Dark Sector - multiplayer hands-on

We recently gave adetailed hands-onlook at Dark Sector’s single-player levels, including a rundown on the game’s signature weapon, the glaive. Last week at GDC we were able to try out the two multiplayer modes, known as Infection and Epidemic.

In Infection, one player starts out as Hayden, the main character from the single-player story. All of the powers and upgrades normally earned through progress in the game are automatically granted to Hayden in multiplayer - and he’ll need them. All the other players take on the roles of Hazmat troopers, working together to kill Hayden. Whoever gets the kill shot on Hayden then gets to play as him in the next round. Playing as a trooper, it feels very similar to Gears of War at the start of each round, with everyone sprinting to the map’s halfway point and grabbing the choice cover. Once you encounter Hayden, though, you’re dealing with a foe that can turn invisible, turn on a bullet-deflecting shield, and chase you down with a neck-seeking glaive.

Infection mode has one player as Hayden on each team, with troopers for backup. The team that eliminates the opposition’s Hayden wins the round. In these games the Hayden players can be more aggressive since they are not outnumbered, and the Hayden vs Hayden fights can be fast, sneaky, and bloody, with both players turning invisible and dodging around in attempts to get a close-ranger finishing move.

The tools for success are the same for both modes. Troopers have a call out button, which shows Hayden’s position on all teammates’ radar if you press it while your reticule is over Hayden. This is of course very useful if you’re a team-oriented player or are in trouble of being killed by Hayden, but if you want the glory of killing Hayden and becoming him yourself, you may choose to keep quiet. This is a risky proposition, since Hayden has the advantage in a one vs one scenario. Your weapons include rifles, grenades, and a single proximity mine per round, which if used intelligently, can take Hayden by surprise and win you the coveted glaive.

Matthew Keast
My new approach to play all games on Hard mode straight off the bat has proven satisfying. Sure there is some frustration, but I've decided it's the lesser of two evils when weighed against the boredom of easiness that Normal difficulty has become in the era of casual gaming.