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Platform

Xbox 360

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

D3 Publisher

 

Developer

Digital Extremes

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

March 25, 2008

 

 

- The glaive is the all-purpose killing tool that we wish we all had! (At least for games)

- Great touches all round, especially the sound of the glaive

- Controls are very reminiscent of other action titles, like Gears of War

- Multiplayer games are great...

 

 

- ... even if there are only two modes

- Glaive is so good that the guns feel underpowered

 

 

Review: Gears of War (360)

Review: Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed (Wii)

Review: Army of Two (360)

Review: BloodRayne 2 (XB)

 

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Dark Sector

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

Dark Sector is a depressing game filled with biological weapons gone awry, huge mutated freaks, and enough gore and severed limbs to rival a real-life slaughter house.  That said, it’s actually pretty fun, particularly the all-purpose “glaive”, which is a weapon, tool, and flashlight all in one handy contraption.  It can also be manipulated in-flight to result in pin-point decapitations.

 

dark sector          dark sector

 

Early on in Dark Sector, your character, Hayden Tenno, is infected with some kind of really malicious virus, which appears to be slowly turning him to metal.  It doesn’t really account for why he suddenly has the three-pronged glaive at his disposal. But whatever, it’s an awesome weapon, so who cares?  The glaive can be momentarily charged with electricity, fire or ice, and it also acts a retrieval system of sorts.  Lock on to a gun, heave the glaive and when it returns you have 

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use of a firearm. (At least for a short time; enemy weapons are equipped with a lock-out mechanism that actually shorts out the gun after a short period when an infected person is holding it.)  As the game progresses, more and more abilities are granted unto the glaive, including the ability to “charge” it up to do four times the damage in one throw.  It’s also used to overcome environmental puzzles, 

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like flicking an out-of-reach switch to open a door.

 

It’s also used quiet a bit during up close finishing moves, reminiscent of Turok’s knife kills or Gears of War’s chainsaw kills.

 

Hayden’s arsenal is filled out with more traditional weapons, like guns and grenades.  The guns can be upgraded along with the way when you come across access points – manhole covers – to the black market.  The upgrades are squirreled all over the game and can be equipped at the black market free of charge.  Buying a weapon (one that won’t blow up) requires cash, which liberally dots each area as long as you take a few moments to scan the area as you run through it.  Unfortunately, because the glaive is just so awesome, when you have to switch to a gun, it feels weak in comparison.

 

dark sector          dark sector

 

Many other critics have invoked the name of Gears of War, when it comes to Dark Sector’s action because of the sublime use of cover, the so-called “roadie run” and the generally depressing art direction of each environment.  It even looks similar, though Dark Sector uses its own proprietary engine rather than the Unreal Engine.  The use of the glaive changes it up enough to make it less of a “me too” title, but the rest is comfortable enough for fans of genre to jump right in and have fun with it.

 

Once the single-player campaign is conquered, there’s also the option of jumping online.  There are only a couple of modes but they’re actually a lot of fun.  One has a random player using Hayden with all other players as soldiers trying to take him down.  It’s a mode we don’t often see, but it really works in this case because Hayden is such a radically different character than the soldiers.  The other pits two sides against each other, but each side has a Hayden character and taking out your opponent’s Hayden results in victory.  It’s a setup that results in some great balancing and shifting back between offensive and defensive tactics.  And if you don’t have enough human players to really fill out the experience, bots are included.

 

For action fans, Dark Sector is definitely a game worth checking out because it hits all the right notes.  And though there are only two (really good) multiplayer modes, one can’t help but think that with Digital Extreme’s history – they had a big part of the original Unreal games – and the ability to deliver content via Xbox Live, that we may see more multiplayer modes sometime in the future.  Let’s keep out fingers crossed.

 

- Omni

(April 7, 2008)

 

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