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Our character is more or less an assassin. The mission is to hunt down the creators and leading experts of extremely dangerous biological weapons, which might destroy humanity or be used to blackmail the worlds' governments. After some time playing and making a few kills, our hero Hayden is attacked by an unknown enemy who infects him with the Technocyte virus. This newly developed biological weapon makes ordinary soldiers killing machines, at the cost of their sanity.
During the game we witness how our hero is fighting with the virus, trying to keep his focus. Hayden discovers that the virus gave him incredible powers and he learns to control it. The prologue is all black and white to help the atmosphere, but don't worry, it gets back to normal when the real playing starts.
After the virus contact, Heyden's arm end can mutate into metal-like shuriken which will be one of the main tools in the game both for killing and solving small puzzles.
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The game is split into 10 chapters, they are very well connected and reveal the gameplay and its features slowly to keep your interest. In the very beginning you will understand how the interactive environment works, which objects are active and which are not. Slowly you will gain your new powers and afterward there will be numerous puzzles and fights where you will have to use them. From this point of view the game is just perfectly designed, they reveal a feature, train you on it, and you use it.
You will meet numerous enemies starting with ordinary soldiers, then zombies and other mutated creatures. The game and its site are both rated 18+ because of the violence and fear within. Honestly, it's scary if you play it, calm deep in your computer chair while 8 zombies jump on you from the darkness - trying to have you as a lunch. On top of the normal zombies and soliders, you will encounter numerous bosses requiring your full attention and some interesting strategies.
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As an action shooter, this game is very nontraditional. It removes the ordinary shooter elements such as health, ammunition and others. If you are wondering how you keep track of your condition – it's visually obvious, the screen turns red and Heyden grabs his chest in pain when things get bad.
There are very creative ideas in Dark Sector which contribute to the great gameplay. For example, weapons you pick up from dead soldiers have a device that detects the Technocyte virus and it will soon explode in your hands, so you have a limited amount of time to find another weaopn. You also have your personal weapons that you carry in your backpack, for which you can buy upgrades or new weapons from special shops normally found under a sewer shaft.
Regarding the super powers, I already mentioned the shuriken which hits and cuts with great accuracy. At the beginning it's a bit hard to control it, but soon you will get used to it and it will become your favorite weapon – which gamer doesn't love ninja-like elements? The shuriken can also undergo changes such as becoming cold or electricity and fire variants when in the related environment. These modifications are often the key to the puzzles. Now add slow-motion first person control of the shuriken's flying path – then ask why this is my and most gamers favorite weapon.
Talking about puzzles, it's actually nice to see them in a game like this. They are lots and vary from easy to very hard. The bosses are also connected to this, and each one of them has an unique way to be killed – and believe me, the solution is often nontraditional. You will have to use all of your super powers and some clever tactics I'm not going to spoil for you.
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The best feature of this game is it uniqueness – bosses with tactics you've never seen, lots of puzzles, the shuriken control, the interactive atmosphere. Some of these have shown up on their own, but combine these and you get the perfect game environment. Although the game was highly criticized, it was because of the lack of PC version at first and then because the only PC version was Russian.
These opinions could change with the English version's release, but if you ask me: it's a masterpiece and highly recommended!
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Minimum system requirements for Dark Sector:
- OS: Windows XP or Vista.
- CPU: Pentium IV 2.4Ghz or better.
- Memory: 1Gb RAM
- Video: 3D Graphics adapter with 256 Mb memory and pixel shader 3.0 HDD Space: 6.5 Gb