Microsoft confirms Perfect Dark Zero, others for Xbox 360

Microsoft's head of Xbox marketing says the new console will launch with around 25 games, including Rare's N64 follow-up, Kameo, and Project Gotham Racing 3.

As part of the MTV special devoted to the official unveiling of Microsoft's upcoming console, the Xbox 360, the publisher has confirmed that Perfect Dark Zero, a sci-fi-themed first-person shooter, will be released alongside the new console later this year. The game will feature the adventures of Joanna Dark, a special agent that, at least in her first adventure on the Nintendo 64 back in 2000, fought on a near-future Earth that had been visited by an alien race known as the Maians. The new game will carry on the previous game's first-person-shooter style.

Not much new information on the game has been officially revealed up to this point, but brief segments of the game and its development was shown alongside the system's MTV debut. The footage shows the inside of Rare's motion-capture studio, as well as unfinished footage from the game showing a person shooting at another person flying a jetpack. Players will be able to pilot these jetpacks in the game. A variety of weapons will be included in the final product, but the demo shown in the special focused mainly on a pistol and an assault rifle. What appeared to be an additional viewing mode, perhaps an infrared view, was also shown.

According to Rare, characters will be made up from around 5,000 polygons, and the game's environments will put anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 polygons onscreen. At least 50 players will be able to play the game at the same time via Xbox Live, though that number may rise before release. The game will also feature some form of split-screen support. Perfect Dark Zero will feature fully destructible environments, with a heavy emphasis on realistic physics. Graphically, the game seems to animate well, though there was a noticeable difference between the full-screen footage and the gameplay you could see when they shot TVs at the actual event. Namely, the frame rate looks nice and smooth in the prepared full-screen footage, but the frame rate was significantly less stable in the version running at the event. Considering the game is still in development, this doesn't come as much of a surprise.

Other games, such as Tony Hawk's American Wasteland, Madden NFL 06, Gears of War, Ghost Recon 3, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 06, Quake 4, Kameo: Elements of Power, Project Gotham Racing 3, NBA 2K6, Call of Duty 2, The Darkness, Saint's Row, and Need for Speed Most Wanted, were also briefly shown. New details for these games include confirmed names for Tiger Woods and Madden, as well as Xbox Live support for Tony Hawk's American Wasteland.

Of the games shown, Microsoft would only confirm three as launch titles. "You can expect to see Kameo, Project Gotham Racing 3, and Perfect Dark Zero in that launch window as three titles that we'll get behind," said Peter Moore, the Microsoft corporate vice president in charge of Xbox's worldwide marketing. Moore told GameSpot that there are "between 25 and 30 titles that are all vying to be part of the launch slate," with even more to come soon after. "Launch is great. Christmas will be right around the corner after that. January, February, and March are also very, very important months," he said.

GameSpot will have more information on the Xbox 360 when Microsoft holds its press conference next Monday night at E3 in Los Angeles. However, for a thorough rundown on what is known about the console, check out GameSpot's special Xbox 360: Inside and Out feature. To learn more about its origins and development, read GameSpot News' feature Spot On: The Road to 360.

Written By

Jeff Gerstmann has been professionally covering the video game industry since 1994.

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