There is not a lot happening in the gaming world purely because of April 29th, the release of Grand Theft Auto 4. Publishers dare not try and compete with such a masterpiece. This being said I found my self bored with my current selected and had a look what is there to keep me busy this week. What was new on PS3?
What I found was Dark Sector.
Published by a company called D3 and developed by Digital Extreme both of which I have never heard. However after some investigation, I found that the developers Digital Extreme where responsible for Unreal tournament. Surprised? I was.
Since this is a new franchise and it’s not possible to compare to previous iterations I needed some thing to compare this game to and boy was that easy!
Dark Sector is a 3rd person action/horror game that borrows heavily from Resident Evil 4 with a dash of Gears of War and a pinch of Heavenly Sword there is some Manhunt and Second Sight thrown in just for pleasure as well. The 1st similarity is the over the shoulder view and aim style of Resident Evil4, then there is the â€œaction runningâ€ and duck styles from Gears of War and lastly the action cut scenes from Heavenly Sword. This might seem like a cheap rip off however it’s every thing but. These similarities are part of what gives Dark Sector its charisma. The tested styles of AAA titles mixed together are exceptionally well done.
Plot and layout
The game is dealt up in a 10 chapters. As seen before so many times it is set in a soviet country. In the prologue you play as Hayden Tenno a ……wait for it… U.S government agent!
The prologue starts you off a normal human with guns and grenades. After the completion of the prologue things start to get interesting with yet another clichÃ© kicking in, mutation. Now as we know by now mutation has two affects. It either turns you in to a mindless flesh eating a zombie or a super bad @ss hero out to save the day by alone. In this case the latter being spot on. The main initiative behind the game and the main point of your mutation is your newly acquired â€œweapon which seems to be an extension of your arm, The Glaive. The Glaive is a blade in boomerang style that when thrown returns to you, all while being used to hack up your enemies.
As stated before this is an over the shoulder 3rd person game with the main focuses on your Glaive and mutation. There is a certain quantity of â€œpuzzlingâ€ that is for the most part solved by use of the Glaive. These are not very demanding tasks such as unlock a door behind a fence or go beyond a section that is covered in ice or fire. The rest is pretty standard kill the monsters, armed forces and zombies with an assortment of boss and sub boss battles.
Sound and Graphics
As with the majority of the next gen games Dark Sector is beautiful. Environments are alive with astonishing detail up to the point of papers blowing in the wind and marvellous textures. The sound is on par with the looks as you hear pipes blowing wind and frost exploding.
An assortment of weapons is available with your Glaive being your principal weapon. As time goes by and you mutate, so does your powers allowing you to use elements like lightning, fire and ice in combination with the Glaive as well as have it explode and various other functions. These upgrades appear similar to the upgrades that where seen in Second Sight. The Glaive can even be used to pick up object and return them to you.
Weapons are bought from a black marker merchant (see another similarity with Resident Evil?). From this merchant you may upgrade your weapons and sell items as well. There is an option op picking up the weapons dropped by enemies however the only last a few seconds after which they explode.
Six axes and Rumble
The Rumble is as always a brilliant extra that just makes the game so much more realistic and chilling. Being able to feel when a trooper is approaching or when the train is about to whoosh by is superb.
The sixaxes section reminds me of Heavenly Sword where you had to launch the canon balls and controls them via the motion sensing. Here you launch your Glaive and then tap and hold R2 to go into a 1st person view of the Glaive. When in this view you have the control of the Glaive by moving and tilting your controller.
When an enemy is close to demise you can do a finishing move by walking up to him and pressing O this then performs a cinematic execution in the graphic style of Manhunt.
There is a reward that seems to be ported from the 360 version (not sure as I have not played the 360 version) as you get these rewards for certain tasks and accomplishments. An example is where you have done 30 finishing moves.
Overall: 85 %
Tilt / Dualshock 90%
My Final word:
Even though this game relies so heavily on borrowed ideas it’s still brilliantly done. Being about 150 rand below the normal price of a PS3 game this is an excellent buy!
On the up:
Great sound, visuals, story and using tried and tested ideas
On the down:
Every so often feels to cloned
Last Updated: April 25, 2008