Perfect Dark critics are out of line with ‘dog-faced’ Joanna Dark comments

Perfect Dark critics are out of line with ‘dog-faced’ Joanna Dark comments
Images via The Coalition | Crystal Dynamics | Rare

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

10th Jun 2024 17:21

It's been 14 years since we last saw Joanna Dark, and even that was the rerelease of the OG Perfect Dark. Given the legacy of 2000's original game and its 2005 prequel, it's a shame that there have been so few Perfect Dark games.

We've long since moved on from the franchise's stewardship under Rare, with The Initiative and Crystal Dynamics working on the simply titled Perfect Dark reboot. The June 9 Xbox showcase gave us our first look at this new Agent Dark, although not everyone was a fan.

Perfect Dark critics brand Joanna Dark 'dog-faced'

After being announced at 2020's Game Awards and going relatively quiet ever since, we'll admit we believed those recent reports that Perfect Dark was in trouble. Thankfully, it doesn't look like that's the case, with the Xbox showcase showing off a glossy gameplay trailer. 

The in-game footage showcased Joanna Dark in a futuristic version of Earth that's been ravaged by natural disasters. With her dataDyne mission taking her to Cairo, Dark has to hunt down the wanted Daniel Carrington, although we guess there’s more to the story.

Even if we aren't convinced by the label of Perfect Dark being a AAAA game, there's no denying it looks stunning. Unfortunately, a small minority don’t think the lead is quite as beautiful. Resurrecting the argument that the protagonist of the new Fable is 'ugly,' the baying crowd then turned on Dark.

Leave Joanna Dark Alone

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When someone shared the Fable protagonist on X (formerly Twitter), one critic sniped, "People should be talking about how dog-faced Joanna Dark looks, though. Gameplay looks fire but…" Another grumbled, "Honestly don't know why they changed her face so much she had an iconic look."

A third said, "Joanna Dark looks insanely ugly. Continuing the trend of horrendous western designs for female characters." Don't worry, though, there were plenty defending her. Comparing her to Control's Jesse, Brie Larson, or Lucy Lawless, many were fighting Joanna Dark’s corner. Even if (for whatever reason) you have a problem with how she looks, it's a first-person shooter.

We're seeing an unfortunate rise in complaints about the design of female video game characters, with the upcoming Lara Croft redesign and Hades 2 being caught in the crossfire while others ogle Eve from Stellar Blade

With everything from Star Wars Outlaws to Senua's Saga: Hellblade II seemingly being slammed for having a female protagonist, there's also been an increase in grumbles about games like Assassin's Creed Shadows being called 'woke.'

For those vocal few dunking on Perfect Dark, at least you'll have plenty of time to stew on your rage. A release date was noticeably absent from the gameplay trailer, leading to speculation it'll be at least 2026 before Ms. Dark is back in our lives. We'd probably find something other than hate to channel our energy into for the next two years.

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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