Today we’ll take a look at Dark, Kalypso and Realmforge’s offering at the world of stealth-action games. Kalypso are the folks that brought us the last two games in the Tropico series, the Central American Dictator version of SimCity.
Back to the game at hand, Dark is about a vampire. Ties in nicely with the stealth and action format don’t you think? So did I, but this is where things start to go down hill.
Buckle up boys and girls, this could get ugly.
By now, well in to 2013, we are used to exquisite looking video games, many of which blur the lines between gaming and reality. We do not get that same kind of treatment here. Dark is a very dark game, but it looks like something that is middle of the road graphically from the Playstation 2 in a lot of instances. At it’s best moments, it comes across as a ho-hum current gen game graphic wise. Actually, that’s probably being too kind. Truthfully, at it’s best, the game is below average graphically. Surely, they’ll make up for this lack of quality visuals in another area…perhaps in the audio.
Or maybe not. Sometimes I wonder why I include an audio section, but in this case…oh boy. Welcome to a lacking script and an uninspired effort. But what would we expect from a train wreck of a video game? Well, maybe it’s too soon to go and label this a train wreck, we’ve still got a few more sections to cover here. Maybe Dark can still redeem itself with a story…
No, no, not even close. We start off promising enough. Guy wakes up, he’s disoriented and in a night club. Oh good, he’s just drunk. No, wait, something isn’t right, this is more than just too much booze. Oh damn, dude has been bit by a vampire in an emo vampire club. It’s Twilight come to your Xbox. Worst. Night. Ever.
So once you get your wits about you, you can start meeting people. Finally you make your way to the plush-emo-vampire office of the owner, some blond vampire that would be video game hot if we had quality graphics, but anyway. You talk to her, get some background on vampires and such. Apparently once you’ve been bitten, you have only so much time to drink the blood of the vamp that bit you in order to complete your transformation to full blown vampire.
If you don’t, you turn into some kind of mindless blood sucking goblin. Problem here, we don’t know who bit you. Possible solution, vampire legend says if you drink the blood of an ancient vampire, that might keep you from going full vampire retard. Yes, I just combined a Tropic Thunder reference with vampires. I’ve got to do something to make this worth reading, I mean the plot of this crappy game is about a new vampire with amnesia for Pete’s sake.
So anyway, there just so happens to be an ancient vampire working over at the local museum. How convenient. Not so convenient, we aren’t the only one looking for him. Whole team of armed guards has descended on this museum with sub-machine guns. Apparently, in this universe, gunfire can kill vampires. Good thing they didn’t have machine guns way back win, Bram Stroker’s little story would have been a lot shorter and much less interesting.
But anyway, the goal is to slip through/kill/neutralize all these guards without being noticed so you can drink the blood of the ancient and not become vampire Rainman. Yeah. Gonna buy my capes at K-mart. Blue light special capes at K-mart. Gotta watch Jeopardy. Gotta watch Jeopardy.
And finally we get to a Moby Dick sized turd in the punch bowl. For as troubling as the other issues in this game, all of that would be bearable if the actual gameplay were at the very least decent and passable. Problem is, IT’S NOT!!! I wish I could properly describe it, but I somehow feel like I would not be able to fully and accurately describe just how bad the gameplay is in Dark.
What should be a fun filled romp of sneaking up on unsuspecting victims, quickly becomes a dull, repetitive, and clunky exercise in futility as all attacks and combat is confined to one button. Yes, should you actually manage to sneak up behind a helpless, clueless sap, you will have to carefully decide how much pressure to apply that button depending on if you want to feed on some blood or just kill them.
If you are spotted, you still use the same button for hand to hand(or in most cases, hand to gun) combat. Yes, guards with machine guns will shoot at you while you run at them to physically attack them, and as I mentioned earlier, gunfire can kill a vampire here.
Again, if I were a true word-smith like Gary, Jules, Q, or anyone else that posts here, I would be able to better articulate just how bad this game is, but hopefully you get the idea.
The general premise is good. A stealth, vampire game. The idea had promise. Oh, and the fact that it was so bad I was able to work in Tropic Thunder AND Rainman references. It’s all down hill from here.
This game is bad. You should avoid it. You should tell people you don’t like to avoid it. It’s that bad.
DARK gets a zero out of five: DREADFUL.