Dark Sector PlayStation 3
Published by: D3Publisher
Developed by: Digital Extremes
Release Date: Out Now
In Dark Sector you’ll play as Hayden Tenno, a covert operative who was sent on a hazardous mission into Lasria, a city in Eastern Europe. The mission didn’t go as planned and Hayden was attacked and one of his arms infected by a Technocyte Virus. The virus essentially transforms Hayden into a killing machine. Hayden has acquired powerful abilities which enable him to make easy work of his enemies. Perhaps the most important of these is the Glaive, a disk with three curved blades attached to it that grows out of his infected hand.
Dark Sector is a third-person action game that has clearly been influenced by some of the best offerings in the genre such as Gears of War. That’s not to say the game doesn’t have its own identity however, because it certainly does thanks in no small part to Hayden’s abilities and the use of the Glaive. Hayden can use conventional weapons but it is his Glaive that really gives him the edge in a fight. The Glaive can be used as a extremely powerful projectile, it can be used to steal items (ideal for claiming those items that are out of Hayden’s reach) and you can even apply aftertouch to its flight path meaning you can control it in flight and guide it from one enemy to another performing all kinds of limb-severing action in the process. Hayden’s infected arm will also gain the ability to deflect bullets and make him temporarily invisible, amongst other things, as the game progresses. The Glaive also gives Hayden an assortment of gory finishing moves to carry out on his enemies.
As enjoyable as Dark Sector is at times, you can’t help but feel a little disappointed that the game isn’t quite as good as it could have been. Probably the biggest disappointment is the quality of the storyline. All the ingredients are here for a great story but for some reason the storyline is practically non-existent. It’s almost as if the story was an afterthought and one of the consequences of this is that the characters you’ll encounter in the game have very little depth to them and you never feel as though you’re fully involved with the game’s events. At times it seems like you’re simply playing through a collection of levels rather than progressing through a cohesive and interesting storyline. The AI of your enemies isn’t that great and given the efficiency with which Hayden can dispatch his enemies, this does tend to make the game feel too easy at times. The two multiplayer modes, Infection and Epidemic, are also pretty uninteresting in that they are extremely unbalanced and heavily in favour of the gamer who is playing as Hayden.
Visually, Dark Sector is, for the most part impressive. The character models are nicely detailed and most of the environments you’ll find yourself in during the game look very good. Probably the most impressive aspect of the game is the frame rate which manages to remain good throughout. When you first play the game over a gigabyte of data (1,257MB to be exact) is installed on the console’s hard drive. As a result the load times are short and you’re never left to look at a loading screen for more than a few seconds.
Dark Sector won’t cause deaf gamers any real problems but that’s not to say the game couldn’t have been better in its provision for deaf gamers. The game is subtitled although the subtitles aren’t enabled by default. The main dialogue in the game is subtitled. There is some speech that isn’t subtitled. Thankfully none of the unsubtitled speech is important, although it does prevent deaf gamers from being able to enjoy the full ambience of the game. The game’s rather brief tutorial messages are in text and these can be recalled if they are needed.
It’s fair to say that Dark Sector isn’t as good as it could have been. The primary reason for this is that the storyline comes across as something of an afterthought. Despite the practically non-existent storyline however, Dark Sector is an enjoyable game. It has a solid mix of action and stealth and Hayden’s unique abilities help to make the game feel quite different from other third-person action titles. In fact if you’re a fan of the genre then Dark Sector is a game I would recommend despite its shortcomings. Who knows at this point in time whether or not we’ll see a sequel but if there were to be one, and should it include sharper enemy AI and a quality storyline, we really would have a truly memorable game.