The Xbox Live Arcade remake of classic Nintendo 64 shooter Perfect Dark sings on the Xbox 360, mixing the game's original geometry with high-definition graphics and a silky frame rate without tinkering with the unique controls.
And that was the goal, said Kenn Lobb, creative director for Microsoft Game Studios, and executive producer for Perfect Dark.
"We wanted to make it fast and fun and we nailed that," Lobb said. "We didn't want to change the geometry. We're not trying to spend $40 million to make a remake, it's an XBLA game."
The end result is a game that uses the 10-year-old game's original geometry, but features characters, weapons and backdrops that displays at 1080p and runs at 60 frames per a second.
"The weapons and character models are ten to 20 times the poly count of the original game and yet they look good in the original background geometry," he said. "The team did a great job of rezing up to a point that it doesn't feel like a ten year old game but keeping it fitting in the graphic's geometry we had."
The game also pushes a lot more of the original gameplay online, Lobb said.
The original game just had multiplayer online, the arcade version will allow you to play coop, counter-op, the challenges and mulitplayer online.
And now up to eight players can go online in matches, mixing and matching with up to four-player split screen and online players.
Another thing the team didn't mess with are the controls.
"I liked (box 360 game) Perfect Dark Zero a lot, but with PDZ we messed with the controls, we tried to do something that was like Prefect Dark hybridized with Halo and it was a mistake," he said. "So this time we went straight, let's make it feel like Perfect Dark."
The game does include two other button mapping options: Spartan, based on Halo controls, and Duty Calls, based on Call of Duty controls.
"But if you're a PD player and go with default it feels exactly like PD," Lobb said.
The response to news that the original Perfect Dark was coming to the Xbox 360 this March for $10 was met with enthusiasm among a hardcore group of players, Lobb said.
Many of those fans went on to become the hardcore audience that play many of today's modern shooters.
"Every game influences every other game," Lobb said. "Great designers look at what everyone else is doing. Clearly the Bungie guys were fans of the franchise. They took what were kind of the beginning seeds of what was working with multiplayer and exploded it up to 16 payers and bigger maps."
Lobb expects that when Perfect Dark hits next month it will be among the top five percent of XBLA games sold. And if it doesn't well, there's a good chance the game could get new content.
"That's something we've talked about, but it comes down to the audience reaction," he said. "One of the things we speced out was DLC, it would probably be new maps and it would be interesting to do a couple of new guns."