Mr T makes space boots look good.
If you've ever wondered what it would be like to combine the likes of Metroid Fusion, BioShock, F.E.A.R. and Dead Space, Chillingo could possibly provide what you're looking for.
D.A.R.K. is set in the ship the USS Storm Bringer, a ship that has lost communication with the Earth. A group of D.A.R.K. Squadron Marines have been sent to investigate the ship. It doesn't take long to realise that something is very wrong. The ship looks almost derelict, there are hordes of creatures scattered all over the place, as well as corpses of crew members splattered everywhere.
The game begins with a few cinematic sequences, which set the atmosphere of the ship. From the outside, it may just look like any other spaceship that you've seen in Star Wars or Star Trek, but you get the feeling early on that the ship is almost meant to feel alive once you're inside. There is a small horror element, with occasional freaky moments and dodgy lighting attempting to get your heart racing. These moments didn't really work for me. In fact, at first, I thought my iPod had broken when the screen went dark.
Fear doesn't last that long though when you've got a gun with unlimited ammo. You start off with a basic gun, and through killing various enemies, such as zombies, rebellious robots and strange plants, you can begin to collect money to purchase new weaponry, upgrade existing weaponry, buy ammo or purchase some fantastic new armour. Experience is also gained from enemies, which levels you up throughout the game and awards you points to increase attributes, such as health, health regeneration, speed and power. These weaponry and skill systems really give a feel of growth to the character, giving the game an RPG quality. Fighting in the game is odd in my view, as you will just be walking around the ship, and the word 'fight' will appear on screen, and waves of enemies suddenly surround you. In the same way, it's unexpected, and so it's nice to just have a challenge appear from nowhere.
Perhaps an overlooked aspect of the game is the camera angles. There are various different angles such as a side view down a long corridor to an above view in a room full of enemies. The changes of camera angle between each room or passage aren't noticeable at all, and you can see everything you need to throughout the game. If there is anything off-screen which is important, there are various symbols around the screen to point you towards the likes of doors, switches and enemies.
For some, D.A.R.K. will get boring after awhile. The game can be a bit repetitive, as you enter another room and the word 'fight' appears for the millionth time. The story isn't too great, so you lose track of what you're actually doing occasionally. It can often feel like you're just wandering around a dangerous ship for no reason at all. But the story aside, the gameplay is superb. Once you are in a fight, it is easy to aim guns and fun to try different weaponry. The game is incredibly easy to learn to play. The sounds, which include background music and odd monster noises, bring a bit of life to what would otherwise be brain-dead zombies (quite literally). The occasional 'scary' moments add some tense atmosphere, which the game really relies on. It's worth getting, as it will last a few hours. But if you're really hardcore and fearless, you can try it on hard difficulty!
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 7
- Longevity: 6
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