A great game, but it doesn't really live up to the original.
If this was a stand alone game, I would just say, "Hey, this is a pretty cool game, but its got some problems". However, this isn't a stand alone game, this is a sequel to what many including myself consider to be one of the best shooters of all time. So this game is going to be held up to higher standards, and it is going to suffer for it.
The graphics are very good for a launch game, and showcase the potential of the Xbox 360 well. Lighting is heavily used in this game, and seems to be what they focused on the most when developing the graphics for this game. As a result, everything shines like crazy, even the plants are shiny. They used a lot of color this time around, not unlike Halo's art style. It gives the game a refreshing look that is much appreciated. Some of the character models are very strange looking and disproportionate, which doesn't make any sense because other character models look perfectly normal.
The soundtrack is pretty typical of Perfect Dark. It is essentially the same one as the original but remixed and expanded. Gun effects and explosions all sound fine, but aren't really anything special. The voice work is pretty cheesy, it even makes me wince with embarrassment sometimes.
The game-play, while solid, isn't really improved in any way from the first game. In fact, sometimes it even feels a little worse. What I mean by this is that it doesn't control very tight, so it takes some getting used to, but once you've got the hang of things it's a perfectly fine shooter. The game features pretty the same weapon set as the first Perfect Dark. The storyline is your pretty average FPS campaign, nothing special. The plot itself is really stupid, and the ending is atrocious. The campaign does however, feature a couple really cool moments, even so, it only lasts about 6 hours. This brings me to multi-player. It's pretty interesting with some neat ideas and innovative game modes. This being said, they could have taken the multi-player a lot further and made it more competitive, increasing it's longevity. It's basically the same game as before but in HD.
Rare really let me, along with a lot of other fans down with this one. It's still a very solid shooter with some nice ideas, but it really wasn't executed well. It makes me wonder what they did with all that development time. This game is still worth at least a rent, if for no other reason that to see how the the prequel to one of the best shooters ever turned out.