Average User Score: 7.2Aug 13, 2013I know fans of Payday are going to pay this review very little homage, but hear me out.
As a multiplayer game, Payday seems to be quite the enjoyable experience. However, I speak on behalf of those who do not have access to the online features of the game.
As a single player experience, this game is complete trash. When you have a game which relies so heavily on team work and precise actions you cannot, I repeat, cannot have crap AI and that is where this game fails horribly. The partner AI is perhaps the more useless, horrid excuse for AI counterparts I have ever seen in a game. They are on the same level as those escort missions where the person you are protecting seems to have been programmed by a squirrel with ADHD.
After about two hours of playing I came to realize that they literally do nothing. They do not gear up, they do not put on their masks, they do not control the crowds. Hell, you are lucky if they even hang around the general vicinity of the heist.
It is blatantly obvious that this game was completely designed to be multiplayer and nothing more, so why bother including a single player aspect at all? Is it some kind of ploy to get more money? I can't help but feel that it is.… Expand
Average User Score: 4.0Aug 13, 2013To put it simply, Dark should not have come out in 2013 and definitely not with a $40 price tag.
Let me begin by saying that Dark is a game I had looked forward to for some time now. After all, we haven't seen a good vampire based video game since the likes of the timeless Vampire: The Masquerade and BloodRayne Series. Who wouldn't want to stalk the night as a badass vampire? The designers knew we longed for a vampire experience and promised us one. Sadly, it was not what we had hoped (the hype built up around the game didn't do it much favors either).
I am disappointed and quite frankly, angry. I am not angry because Dark is a horrible game, I am angry because of what it could have been. The only thing worse than a bad game is a game which has great potential and then somehow manages to fall flat; and that is exactly what Dark does.
Dark is one of those games that sounds magical on paper, but translates to a mediocre experience very quickly. From the moment you start the game up you realize that the graphics are not exactly stellar, and really, who cares? Sure graphics have an impact, but its about gameplay. Even then, I cannot overlook the graphic 'style' of the game. Sure, you can argue that the designers were going for an artsy, graphic novel look but it leaves the models stiff and lifeless. Facial expressions are nowhere to be found and the fluidity one would expect from an agile vampire is replaced with stagnant, choppy motions.
On to sound. While the game presents some decent music and sound effects the voice acting is just painful to listen to. