When you first hear the word “Dark Sector” a chill runs down your spine. The name itself is intriguing, and the actual makeup that the game posts far outdoes the recognition to the dark name it is so keen to. Dark Sector is a gritty action adventure 3rd person shooter that immerses players into a role of intrigue, and mystery as Hayden Tenno in a fancifully packed story where the gameplay makes the adventure worthwhile for the most part. As a black ops agent, Hayden Tenno carries out missions for the cryptic Russian government he works for through various classified missions. Sooner than later, things turn out for the worst and eventually Hayden is transformed to carrying out his own missions while evolving with his newly gained powers.
Loading up the game is easy. The starting screen asks you to save whatever you need, and then goes on to present a very sleek design in terms of the main menu. Covered with grit and a centered icon of the main glaive, a bladed weapon Hayden is signature to, the menu easily structures the game into the main parts: single player, network, LAN, and options. The transitions to each of the menus are seamless and quick, which add to make the smallest things really have a difference. In terms of actually jumping into the game, there are loading screens, but there are few to none and the action starts almost immediately.
As soon as the story starts, we are thrown into the action almost immediately as the reluctant Hayden Tenno decides to bomb up a facility after all, putting some doubts aside to an unknown contact in his headset. The first thing that’s quite noticeable in terms of the gameplay is the artistic direction almost directly. The colors are washed out, but in a great way. The main colors and artistic vision really give for an in-depth gritty experience as you make your way through the rainy staircases, and definitely show that the atmosphere of the game itself was well thought out. As you make your way through the wet scenery, you can vault over a window and pick up weapon ammo and shoot off a lock similar to Drake’s Fortune fascinate. Vault through some doors, and you end up getting a better feel for the eerie side to the atmosphere and the story in a projection room accompanied by a Russian voice stating something about danger of an outside threat. Then, cue the enemies to start coming out of nowhere to shoot you up.
In terms of the stylistic battle interface and engine, Dark Sector definitely manages to incorporate a visual appeal towards displaying what next gen games can really do. Hayden Tenno can aim fairly well, and the method to do so works well and even accounts in blind fire. Aside from that, he can run, and the camera sways very amiably towards whatever terrain he’s galloping on. The rush is exciting, and the run is far better as you approach an enemy to knock them out with the action key. In terms of weapons, there are black markets throughout the game where the player can easily upgrade weapons and what not as they progress through the story. The only problem that becomes apparent as you’re going through kicking the living ass out of your mask wearing enemies is the actual difficulties with the enemies in terms of realistic adventure. Shooting them takes about 8 to 9 shots, which can get a tad stingy to someone who wanted a palpable adventure in terms of combat. Then again, Dark Sector isn’t fully based on reality due to the fictitious story, but having a more presentable would have been much better.
The infection isn’t as bad as it sounds. After meeting up with Robert Mezner, a former Russian psycho general, you’re infected after being attacked by a creature, quaint enough. You wake up, and have awesome powers using your bladed weapon known as a guaive. Throwing it around is fairly simple in terms of the same shoot and cover mechanism as before, instead now you don’t have to really cover yourself. As an “infected,” you’re more resistant to bullets and what not. As time goes by, the actual abilities evolve and they’re really worth the trouble in slicing so many bodies and gaining the respective abilities per level.
The story and single player of Dark Sector are dead on solid and astounding. But what about the main component that keeps people wanting to be still infected? The multiplayer is definitely unique and adds a sense of responsibility in every player’s hands. Aside from making it a straight up shooter, or a bunch of infected trying to kill each other, the game takes an interesting approach. As the single player, the multiplayer strikes a balance between adding the focus of Hayden to one player against many and adding for action and excitement. The multiplayer comes primarily with two distinct modes: infection and epidemic. Infection begins a round with one player as Hayden, including all his powers and what nots, and the rest as the enemy soldiers with plant bombs and guns. The aim is to take down the player posing as Hayden in a strategic way. Running around separately like idiots and pretending its Call of Duty 4 will not get anyone anywhere. As Hayden in infection, you can kill anyone and they will in turn become like you, but in another model suit. Epidemic is essentially the same thing except two teams each have their own personal Hayden to kill. The only improvements that are massively needed on this end is a more extensive search capability. When you jump in to a game search, it gives: the map name, host name, and number of players. See anything missing? The mode types! Hardly anyone knows which server is hosting what mode, and this can get quite bothersome when you’re tired of trying to kill another Hayden for another team in Epidemic. Past that, players will find themselves immersed in this gritty action horror title through the starred extent of the gameplay in a multiplayer experience.
Dark Sector is one of those games which will definitely make anyone happy to have spent a whopping $60 on it. The storyline is in-depth, the characters are real, the atmosphere is dark, and everything is pure mayhem. In a good way. Packaged ever so gently, in an ever so terrifying display of graft and all things gone wrong with the world in which it takes place.