GC '07: Dark Sector Hands-On

D3's action title was playable for the first time at this year's Leipzig Games Convention, so we tooled up for some hands-on time.

LEIPZIG, Germany--Not much has been seen of Dark Sector, but developer Digital Extremes and publisher D3 chose the Leipzig Games Convention to give the game a playable unveiling. This third-person action game sees you taking the role of an infected black-ops agent endowed with superhuman abilities. Now being chased by the agency he was once a part of, Hayden Tenno harnesses his infected body to become even more powerful, while outrunning his previous employer across Eastern Europe.

After sitting down to play the game at the D3 booth in Leipzig, it's clear to see that the game takes its inspiration from Gears of War. The run-and-cover mechanic of Epic Games' acclaimed shooter makes an appearance here, and the melee kills are rather reminiscent of the Epic title as well. Instead of the futuristic setting, though, Dark Sector takes place in a contemporary Eastern European setting, and you do battle with biosuited government agents.

Dark Sector incorporates a unique weapon called the glaive: a sharp, boomerang-like device that's controlled by Tenno's newly-mutated arm. It can slice limbs off both on its outward and return journeys, and you can also sling the glaive at a number of environmental elements such as fire, ice, and electricity to collect their effects. This means that you can use the weapon to electrocute enemies, set them on fire, freeze them, or even just light the way through a darkened corridor. There's plenty of potential for this weapon in the finished game, and while the demo only showed the electricity effects, the developer promises that the weapon will have uses for both attacking and puzzle-solving.

In addition to the glaive, Dark Sector puts a whole host of traditional handheld weapons, gun emplacements, and melee-kill options at your disposal. The demo we played offered an arsenal of handguns, shotguns, and grenades to play around with, all of which provided different ways to dispatch the enemy. The handgun is fairly weak but it is precise, allowing you to take off an enemy's gas mask from afar. Manage to perform this delicate shot and your enemies will run around trying to hold their breath, at which point you dish out destruction much more easily with a shotgun or your glaive. Go up close to an enemy, press the B button, and you can perform deadly neck-breaks instead.

The government operatives won't just stand there and take your attacks. They promise to dynamically adapt to your offensive, taking cover from glaive attacks and tossing gas grenades at you to compromise your vision. The Leipzig demo also offered a chance to see the first boss of the game, the colossus, who makes an appearance in the fourth mission. He's fairly stupid, climbing around a church and throwing debris at you, but it's meant to be a gentle introduction to using the advanced features of the glaive. To beat the creature, you need to cover the weapon in fire and then throw it at the enemy in order to stun him. From there, you go in close to the colossus and perform a series of button presses to wound him, much like the quick-time events in Shenmue and Tomb Raider: Legend.

It's clear from the demo that Digital Extremes intends to combine the gameplay of Gears of War with the horror element of Resident Evil 4. At the moment, it's also reminiscent of the recent Playlogic game Infernal, and it's clear there's still some work to do before the February 2008 release date. We also know very little about the multiplayer game at this point, other than the fact that the developer promises it will be innovative. We'll keep an eye on how the game is progressing, and as soon as an update arrives, we'll make sure we check it out.

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72 comments
thanatose
thanatose

I'll wait for the reviews to start rolling in on this one before I make up my mind on it.

Arcani1993
Arcani1993

i dont know if im gettin' this...kinda feeling a but iffy, i mean sure it can be really interesting but id rather spent the money on Halo 3 or some other RPG.

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hchir
hchir

Wow, looks like this game is very very very innovative! I like it so far, NEXT!

comboz
comboz

The character reminds me of that Gayver series a lot ... I wonder if they got some inspiration that.

fanos3600
fanos3600

i cant wait for this game i want it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

zapper188
zapper188

I don't know..It might feel a bit samey to be honest. Fingers crossed there's some sort of massive twist to the game to really interest me.

Agermemnon
Agermemnon

Didn't the devco of this game stop using the UT3 engine ? or was that a different game , if this game is the one then hmm its out very quick after ain't it ?

BigDaveyDogz
BigDaveyDogz

I have a funny feeling about this game...something isn't right.

Arab-man666
Arab-man666

Meh, too many games I'm thinking about. For me to get into this, it can't just be good, or great. It needs to be titled revolutionary or something.

dutch777
dutch777

Could be the making of a good game here.

My_Name_Is_Sin
My_Name_Is_Sin

kinda reminds me of the old 80's movie Krull. lol. Looks interesting but I'm not getting to excited

AdMordem
AdMordem

Sounds like fun, but so far their press hasn't had a real strong multiplayer push so right now it sounds like a great rental.

