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Guilty Pleasures – Dark Sector

Guilty Pleasures – Dark Sector


Format: PS3
Released: 2008
Reviewed: 165
Score: 62%

Dark Sector suffered a long time in development hell, being announced and re-announced numerous times until it finally came out to be welcomed by a wave of apathetic half-smiles. Sure, it could be argued that the original setting was far more interesting, with protagonist Hayden battling baddies in a sci-fi setting. But bringing the story back to Earth and setting it against the classic American enemy – the darn Commie Russians – gave Dark Sector a far more eerie, Cold War feel to proceedings.

It’s fair to assume that reviewers were expecting more. The hype machine had gone a bit crazy and people thought this would be a life-changing experience. They were understandably annoyed with what they got. But this disappointment must have clouded their judgement, as many seemed to ignore the fact that underneath the uninspired, drab setting and past the legions of failed promises, this was a game that could satisfy you in ways unlike any other.

The main point of Ultrafun came with the glaive – the multi-bladed boomerang that grew from your hand. This wasn’t just a case of aim-throw-kill-proceed, it was one of strategy, intelligent use of cover and some fantastic, gory kills using the ingenious powers picked up during play.

Swift example: name any game that lets you power up your self-created boomer-o-death, unleash it in slow motion, guide it with aftertouch and decapitate five enemies in one throw. If you get any answers beyond Dark Sector then tell us, because we really want to play them.

On top of that, throw in some great boss battles – yes, some were a mite confusing – and a surprisingly well-made multiplayer element, where one player was a superpowered ‘infected’ and up to nine others worked together to hunt down and kill them, and you have a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

The stop-start mechanics did grate as they forced you to play through slowly and things did degenerate into a subterranean corridor-’em-up, but none of this stopped Dark Sector from being a mistreated and underrated game. It never bothered with any pretension – it, in the spirit of Dead Space (or vice-versa, as that came out after Dark Sector), was a game, pure and simple. Levels, progress, boss battles and an easily ignorable story tagged on to make it complete.

Give Dark Sector a chance some time and tell us you didn’t enjoy throwing your glaive around a corner in slow motion and causing seven henchmen to blow up in a shower of limbs and guts. Tell us that and you have no soul.

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