April 17, 2008

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Dark Sector (360/PS3)
Digital Extremes, March 25
By Glenn "First Person Snoozer" Given production@hippopress.com

I was scared poopless at the ’80s Disney flick Krull, so thanks a ton, Digital Extremes, for dredging up old nightmares.

Dark Sector may not have the lightning-riding Cyclops centaurs of Krull but it does share fetishistic love for giant ninja- throwing stars (a.k.a. the glaive) as a wildly unpractical but wouldn’t-it-be-cool-to-use go-to weapon. Said glaive is employed by pain-immune CIA wetworker Hayden who is awesomely mutated by mysterious bioweapons in the former eastern bloc. Unlike previous cancer patient first-person shooters like Super Lymphoma Patient, Dark Sector’s mutagen pumps up our heroes right arm to Barry Bondsian proportions and allows him to throw the aforementioned glaive about.

And that is really the only innovation herein. The glaive is neat, you can control it in flight and use it to trigger special abilities like fire absorption and slowing down time to better ginzu opponents down. Cover fire mechanics are blatantly stolen from Gears of War, as are the general brown, grey and blah environs. Dark Sector also offers an annoying amount of key card puzzles (granted the glaive is almost always serving as the key). While the 10- to 15-hour single-player campaign is pretty and generally well-designed, the multiplayer is woefully inadequate and drops an otherwise inoffensive FPS to a CGlenn Given