Rior_snake
Rior_snake

JJpenguin: "but I'd like to see someone make a shooter that didn't go OTT blood and gore, and was set in a more original area, for example, a squad based shooter set in las vegas..." ehm you just mentioned Rainbow Six las vegas :)

JJpenguin
JJpenguin

I like shooters but i don't like horror, i thought Gears was scary (that bit in the factory with the wretches...) A lot of shooters seem to be going for massive gore in either somewhere dark or middle eastern, now the caliber of the shooters is increasing and that's good, but I'd like to see someone make a shooter that didn't go OTT blood and gore, and was set in a more original area, for example, a squad based shooter set in las vegas...

-XRogueX-
-XRogueX-

How can the combat take cues from gears of war when this game was in production before gears was even **** thought of? Idiot.

Millennium_King
Millennium_King

i'm looking forward to dark sector, but the last thing this gen needs is more friggin multiplayer!!

Cretaceous_Bob
Cretaceous_Bob

"...the developer promises it will be innovative." I remember similar babble about Pariah. Not saying Dark Sector will be as bad, but I will be regarding it with trepidation given this studio's previous output. The ridiculously long development time doesn't help to ease worries either. Too often such a long development process is indicative of a bumbling project lead or a realization that their product is subpar.

denaz
denaz

Can't wait for this game, have been watching it for a long time now. Should be great, if you can take off limbs then i'll be a happy man:)

Dreski83
Dreski83

multiplayer?! what for, I'm more concerned about single player being a solid experience rather than a rip-off of other games. It can't be avoided, but I only wonder how many baddies you can glaive before you start to wonder whats the point...

p00phead
p00phead

this is way to much like resident evil 4

RorshachV
RorshachV

I sense a disturbance in the force in this game

Nawras
Nawras

Dark Sector is such an old game - I have heard about it waaaaaaaaaaaay back... it is by time there was a playable demo. Hope it turns out well

termadoyle
termadoyle

This is one of the first games to be ever announced for Next-gen systems. it looks good but I don't know how the gameplay will hold up.

Karaam
Karaam

sure it looks sweet, but can they back up the hype and promises that they're giving it? like gamespot said, there are a load of guns, so the boomerang is just an additional way of killing your enemies. if D3 really want the game to stand out and be different, i think they should add more possible ways of using that possesed arm instead of only attack and solving puzzles.

can0of0cheese
can0of0cheese

I think this game is going to suck, like the whole glaive mechanic sounds boring and slow... Besides the whole combining aspect sounds a little to unrealistic to me, in the sense that it's breaking against it's own universe rules. If they had a semi-logical explanation then sure, but it seems like they threw in that feature just for kicks.

ic3co1d
ic3co1d

I am really excited about this title. It should be a solid game, just hope it doesn't play like Gears of War. Which it kind of looks like.

mtfraven
mtfraven

I never liked these Digital Extremes guys since they started making sequels to Unreal Tournament instead of Epic.

scarletsnake
scarletsnake

Uhm, I believe that thing that the protagonist throws actually IS some kind of a boomerang. At least thats what the masses call'em.

Eman5805
Eman5805

What would you rather them call it? Boomerang? The giant shuriken?

lsny
lsny

I'd like to know what moron coined the new usage of the word glaive...

Liondog
Liondog

Sweet! Another sic game for my system.

kratos_karmakar
kratos_karmakar

dark sector isnt revolutionary from the sound of this preview but its definately worth buying just coz it steals from gears and resident evil which in my opinion r a combination of elements that cud ensure this games success be it large or mediocre.

outlaw4728
outlaw4728

I've been tracking this game since they announced it a year ago or so, and it looks awesome. The gameplay video looks nice and smooth, with great looking character models and smooth death animations. Using different elements with the glaive, is also a cool feature. I think the game is going to be awesome when it is release early next year.

glinz
glinz

As long the game has a slightly more RE 4 feel to the single player to it than GoW than I will be a very happy gamer, and I am in no way trying to take a cheap shot or quick and easy stab at GoW's single player but lets face facts for a second after a little bit it really started to feel repetitive, for an example I recently tried to do another play through of it but after about 2-3 hours it just felt to been there done that way to many times to try to keep going through to the end without beung bored off my A$$.

Ravi_1900
Ravi_1900

Just joking!, Digital extreme have nothing to do with infernal. They are the ones behind Pariah, But still it was not much enjoyable.

Ravi_1900
Ravi_1900

What this is the same company behind 'Infernal ' , the game got really bad review so I am not now much sure abt this one, but I still hope they remove the defects of infernal and make this a awesome game.

tunels
tunels

it sounds interesting. interesting idea, unique plot, nice gameplay idea, but idoubt they will be able too pull it off.