According to an ex-Rare developer, the cancelled Perfect Dark Core game would have been built around an “open-ended sandbox.” This would have given the game a similar feel as Deus Ex.
Microsoft: Pulling the Plug for Perfect Dark Core
In an interview with Eurogamer, former Rare developer Chris Seavor revealed that Perfect Dark Core has been in production for almost a year. The game would have put a darker twist on the developer’s shooter series, if Microsoft hadn’t pulled the plug.
We did Perfect Dark Core, which was going okay. It was all right. There was a load of tech. I was trying to do something quite different with that.
I wanted to get away from the go around the corner, shoot, on rails kind of game, which a lot of games are doing now. If you look back at what games were like, like GoldenEye and Perfect Dark, all the old games like Deus Ex, you compare how complex they were in terms of the multiple paths, first-person shooters now have gone backwards in time in terms of design, but way ahead in terms of graphics. It’s a bit of a shame. But I was trying to get it back to that more open-ended sandbox feel to first-person shooters.
As to why Microsoft cancelled, Seavor speculates that it was due to Perfect Dark Zero’s lower-than-expected sales for the Xbox 360.
Rare’s Perfect Dark with Deus Ex Feel
Prior to this, artwork and prototype footage of Perfect Dark Core were leaked last March 2011. It was described as more realistic that its previous titles, which allows users to control a male character who accompanies a “smoking, flirting” Joanna Dark. Aside from that, Seaver revealed that the Perfect Dark Core would have a Deus Ex feel to it.
It was definitely going to be, you could go over here and do this over here, or you could go over here and do this over here. And then it would bottleneck down to something that would then take you to the next bit. It was very much about missions and storyline.
[Deus Ex is] one of my favourite games. I really like that game. I thought, if you could get something like that but make it look amazing, you’re probably on a fairly good direction to having a hit.
Read Seaver’s complete interview on Eurogamer’s official website.