Dark Sector PS3 Review
Sometimes it’s the simple things in a game that can give players an immense level of enjoyment, often over other aspects. Take Dark Sector as an example, or more specifically its primary weapon the glaive, which is all sorts of fun to use.
The star of Dark Sector may very well be the deadly glaive, but at least a modicum of credit must go to its wielder Hayden Tenno, who gains the weapon, after being infected with a virus (good on you mate). Other than that, Hayden is a bit too much of a clichéd fellow to be likeable as are the surrounding cast, whilst the narrative never really gets any more than relatively engaging.
At heart, Dark Sector is a standard third person shooter, that has little in the way of its own identity with many features that are currently popular with developers such as a cover system, recharging health and an over the shoulder perspective, all aspects of which are executed admirably. The biggest hook though is certainly the glaive.
This amazing weapon is a bit like a shruriken and a particularly nasty one at that. One that is razor sharp and incessantly returns to Hayden’s hand as if it’s enjoying the mass bloodshed that it is causing. Once thrown the glaive can even be steered with after touch (which on the PS3 makes effective and game enhancing use of the Sixaxis‘s motion sensor function) into heads or whatever other body part you feel like slicing off. Furthermore, the glaive can be infused with elements, allowing for more damaging effects or as a key to solving the mostly simple puzzles
For traditionalists (of which case, how can you not enjoy chopping limbs off with a huge star?), guns are also available: firearms can be picked up from fallen enemies, but can only be utilized for a limited time before Hayden tosses them away like the rubbish (in comparison to that so very beautiful glaive) they almost certainly are. Such a feature shows where the games focus lies in terms of weaponry, though the option to buy and upgrade guns somewhat belies this.
Going back to the less boring stuff, Hayden’s power evolves as the game advances, giving you a great sense of empowerment and making you feel as if you’re God by the end of it. It isn’t really until he’s a bit more evolved and the glaive can be infused that the game really hits its stride.
Graphically, Digital Extremes Evolution engine is an impressive one, that is both largely good looking and smooth. The over the shoulder perspective allows you to see the impressive amount of detail that has been spent on Hayden, whilst fire and electricity effects both look lovely and the environments look quite nice, even when the level design is at times a bit hit and miss.
Online multiplayer is also on offer, but is hardly the highlight of the package, which isn’t to say that it’s bad, because it’s perfectly adequate, though with just two modes of play and few maps it isn’t exactly rich in features. Infection has just one (lucky) person playing as a fully evolved Hayden, whilst the other players, playing as lowly guards are tasked with taking him out. Epidemic has a Hayden on each team and the victorious team is the one that manages to destroy the opposing super powered leader , whichever mode you opt for Dark Sector’s biggest hook, the glaive isn’t always available to players, taking away the fun somewhat, the spoilsports!
Dark Sector is a very enjoyable game, but it does take its time for that enjoyment to truly show up, whilst the dull and tired level design, unexciting narrative and derivative style do little to help matters at that point. Because of these problems, Dark Sector is probably a better rental than an outright purchase, as quite simply it’s easy to see that there’s plenty of room for improvement here, even with the lovely presence of the glaive.