Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
19 November 2005
Perfect Dark Zero: Instant Reviews
As noted earlier, Perfect Dark Zero is late getting to reviewers. The gaming public are hungry for any and all information, eager to answer the question "Is it crap?"

My question: Can you really judge a game, I mean really know it, in the first couple of days?

Games often start off as obsessions and later wear thin very quickly. And I don't see how one adequately judges things like replayability and depth after one play. Could you really know how deep Madden's AI is from two or three days of play? Could you know how the online system is going to work out? Can you discuss a dynasty mode effectively?

Now, how much of that carries over to a game like Perfect Dark Zero? If the game offers varied enough gameplay that you can proceed through it with different strategies, then that's essential. It has an online component, but how do you evaluate it when you're playing against only the elite few who already have a system? That's hardly the horde of hooligans who'll be playing next week, after all. And if the game offers higher difficulty levels, how do you complete a good, lengthy game on all of those in time for a launch-day review?

There is an answer, of course. Cheat and get the developer to tell you how to play and how to finish and how to see all the sights in the shortest time possible. I surely hope that's not what's happening.

When the first few reviews come out, keep an eye out for these things: replayability, depth of gameplay, and online experience. Do you really think those are well-considered, thoughtful judgments?
--Matt Matthews at 09:01
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