Many many moons ago I decided to quash my World of Warcraft addiction buying a PS3 with Grand Turismo Prologue and Dark Sector. Since then my pile of consoles and games has increased greatly and I’ve never got around to completing either. A couple of weeks ago, a charity event was announced on the midlifegamer.net forum called the Pile of Win. It was asked that for charity you pick one game from your pile of shame and play it between the 14th September and the 21st September…..my game of choice was Dark Sector.
The game at heart is a cover based third person shooter, which has a similar look and feel to Gears of War, however didn’t play anywhere near as nice. For a cover based game, I didn’t feel the games cover system wasn’t all that good. For example, if you got to the end of a wall, and wanted to quickly move to other cover, you pressed left or right, which moved you in that direction, however you then had to press the cover button a second time to get back into cover mode. Additionally if you wanted to vault over an item, this was a different button…the whole cover system just felt a little janky.
The combat was as you would expect from a third person shooter, pick up guns, shoot the enemy, pick up thier guns, shoot more enemies. There was however an additional mechanic, the weapons that you picked up from the enemy you’d just killed would only last around 30 seconds before it self destructed leaving you only with your weapons. You initially start off with a handgun, however this can be upgraded and new guns bought over time from Black Market traders found under man hole covers at various location thought the game.
I personally found the enemies in this game a bit of a bullet sponge, I’d find myself powering through bullets just to take down a simple enemy. This wouldn’t have been too bad if you were able to purchase bullet, so found myself spending a lot of the game hunting around for ammo crates.
In addition to your guns you have a Glaive, which is a three pronged boomerang/throwing star type object which can be thrown at enemies to stun them and remove thier limbs. Although initally fun to decapitate people, it did get a little samey, especially when you were out of ammo and forced to use this as you’re only weapon. Later in the game you are able to use fire, ice and electric to temporarily modify the Glaive to give you that additional killing power, but once again, at the times when this is your only weapon, it gets a little samey.
With the Glaive, you do have the option to use it as a melee weapon, however it’s next to useless, I found myself swinging at a groups of mobs, and the melee weapon seemed to have little to no effect. The only time it did come in useful was if you’d got an enemys enery down low enough, you could finish them.
All in all, the whole combat system felt very much like killroom after killroom which little enemy varience. You were either up against a group of soldier type enemies, or zombie type enemies, and sometimes a bit of both. Occasionally you’d get a mini boss or a main boss, both of which would require things done in a certain sequence to kill them off. The bosses did get increasingly harder however the last two had me throwing a proper strop and rage quitting, only to go back twenty minutes later to tackle them again. Although there was a sequence of events that you have to do to kill off the bosses, it felt more like luck than skill, and if you got your arse handed to you, you’d have to start the whole sequence over again……very frustrating!
One of the main downsides of the enemies was, they weren’t that smart, I found I could run into a room and they’d all line up outside, unable to shoot/attack me, and let me decapitate them one at a time. Additionally, on occasions you could run from checkpoint to checkpoint, and if you died, if would respawn you without any enemies following (only realised this 75% way through the game).
The graphics style was similar to that of Unreal Tournament or Gears of war and didn’t look too bad, I remember being blow away by some of the rain effects back in the day, however by todays standards it only looked average at best. I think most noticeable was the facial design and animation, these seemed very plasticky by todays standards.
A slight annoyance with this game was, it was released before the Playstation ‘trophy’ system, and was never a patched to add them. This was quite frustrating as it had all the trigger points (eg 30 headshots) popping up on the screen, but they went nowhere…pity.
All in all, the game was ok, and I now wish that if I’d have bothered to play the game back in 2008, I wouldn’t have had such a hard time with it. At the end of the day, I raised £20 for charity and got a game off my pile of shame.
Approx Time taken to beat – 15 hours
Difficulty setting – Normal
Score – [Rating:2/5]
Games TrailerTags: 14th September, Ammo Crates, Boomerang, Bullets, Charity Event, Dark Sector, Game Hunting, Games Cover, Gears, Gears Of War, Glaive, Grand Turismo Prologue, Handgun, Janky, Man Hole, Many Moons, Market Traders, Mechanic, PS3, Star Type, Third Person Shooter, Throwing Star, World Of Warcraft, World Of Warcraft Addiction