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Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars As A Stealth Game - It's Pretty Good, 3 Dec. 2013
By 
= Fun:4.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: DARK (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
Okay, here's my view. I love music, all kinds of music. From the occasional bit of jazz and blues to electric pop to the heaviest of thrash metal, there's a place in my library for it all. Some people have just one taste in music, say rap, and if the tune you're listening to isn't rap, then that person is going to say your music is crap. The same is true of games.

I was dissuaded from buying Dark for ages due to the overwhelmingly bad reviews it attracted. Boring graphics, stuttering controls and a broken game play they announced.

I would offer gamers a slightly different view.

Dark appealed to me because of it promised stealth. I love sneaking around in games as a welcome tonic from all the AAA all-action shooters I usually play. Dark does not disappoint in that respect. You watch, wait, plan and execute. If something unexpected happens, you quickly try to hide, readjust, watch, plan and execute again. If you are good enough you'll succeed. If you just wade in and try to bluff your way through the game, you are going to die.....a lot.

The game's pencil-shaded graphics are lovely (in my opinion) and I thought the music in the various sound tracks really added to the suspense.

The difficulty level can be pretty tough, but you will get used to how things work and you need to use your brain a bit. The enemies patrol around using mostly set routines, but this allows you to formulate a plan of attack. Who needs to die first, what will happen if I bump that one off, who will see or hear me do it, do I need and instant kill or can I spend 4-7 seconds sucking all their blood out to give me more power? If you are seen an alarm will be activated and you'll need to either find a place to hide or fight depending on how many enemies arrive as back-up. Sometimes the enemies will sniff you out, sometimes they wont depending on how well you're hidden.

Personally I think the reviewers who slate the enemy AI should consider that Batman Arkham Asylum works in a very similar way. The henchmen in Batman were non too bright either when it came to spotting where you were hiding, yet Dark gets torn to bits for the same idea which is executed in pretty much the same idea (and no I'm not trying to suggest Dark is comparable to Batman re combat, puzzles etc.)

As Dark progresses you realise that the mechanics can be rather repetitive as it's always about spotting enemies, watching, moving, waiting and executing in different locations but you can buy extra powers and upgrades to mix things up sufficiently to keep things interesting. You can learn to kill from a distance using shadows, create a distraction so you can sneak past or increase your teleport powers to move through the level or get closer to enemies quickly etc. Apart from a couple of isolated and rare bottlenecks in maps there is not, as some reviewers claim, only one way to complete a mission. You can adopt your own plan and as long as you remain alert to what's going on around you, missions can be completed using your own style of play in any number of ways. Do you want to take out all the enemies, only kill some of them, or sneak past them all? The choice is yours.

There are a couple of weaker moments such as the dispatching of bosses which is a little underplayed in the execution and cut-scenes but that didn't spoil things for me overall. Without adding spoilers, the ending is interesting from a story-telling point of view but it seemed to be a bit of an anti-climax to me and I was a little disappointed.

The game didn't break (unlike some AAA releases - take note EA-Dice re BF4) and overall I think its a good solid stealth game which requires thought and intelligence to play. If you don't like cat and mouse games, don't buy it. If you do, give it a go. Now that it's £15 it's a good buy. It certainly doesn't deserve all the 1 star reviews but I guess it depends on what you are expecting from a stealth game. But hey, that's just my open minded view.
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