I’m sure you’ve heard the buzz- Dark Sector is pretty much a Gears of War mod. Let me start off by saying that Dark Sector is much more than a Gears ripoff, although it does take "inspiration" from the game, as well as many others. The game opens on an oceanic cut-scene 20 years in the past. Zoom forward to the year 2007, and we open on main character Hayden Tenno, a US military agent sent in to the Soviet Union amidst a biohazardous pandemic. But you don’t really care about that, do you?
The opening chapter is entitled Prolouge. This is meant to be an introduction to the gameplay, but many will find the controls very familiar. The entire chapter is in a moody, artistic black and white- or atleast that’s what the developers were aiming for, and trust me, even when color is so sparingly applied to later levels it hard to tell the difference. Another oddity is that of all the chapters, Chapter One is arguably the most difficult since you’re stuck with a pistol as your only means of weaponry. Soon after, you’re inflicted with the infamous sickness which enables you to sprout a deadly glaive from your arm and throw it like a boomerang at or through enemies. Say hello to Dark Sector’s one trick pony.
But as you continue on, you’ll find yourself senslessly mowing down meat sack after brainless zombie with a few confusing robotic mini boss fights scattered throughout. These boss fights usually take recently refined skills and force you to use them in conjuction with finding the character’s quirky, concealed weakness. But I must admit that while Dark Sector has it’s faults, throwing a bladed frisbee through a grimacing masked haz-mat’s throught is hella fun. By taking down bosses, you will gain new effects to toy around with via your mutated arm. There are also many re-occuring puzzles consisting of throwing your glaive in to a source of electricity, fire, or ice to push forward. Once you reach the eighth level, you can pretty much consider yourself invincible. This is the one huge flaw I found in Dark Sector. The enemies are totally repetitive, boring and annoying and by the time you hit the half way point of the Dark Sector the AI enemies are just time consuming chores. The zombies will give you horrible memories of Halo’s Flood, and those pesky Half-Life 2 zombies. In fact, there is one chapter which will send ripples of deja vu down your spine, because it could pass as a carbon copy of the hospital in Half-Life 2: Episode 2. You’ll know what I mean when you play it.
As for the online: Just ignore it. There are two game types which are very similar. Infection is a deadly game of tag between protagonist/superhuman Tenno against the other players who take the place of the AI characters. Epidemic, the second game type, is a modified team deathmatch with one player on each team playing as Tenno. There are only six maps (one named Mausoleum which doesn’t help shake the Gears of War stereotype), and none of them are anything spectacular.
Basically, rent Dark Sector, take it for face value and just enjoy the violence porn which is five hours of slicing various monsters, zombies, robots, and soldiers to bits. Plus, one play through will net you an easy 600+ achievement points . I’ll give this game an 8/10 for it’s simplistic sense of insane violence, atleast making the effort of adding a plot, and for finally releasing the first game announced for next-gen consoles.