Dark review



May 4, 2013

Stealth is hard. Getting it right in a game means more than just creating really cool neck-snapping animations. It requires compelling AI that can at least pass for realistic within the confines of the game's rules. It requires precise movement and a well-balanced skillset, enabling the player to feel both vulnerable and powerful. And it requires something less tangible: the ability to create a feeling of spatial awareness in a virtual environment, simulating sensory information in a way that feels instinctive.

Yep, stealth is hard. Dark, meanwhile, is cheap, and one does not complement the other. Dark flounders on all fronts when it comes to stealth, and there's literally nothing else to the game besides that. Even with gameplay that is pared back to the absolute minimum, quality stealth remains out of developer Realmforge's reach.

You're playing as Eric Bane, a man who we first meet blundering around a nightclub plagued by visions of angels. Your first order of business is to find someone who can explain what has happened to you. Simple answer: you're a vampire, or least halfway to being one. To complete the process and avoid becoming a mindless ghoul, you need to drink the blood of the vampire who sired you. Since they're AWOL, you turn to the trendy bloodsucking clique at the Sanctuary club to find an alternate donor. This leads into six story chapters in which you creep and chomp your way through a variety of locations on the trail of super-vampires who might provide the sanguine solution to your problem.

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