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Dark Sector on Game and Player

Dark Sector

Curtis Mettler  //  April 15, 2008

And I had such high hopes.


he first time I'd laid eyes on Dark Sector, I was instantly intrigued by the concept. A hero and unwitting pawn slowly succumbs to a powerful and radical alteration that, while imbuing him with powers and abilities beyond human, may also be erasing all that made him a man. Two concepts that never fail to draw my attention are super-human abilities and unintentional heroes. I always loved characters such as Spiderman, who never asked to be special or important or responsible but must cope with the hand he's been dealt and learn to use his gifts wisely. The idea of being able to do extraordinary things, feats beyond the scope of the average man, also thrills me.

Graphically, Dark Sector stands up.
With those two hooks already firmly set in my mind Dark Sector was raising high hopes. Unfortunately, my expectations were never met, and the game I thought could be great proved to be merely a shell of possibilities.

My first taste of the full game was very positive. Graphically, Dark Sector stands up to some of the better action games available. Water effects are smooth and characters are rendered with a fair amount of detail. Controls were easily understood and used. D3 opted for the typically explosive introduction to the main character, dropping the gamer straight into the thick of the fight with nothing but a few cryptic radio transmissions and educational slide presentation for explanation. This method has been done many times over, and in several cases in a much better manner, but it remained an effective means of drawing me into the story. By leaving only a sparse smattering of clues as to story and background information, the developer forces a heightened sense of awareness from the player.

Once this state has been achieved, however, little stimulation can be found to maintain it. Subsequent plot points are disjointed and raw, leaping to key developments without any real cohesion. I found it difficult to follow the story line, often performing missions without really knowing why I was doing anything I was doing. Over time I developed a strong feeling of detachment and eventually found myself moving forward simply because I'd already been in the other direction. This brings me straight into the next point of disinterest: uninspired level design.

Just follow the path
of non-aggressive enemies.
I haven't played a game this linear, in both character development and level progression, in a long time. There was only one path available at any time, and it was always easy to spot because it was the only place that still had live enemies. Once they were dealt with, I was free to move on a bit and do it all over again. Though the occasional boss fight was thrown in from time to time, combat always had the same uninspired feel to it. Enemies were rarely aggressive and almost never tried to flush me from cover, or perform any other maneuver more complex than a direct assault. Every situation typically found me parked behind cover, slinging the glaive out into a shooting gallery of static targets. Eventually, even the glaive itself lost its allure and I turned to my main weapon to cut through the ranks of mindless drones. As new powers were granted, convenient situations popped up immediately thereafter which required their use, placing Dark Sector on par with the predictability factor of any given Knight Rider episode. Hardly compelling material, here.

Overall, Dark Sector offered little content beyond what the initial demo delivered. The mediocre gameplay and rapidly fading novelty fail to live up to the potential of the concept. This would be a rental situation at best, with time better spent replaying an old favorite; and money better spent pre-ordering Gears of War 2.

Dark Sector



Digital Extremes


Aspyr Media

NA Release

March 25, 2008


Play Mode

ESRB Rating

In Favor

  • Inventive combat
  • Easily mastered controls


  • Not challenging
  • Uninspired design

G&P Rating

G&P Latest

July 1, 2011

June 28, 2011

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