Jan 3, 2008
The surprise isn’t that developer Digital Extreme’s action thriller is a Resident Evil 4 rip-off - after all, they’ve made a career of ‘borrowing’ from other games, most notably Pariah on Xbox, a blatant Halo clone - but that Dark Sector looks so polished, despite being wonky at best only six months earlier. Even the plot feels familiar: Lead man Hayden Tenno (a dead ringer for Leon) blasts and hacks his way through the fictional eastern European city of Lasria. Then there’s the mysterious Technocytes disease killing off the locals, which you can liken to RE’s T-Virus. But if Dark Sector manages to deliver half the thrills of its mentor then we’re in for a treat.
As it stands, it’s a seriously promising game. The version we’re playing now might contain more bugs than a New York City public toilet, but these should be sorted before it hits the shelves. Hayden’s an uncompromising killing machine. We’re introduced to him in a grimy warehouse at the beginning of the game, which - to start with - is played out in near-black and white.
Hayden feels like a strong, solid character, and when he runs the camera jiggles around as if he’s being chased by a camera crew. His ‘mark’ - we’re told via a cut-scene - is a hostage deep inside the dilapidated building by a gang of terrorists; one of which is advancing on Hayden’s position. Hunkering down behind a table until his enemy’s close enough to be taken out with his pistol, Hayden springs up. That familiar RE 4 camera angle locks into place, and a shot lands square in his chest with an eruption of blood that looks like an exploding jam jar. Ouch. It’s just one example of Dark Sector’s disturbing level of detail. From claret-splashing gunshot wounds to vicious assaults with the razor-sharp glaive (more on that later), it’s certainly a bloodbath.