Perfect Dark Zero is a great game that took a few wrong turns and just really couldn't take it all the way home. The game has a great design to it that starts you off in a simulation to start your training to become a rogue secret agent that freelances in a small family organization to make some money. You work under the loving wing of your own father, Jack Dark, and a close family friend, Chandra, helps you from the sidelines as she gives you support and assistance. This is the prequel to the Perfect Dark on Nintendo 64, so it requires no previous history to "understand" the plot, and will only enrich the original game if you are a fan of it. The story seems to get really jumpy and disconnected as you begin. It has a good start, but it's very hard to follow. You start off on one mission trying to save someonr named Ziegler, then the game will randomly transport you to a snowy area on the next mission to compete in a death match. Then, in the middle of this, your father gets captured and you have to save him. The entire story needs a revision, but the excellent gameplay makes up for it.
The graphics are completely stunning, although it is one of the few games that will not go up all the way to 1080pi on you xbox 360. It still looks amazing and even staring at a wall will mesmorize you as you look at the glittering stones and cracks in the wooden floor. People's faces have a lot of character to them as well; it really allows for a distinction between characters that allows for a good connection between characters to help form bonds in the game. The levels are all very dynamic that make you come up with clever ways to avoid traps in places ranging from an oil rig, Hong Kong, underwater science labs, northern ice fortresses, jungles, and prisons in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. There are tons of guns to choose from, and you can even choose what you take on your missions with you from what you have taken out from previous levels. The gadgets seem needlessly tacked on though, as something cool to look at rather then a real challenge when you need to hack into something or use a demolition kit.
The noises sound great, as most of the characters' speeches are linked directly to their mouth movement and the sound effects from the guns sound really cool and futuristic. Although the music is very lacking, it seems like a bunch of ring tones thrown together on a soundtrack that you have to listen to repetitively and sometimes make you want to kick the Xbox 360 console across the room (don't do this, you'll regret it).
Multiplayer is stunning, with huge maps that give you access to all of the guns in the prelobby and you can teleport to different locations depending on which of them your team is in control of at the moment. There are even hovercrafts and mech warrior suits that have jet packs that you can use to take down your enemies. The only downside is that, with a huge map it means you might have to do a lot of running to find your next target, and seems to take forever when playing on Xbox Live.
The achievements were somethingI didn't even try for. They are mostly ridiculous claims like playing 1000 death matches or something that would make you play your 360 for 10 days straight to unlock them which no normal human being has the time for.
Dont get me wrong, this is a great game. I would buy it for the campaign mode alone, which is pretty fun. For conventional shooters, I would just stick to Halo 2, as it still seems to be more fun even today then PDZ or any other shooter that the Xbox 360 has to offer.
One word of advice.... Don't buy the collector's edition. All it gives you is a lame theme for your Xbox 360 and a few pictures of concept art. There is no depth behind the scenes videos or sneak peaks into other Rare projects. There is only about 10 minutes worth of content on the bonus DVD.