There are several vehicle levels where Hayden jumps into the back of a walking tank and blasts his way past barriers and soldiers to continue on with his mission. The controls for the tank are very similar to regular character movement but with the added fire power of a high caliber machine gun and rocket launchers. It was enjoyable to turn the tables on the Lasrian military and feed them the same bullets and explosives they were planning on shoving down Hayden’s throat but I couldn’t help but wonder why none of the drivers of the tanks that the player faces in combat were smart enough to use the flares to draw away locked on incoming rockets. Maybe the Technocyte virus allows a person to naturally enhance a vehicle he/she occupies? I guess that’s a question to be answered in a later game.
The games music does an excellent job of creating a spooky or exciting atmosphere at the appropriate times. Though the most intense moment for me was when the music stopped and all I could here was the hissing breathing of the cloaking infected creatures as I slowly made my way through a level; being careful at every sound I heard. The sounds of the weapons firing and the use of different abilities are exactly what is to be expected from a sci fi shooter and do not disappoint. The voice acting, while not horrible, was just short of top notch. The characters themselves were well developed but some of the voice acting lacked an emotional punch.
Since I was playing on the Xbox 360 I was aware that occasionally a little thing would pop up on the screen to indicate the unlocking of an achievement. None of the achievements in Dark Sector are particularly hard to get and focus mostly around using the Glaive in combat. Of course we’re not talking about an Airbender game here so the points don’t come easy but since the achievements are relativly easy to get they don’t really influence the player to interact differently with the game. The real goal is the 125 points for completing the game.
Dark Sector does a good job of blending the elements of action, story, and interaction that make a game functional and fun to play. The one thing that is missing though is depth. I don’t know if this was intentional to make the game more accessible to a broader range of consumers or to just maintain the challenge level but there isn’t really any feature; menu system, movement controls, weapons, story, etc. that stands out as being truly exceptional. The one exception would be the Glaive. However one good weapon doesn’t make a game (there are other elements to portal than just the gun). I do not wish to imply that the game isn’t fun or a challenge, it is on both counts, but there isn’t anything in the game that will take your breath away. That being said I enjoyed my romp through the ghostly wreckage of Lasria killing everything in my path and also enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot. This title may not be a must own for everyone but will do for fans of third person horror shooters or Sci Fi shooters. It might just hold you off until Resident Evil 5 comes out.
Outside of a few issues Dark Sector does a good job of blending the elements of action, story, and interaction that create a fun, enjoyable gaming experience.
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