Lighting up Dark Sector, single player impressions

By Louise Yang . March 26, 2008 . 8:44am

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Dark Sector starts off as a generic third person shooter.  After a menacing cut scene, you're placed in the middle of a conflict you know very little about.  Good thing there's some voice over the radio to tell you what to do.

 

The prologue of the game makes it seem like the whole game will be in gritty monotone, which actually sets the mood pretty well, but don't worry — the rest of the game will be in color.

 

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For the first ten minutes or so of the game, I thought, "meh, another generic shooter."  The AI was predictable, there were ubiquitous crates of supplies in rooms, a combination of ducking for cover and popping out to fire a few rounds was sufficient to clear rooms, and did I mention that the AI was predictable?

 

It's not until you get the deadly-looking bladed weapon shown on the front of the game's cover that things get a bit more awesome.  No matter how many times I do it, there's just something so satisfying about throwing the boomerang-of-doom at an enemy and seeing his head pop off.  Sure there are technical issues like the weapon clipping through walls on its return trip and the AI is still dumb, but that bladed boomerang is just so neat — even when you use it for melee.

 

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The music in Dark Sector isn't something Oscar-winning, but it's atmospheric enough where I could feel myself tense up when it sounded like something dramatic was going to happen.

 

One thing that hurt the suspension of belief during the game is the frame rate.  Most of the time, it's fantastic and stutter isn't noticeable, but there are a handful of times (*cough* helicopter, I'm looking at you *cough*) where I got annoyed by the skipping and slowdown.  It's not game-breaking in any way — it was just frustrating trying to aim when your system starts to chug.

 

Dark Sector isn't going to blow your mind or anything, but as a shooter, it's a pretty solid one and can satisfy an itchy trigger finger.  I thought the weapon time-limit would be annoying at first, but honestly, I was having so much fun chopping people's heads off with the bladed boomerang that I mostly ignored guns unless I really needed them.


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