Dark Sector - updated hands-on

The first level ended with Hayden thrust out into a crate-filled courtyard and immediately attacked by a helicopter gunship. Bringing the thing down meant finding a bazooka - which was conveniently propped up by a nearby shipping container - and keeping out of the way of the chopper's guns long enough to get a missile lock and eventually blow it out of the sky.

It wasn't until the chopper was down that things got really interesting, as Hayden came face to face with a superpowered Technocyte victim encased in freaky armor and wielding a huge blade. Opening fire with the bazooka turned out to be a terrible idea; the creature let fly with a telekinetic shield, grabbed the rocket out of the air and hurled it right back in Hayden's face.

When Hayden came to, the creature was standing over him - as was some crazy old guy named Mezner, who's apparently the mind behind the Technocyte outbreak and the voice controlling its victims. Muttering something vague about "helping," he instructs his armored goon to stab Hayden in the shoulder - at which point color slowly ebbs into the world as the infection seeps into Hayden's arm. Passing out again, Hayden eventually wakes up in the almost-fully colored second level, and his arm looks like a lump of rotting hamburger. As he stumbles through the Lasrian landscape, wounded, the meat on his arm will eventually flake away, revealing a new, metallic limb underneath - as well as his new best friend, the glaive.

Dark Sector has really come a long way in the four years since it was first announced, and although its overall look is pretty bleak, the tight duck-and-cover action and promise of deep gameplay as the game progresses have us intrigued. If nothing else, the flying steel, spurting gore and sense of being caught in the middle of a chaotic struggle for a crumbling nation should make this a good time. We'll know for sure when the game's March 25 release date rolls around.

Jan 29, 2008


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