Mix one part RPG, one part stealth, and set it in a realm of vampires and what do you get? You get a game with a load of potential, but unfortunately, these are vampires with little to no character substance whatsoever.
Dark is a game with a lot of promise with mixing RPG elements and stealth gameplay, but ultimately, the combination of these two are about as bad as you can get.
The game focuses around Eric Bane, a newly-turned vampire who has a limited amount of time to complete his transformation, and is told if he doesn’t, he will become a mindless ghoul. While hunting down his sire, Eric is accompanied by a mysterious angel who tries to set Eric on the right path anytime he drinks inappropriate blood, meaning the blood of anyone who isn’t Eric’s sire.
Dark offers a cell-shaded like presentation to its game, which is probably one of its best features, which for this game, isn’t saying much about it. It’s so because throughout the game, Eric travels to familiar settings in the game more than once. Obviously after every level, Eric goes back to the club Sanctuary to meet with his team, which consists of other vampires who are able to feed him information about certain things.
The main cast themselves are one-dimensional and have little substance to their character. While Eric is an amnesiac, he’s one of those amnesiacs I feel that just whines for some parts of the game, and has too many inner monologues instead of being a vampire ass kicker. Even the bland enemies he faces have more substance than he does.
Environments besides the club itself consist of the alleyways and sewers through Sanctuary, other areas in the game consist of a hardened military base, a geological corporation structure, and even a museum, but even these sceneries are as bland as the characters themselves, giving the presentation a somewhat negative archetype of being one-dimensional and bland.
While gameplay isn’t good, it isn’t as bad as others make it out to seem. The best feature of this game is its RPG inclusion. Eric is able to level up and earn blood points to which the player can spend on various powers that help Eric traverse through the game. Some of these powers include Shadow Grip, Domination, and Shadow Kill. Using blood points, every power can be upgraded to enhance a certain ability, depending on the player’s choices and how they play. While if the game were an RPG alone, this would be more positive, but sadly, the other gameplay element, which is the game’s largest focus, spirals it to hell and back.
Like I said, if this were an RPG based game, it wouldn’t be as bad as it is, but the stealth mechanics make it as bad as it seems. The stealth gameplay is extremely flawed because it’s the mechanic Eric has to use for the entire game. While he does have his powers, the use of his powers are limited by the amount of blood points he has available at any given time. So, using a power requires at least one blood point, therein lies the major flaw with this game. The stealth gameplay, while I note as trying to be innovative, lies the achilles heel of the game. In order to obtain blood points for powers, Eric has to suck the blood of enemies around him, but can also choose to kill them, or avoid them entirely, but having to use stealth as the focal point of the game is something that should be reserved for other games, not this one. Even breaking out of stealth to try and be aggressive is costly because enemies can either outnumber you or just shoot you down.
Enemy types are just about as bland and overdone as almost everything else in this game. While the majority of enemies are human, the game introduces ghouls around a third into the game, which almost resemble zombies with hypersensitive-like sight to Eric’s presence. While the game tries to introduce new enemy types later in the game, they’re not really new at all because they’re overpowered human enemies in armor, and even use motion sensor and UV traps that can easily be ran past by using the Shadow Leap ability.
While vampires and RPG elements have a chance of mixing together and creating a good game, sadly, the heavily flawed stealth mechanic holds it back, as well as the bland enemy types and while polished, but stiff environments that hardly change anything up at all. Dark is a game that for all intensive purposes should be passed on.
Verdict: Pass On It