Dark Sector [Xbox 360 Review]

Developer: Digital Extremes
Publisher: D3Publisher of America
Game Rating: M (Mature)

1 Player
Multiplayer Versus
System Link: 2-8
Dolby 5.1 Surround
HDTV 720p
Storage Device
Players: 2-8
Marketplace Downloads
Leaderboards
Voice Support

My first sampling of Dark Sector came when Sony Playstation invited me to their annual Holiday Event. Having sampled a few of the other highly anticipated games at another console’s event and didn’t expect much else to excite. Boy was I wrong. Dark Sector turned out to be the my favourite game from the event event though I only got a brief taste of it.

With the hands on experience being brief I did not know what to expect. In a way Dark Sector is a hidden gem. It’s a game I’ve been having blast playing even when getting stuck at some very frustrating spots. The game doesn’t really offer anything new in terms of all around game play.

In fact, Dark Sector borrows a lot from other games like a clunkier version of the GOW duck and cover system. However, one thing I’ve enjoyed immensely is the glaive. It has become my primary weapon even though I’ve purchased all kinds of gear from the Underground merchants, which are located under manhole covers throughout the game. You can charge the glave with 3 elements (electricity, fire, and ice) to do more damage to those your fighting or open doors, burn down black web goo, and freeze water.

Through the game play you’ll pick up weapon boosters which can you slot into your weapons in the underground shop. Once you use one, however, they can’t be used again on a different weapon, and you can’t remove one to upgrade to a different one (at least I haven’t been able to).

The story itself would play fairly well for an end of the world virus movie with our hero Hayden Tenno (voiced by Michael Rosenbaum) becoming one of the infected himself. He’s not immune, but slowly mutates through out the game adding some dynamics to an otherwise flat storyline. One of the biggest drawbacks that Dark Sector faces is the game seems extremely repetitive. You essentially fight the same creatures over and over and over with a boss thrown in here and there for fun. At times figuring out how to kill a boss if rather irratating. I got stuck about 3-times trying to figure out how to beat them.

When you start the game you’re not infected and just a CIA agent on a mission where people are infected. As you move along you can pick up weapons and ammo to continue your mission. However, once you become infected you cannot steal weapons for long periods of time anymore as they have an “infected” sensor which disables the weapon.

The game is dark and gritty so the name Dark Sector fits it well. The graphics are done extremely well, and in our interview with the producer last year, he confirmed it was one engine that worked on both the PS3 and Xbox360 so they didn’t have to build the game twice. There is some tearing which is irrating but overall the game looks sweet.

The cut scenes use the actual game play renders rather than making movie quality cut scenes which keep you in the game and less likely to get board.

The soundtrack and audio effects are equally impressive and sometimes creepy as hell. Having played this a few times after midnight I had to mute to see if there was someone strolling around my shack.

I haven’t yet finished the game, but suspect I’m only a few hours, if that, away from wrapping it up. So far, besides getting stuck for an extra hour or two on a boss, I’ve put in roughly 7-hours and have enjoyed nearly every unhindered minute of it.

 

Crave Factor – 7.5

Out of 10

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