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Footage And Art Released For The Cancelled Perfect Dark Sequel

Usually when we get wind of a cancelled game it’s sad day for gamers.  Even promising projects are sadly cancelled at times for multiple reasons, whether it’s due to mass studio restructuring or fears about the future of the market.  This generation has been absolutely gut punching when it comes to cancellations as titles like Star Wars Battlefront 3 (cancelled twice btw) and Eight Days have both been AAA games that sadly had their lives cut short.

People have a lot of built-up anger when it comes to what has happened with famed developer Rare.  Back in the day Rare was one of the top makers of platforming games and they also knew what they were doing on the fps front with games such as James Bond Goldeneye and Perfect Dark, two titles that were classics on the Nintendo 64.  But after being gobbled up by Microsoft and releasing a few games (including a Perfect Dark sequel) that failed to live up to the hype, Rare is now the go-to studio for casual Kinect games and new content for Microsoft’s Avatars.  There’s still a little bit of hope out there that Rare will offer us another Perfect Dark game in the future, Kinect enabled or not, but I don’t think that’s likely to happen based on what has just been uncovered.

The chaps over at Unseen64 have found the first footage of Rare’s cancelled Perfect Dark sequel. Now amongst the hardcore Rare fans out there it was known that at some point the studio was actively doing a Perfect Dark follow-up.  Here and there we’ve gotten a few tidbits on the project but now we have a better look at the Perfect Dark game that never came out of the dark.  But I think gamers shouldn’t be too sad that Perfect Dark Core never came to be seeing as how the game was set to be a massive departure from the norms of the series and ultimately the game spun off to become an entirely different entity. For reasons unknown, the team at Rare decided to go into a different direction with Perfect Dark Core, the biggest of which was a redesign for main character Joanna Dark.  Gone was the sleek look of Joanna as found in PD Zero and instead we essentially got the dudebro version of her as she was given a tough and gritty visage, which for some reason included an exposed midriff.

Supposedly Perfect Dark Core also sported a more realistic look compared to the previous PD game, which in the context of Joanna’s redesign makes a bit of sense. As development on PD Core continued the game branched off in several different directions, the most notable of which included Joanna being replaced by a male protagonist.  Who this new character was and whether Joanna was still to be involved in the game are still mysteries, but I think if you take Joanna Dark out of the equation then you really shouldn’t be calling your game Perfect Dark.  Rare continued development on Perfect Dark Core despite still not greenlit by Microsoft and eventually the game was canned but that wasn’t until it went through one more game change.  After ditching Joanna in favor of a male hero, Rare then added mechs to the mix which resulted in a game that Rare internally acknowledged as no longer being set within the Perfect Dark universe.  This new creation of Rare’s was set to include both mech based and fps action and so far only a few brief seconds of gameplay footage have been uncovered of Rare’s last attempt at a core AAA title.

The eventual downfall of Perfect Dark Core was merely chalked up to Microsoft supposedly not being sold on the game and the eventual restructuring Rare received in 2009, which according to Unseen64 resulted in only three team members tasked with continuing early production on the title.  I tried playing Perfect Dark Zero when I got my Xbox 360 and I was somewhat amazed at how bad and slightly gaudy it was.  I can understand Rare wanting to change or improve some things for the next Perfect Dark sequel, but outside of the mechs (I’m easy to impress in that regard), Perfect Dark Core wasn’t really looking like it would be the Perfect Dark game that gamers wanted.  I can still feel for the developers at Rare who spent their time and energy into putting together the Perfect Dark Core concept, but at the same time I can’t help but feel like we’re a bit lucky to never receive the game as it may’ve been a bad note to end the franchise on.

And no, there’s absolutely no chance of this project ever getting picked up again since Rare as a whole have been restricted to be a Kinect focused studio, which I’m sure will make a few people die on the inside.


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