly has been working on a new PD title and that they’d blow us away with it on June 7th. Then it’d be a real trip for me, like deja vu. Maybe we will get a new entry in the series some day, but for now, Perfect Dark still remains one of the best around and if you don’t have a Nintendo 64 but would like to see what’s all the fuss about, the title has been ported and upgraded for the Xbox 360 and its Live service. Here’s to E3! Oh and of course, if you have any fun PD memories, share ’em below.

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