Perfect Dark Reboot Graphics Modes Revealed by Xbox Game Studios’ The Initiative

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Image: Rare

Perfect Dark, an Unreal Engine reboot of the classic sci-fi FPS from Rare that released exclusively for the Nintendo 64 in 2000, will launch with at least two graphics modes for Xbox consoles, allowing players to choose between higher frame rates or greater visual quality, according to a (seemingly filled) job ad for a Technical Art Director posted by Santa Monica-based developer The Initiative that mentions “performance and quality” engine modes. Microsoft announced that The Initiative was working on its first title, Perfect Dark, in December 2020.

The graphics modes, per a listing of employee responsibilities:

  • Work with Technical and Art Directors to get the highest visual quality out of Unreal for each platform, for both performance and quality engine modes.
  • Continuously and critically look for areas for improvement in both performance and visuals that align with our overall art direction.
  • Together with Directors and Engineers, ensure project has an achievable GPU budget and processes in place across the content team to achieve our performance goals.
  • Work with Art Lead and Tech Artists to establish tools, pipelines, art creation standards, and best practices, and educate content team, to ensure content is being built in the most efficient way to hit our art style and quality bar.
  • Work with Directors on creative technical solutions for custom effects and visuals that will make our project unique.
  • Be the liaison between the Programming, Art, Lighting, UI, and FX Teams, and the Tech Art team.
  • Mentor, guide, and direct the Tech Art team to have impact on the project.
  • Collaborate with leaders across other Xbox Studios and Epic, and maintain awareness of current and future industry practices, for game art tools, techniques, and pipelines.

The original announce trailer from 2020, plus a dev interview:

Microsoft said at the time:

We have built the Perfect Dark team at The Initiative by bringing in some of the most talented game makers from around the industry who all share a passion for storytelling, world-building and creating memorable game experiences. With the full backing from Xbox Studios to re-imagine one of the best loved IPs from gaming history, we couldn’t be more excited to share some of our early ideas.


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Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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