If you're fed up with the usual gun-touting, stealth-hiding, action-tactical special ops-loving shooters littering the market, D3 thinks it has the answer with Dark Sector - a game that promises a twist on all the above. But does it?
From the co-creators of Epic's Unreal, Dark Sector sees you play Hayden Tenno, a covert operative sent on a dangerous mission to Eastern Europe to a city that's infested with a deadly virus and therefore a bunch of flesh-eating zombies. Of course, this being a videogame, you capture said virus, but rather than kill you or turn you into a flesh-eating zombie, it makes you stronger.
Strong enough in fact to give you the ability to wield a deadly three bladed boomerang and catch it similar to that last seen in the virtually forgotten fantasy movie Krull (yes we know that was five blades) from the early-80s.
So far then pretty boring nondescript stuff with nothing that breaks out from the norm.
If we were to give the game a score based on its opening level, which is strangely all in black and white because it's a Prologue (imagine if Sony had done that with GT5) then this review would have been full of woe and misery.
As it is, the more we've played Dark Sector the more we've seen its depth and the more we've started to enjoy it.
Rather than insist you rely entirely on your newfound magical powers, the game still values the capabilities of a good shotgun or AK-47. There are times when the enemy is simply out of reach of your throwing glaive as the boomerang is called, or more likely until you master it.
At first the glaive seems slow, annoying, and limited compared to a rifle as the game doesn't give you everything at once, preferring instead to bring on new powers and skills as you go, either to keep you hooked or simply not to overwhelm you, but as its powers increase you'll soon find yourself using it more and more.
Those powers are mainly to do with the glaive and its capabilities. As the game progresses you have the ability to throw it harder or to control its direction from a first person perspective very much like the footage we saw from a missile in the Gulf War on CNN.
If that wasn't enough you also get to charge your glaive with fire or electrical current by throwing it into a flame or shorting an electrical box. This in turn allows you to open doors, clear debris or just set the bad guys alight so they die quicker.
This combined with a range of weapons that can in turn be upgraded or picked up from dead people make the weapon systems something a little bit more interesting than your average fare, the catch with the weapons you find is that they only last so long before self-destructing.
What's a weapons system without a good storyline though and even more so, good gameplay?
Luckily, Dark Sector seems to have both. The storyline, although a tad confusing, does continue to keep you intrigued as to what the hell is going on. Meanwhile the bad guys - either military soldiers or virus ridden zombies - use different tactics to bring about your demise. The zombies just keep coming like in the remake of Dawn of the Dead, there is no real thought to their tactics. However the soldiers are intelligent enough to cause you some issue working together to flush you out.
As for the graphics, they are stunning. Supposedly ditching a PC version because the graphics aren't up to scratch, D3 has made good use of the PS3 processing power offering you an array of cityscapes in all weathers: the rain is especially impressive. Think Gears of War, Half-life 2 and you'll be in the right zone.
At first glance Dark Sector doesn't look to have much depth to it with a slow start both on the storyline and special features front, but the more we've played it, the more we want to come back.
The glaive, which like the storyline, starts out as a bit nondescript is an innovative addition to what could have been just another action shooter battling the forces of evil.
Stick with the slow start, luckily for Dark Sector, it eventually changes into a game worth playing.
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