Perfect Dark Core [Xbox 360 – Cancelled / Prototype]

Perfect Dark Core [Xbox 360 – Cancelled / Prototype]

Perfect Dark Core was a prototype which was intended as a sequel critically acclaimed Nintendo 64 shooter Perfect Dark. While Microsoft already released a PD title at the Xbox 360 launch (Perfect Dark Zero), which was originally supposed to be published on the GameCube but was then moved to the Xbox and then to Xbox 360, it was mildy received and not nearly as successful as the original N64 title.

Perfect Dark Core would have brought some drastic changes to the franchise. Perfect Dark Zero was developed by the remains of the original Perfect Dark team, which was led by Chris Tilston. However, after PDZ was finished in late 2005, the team was split into smaller teams that started work on different prototypes. One of these was The Fast & the Furriest, its team was led by PDZ’s story and script writer Dale Murchie. Another prototype team was led by Mark Edmonds and Chris Tilston, both worked on an MMO which was cancelled during the company restructure in early 2009. As the leads of the PD series were either bound to other (later to be cancelled) projects or had already left the company (with one being graphics director Kevin Bayliss), Rare’s management decided to hand the PD franchise to the developers of Conker, a team led by Chris Seavor. Some of the Conker team had already helped during the final stages of Perfect Dark Zero when it was ported to Xbox 360, others had worked on Urchin, a gothic/horror prototype cancelled in 2006.

Perfect Dark Core featured a more realistic atmosphere than its precedessors, with Joanna having a different and less feminine behaviour (smoking, flirting).

Joanna Dark from Perfect Dark Core

During development of Perfect Dark Core, the team made drastic changes to this original concept. The player did no longer control Joanna Dark, but a male character that was also seen in gameplay footage that was leaked in 2009. Other decisions remained rather vague due to its nature of being a prototype.

Special Thanks to Mundorare, Rareminion and the various (former) Rare employees who made it possible to preserve some info and documents about Perfect Dark Core, before it could have been lost and forgot forever.

Perfect Dark Core proto / animation demos footage:

In late 2008, the prototype, that only featured one completed level, was still not greenlit. Instead, the team was cut down to only three developers, which meant the ending of the project. Most of its staff was put onto other projects – of which many were not released either. By that time, however, the prototype that started out as Perfect Dark Core was no longer set in the PD universe, it was not even referred to as Perfect Dark Core. While the gameplay was still an action FPS, the player was supposed to shoot at mechs that were controlled by humans (in case of this prototype the mech was controlled by the protagonist that was designed for an earlier built and seen in leaked gameplay footage). This was the last stage of the prototype after which it was entirely abandoned.

Unnamed Mech-FPS prototype footage

Images for Perfect Dark Core and unnamed Mech-FPS


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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (8 votes, average: 4.13 out of 5)

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U64 Staff & Contributors

U64 Staff & Contributors

Authors at Unseen 64
Since 2001 Unseen64 try to archive beta and cancelled videogames, till the 7th generation of consoles. There are too many unseen games to preserve, but many people help us with their contributions, screens, videos and descriptions. Do you want to help too?
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13 thoughts on “Perfect Dark Core [Xbox 360 – Cancelled / Prototype]

  1. atomickid

    in the begining of the 2nd video, it looks like Mirror’s Edge ! :o
    And in the 3rd one, that’s too bad it was never released, mech are pretty animated !

  2. Farzan

    Thanks for posting these. As much of a disappointment PDZ was compared to the original, it was still a pretty fun game. Not to mention the game looking great for a launch title. I’m confident if Rare ever made another Perfect Dark game for 360, they will give it their best. I’m a big Rare fan and still hope they will make another game soon instead of Kinect only games.

  3. DEF

    Perfect Dark 1 is the best FPS ever.

    When M$ purchased RARE while best RARE developers quited, the franchise was over.

  4. DCodes7

    I hope this isn’t the end of Perfect Dark. This series has potential and it surprises me that RARE didn’t even green light another Perfect Dark game – I mean Perfect Dark is one RARE’s best franchises.

    I hope there will be another Perfect Dark game in the future. At this rate, RARE might as well sell the rights of the PD series to another developer.

    Anyway, Awesome article Liam! Keep up the good work!

  5. MPNagem89

    maybe this game getting cancelled can be a good thing. it’s not exactly the prefect dark we all know and love.

  6. Stryde22

    i still maintain that despite the ‘meh’ that was Perfect Dark Zero, the canon novels which played as a sequel were fantastically written adn would make for some amazing gaming. they successfully put life and depth into the franchise and i could only wish to see them meld with teh original storyline to create an epic game series.

  7. TerminusOmega

    The whole reason this happened was because of that crap game HALO. If it were not for that poor excuse of and FPS, Perfect Dark Zero would have been better recieved. Halo sucked, plain and simple. Bad controls, unimaginative characters and a cliched story. Perfect Dark was good, but Sheeple never want good, they want mindless drivel.

  8. Rick

    I love the PD games, although the story from Zero was not great, it still destroys some of today’s shooters in tightness and graphic fidelity. I could actually feel like i was pushing and moving around in the world, and it was weighted and felt like something they could expound on. it would actually eclipse CALL OF DUTY in terms of tournament play, as all head shots had to be precise. some of the movement was heavy, but it was smooth and shiny, and all that they needed was for the people to play it. all of its conventions were ahead of its time, and it really felt awesome with the xbox controller, nevermind the rolling, dodging and cover-mechanic. I get furious just thinking about it.

  9. BGX

    “Joanna having a different and less feminine behaviour (smoking, flirting)”

    If they will ever create a new Perfect Dark, I hope they won’t keep that idea. I love how Joanna is described in the two books and the comics. That just wouldn’t fit.

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