NEWS - Monday, October 24, 2005

Allard On Perfect Dark Zero

As the Xbox 360 launch approaches, some in the industry are watching "Perfect Dark Zero," from Microsoft's Rare development studio, and wondering whether it could be a blockbuster for the Xbox 360 in the way that "Halo," from the company's Bungie Studios, was for the original Xbox. I asked Xbox executive J Allard about that possibility during my recent conversation with him in San Francisco. His comments about the game -- "PDZ," as he calls it -- didn't make it into the Q&A that we published last week, so here they are: "I think PDZ is going to be special for 360. Is it going to be Halo? I don't know, because some people look at Halo and say, well, it was the birth of a new category for console gaming, called the first-person shooter. I don't think PDZ is going to have quite that impact. Others will say [Halo] had incredible sales volume and was a driver of the console. I think [Perfect Dark Zero] is going to be a driver of the console. I think there are definitely people who are going buy 360 because of it. Are we going to sell 5 or 6 million copies? That's to be determined." Allard also talked about his own experience playing Perfect Dark Zero: "There's more action-adventure elements, combined with first-person shooter, that make this different than just a shooter. A little bit more tactics, a little bit more thinking involved. I think the art direction, the style, is great. Then you go to the online stuff, and they've designed some great online maps, they have the co-op mode, where Halo had a little bit of co-op at the end. A lot of people, even the most competitive people in the world, love to play together. It's fun to have a teammate. I've played a bunch of Perfect Dark Zero levels solo, and then to go back in a co-op mode and try to solve the same puzzles, and be able to try to solve them more effectively, changes your outlook on the game."


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