Developed by Realmforge Studios, does Dark’s night adventure take a good bite?
The main protagonist of the story, Eric Bane, is a newly turned vampire with no memory. This of course is a problem when Eric’s transformation is not yet complete as he needs the blood of his creator to become a full member of the dark night or he faces turning into something worse; a mindless ghoul. The problem is, Eric has no clue who sired him, but luckily for him, he has found vampires in Sanctuary, a vampire hideout, who are willing to help lead him in the right direction.
Just one bite
Despite not being fully turned, Eric already has enhanced abilities including vampire vision. At the beginning of the game he can only kill, drink blood and Shadow Leap, an ability which allows him to quickly move short distances. However, with only limited actions to begin with this makes for slow gameplay, at least for the first chapter. There are six in total containing a various amount of sections which are quite lengthy.
As you play through the game you get experience for various actions such as killing enemies, clearing areas without raising an alarm and for finding the collectibles of the game. Experience allows you to unlock more abilities and to upgrade existing ones, but if you don’t focus on playing this game the way it was intended, you will limit yourself to more slow gameplay
The additional powers certainly add more depth to the game, making it far more entertaining when planning to get through an area, but make no mistake about it, patience is an essential requirement to this game. Despite being a vampire, Eric can still only go one on one with enemies at best, so going in all guns blazing is certainly not an option. This is a pure stealth adventure so what it comes down to is picking that moment to use your powers, to kill or to simply have your next meal. The powers can’t be used for free, however. They require vitae to use which you can only gain through drinking blood. You gain one vitae per enemy but there is an upgrade to make that two per bite.
Human enemies aren’t the only type to deal with though. Some humans have pet ghouls to help protect them and areas. The ghouls are different in that they move quicker but Eric can’t see them through vampire vision without an upgrade and he also can’t drink from them to gain vitae. They add a bit more of a challenge to each chapter depending on how they’re used.
Not so pretty
Graphics wise, Dark is terrible. The characters all look like they’ve had serious amounts of botox injections resulting in weird lip syncing. Unfortunately the voice acting doesn’t help as the main voice actor feels like he’s just reading from the script. The environments of the game are fairly bland and unrealistic, mimicking visuals that you would have seen maybe five years ago. Clearly the areas of the game are designed in such a way because of how limited the movement is in the character.
Dark is a fairly standard game. I was intrigued by the concept but unfortunately it hasn’t been put together well. Once you get your upgrades going, the game does gain momentum but you’re still left looking at a messy design with an obvious lack of interest in the characters.
Miss; Poor graphics and a very limited soundtrack – that one song that plays in Sanctuary will grate on you fairly quickly.
Need; A complete visual redesign. There’s no going around just how bad it is.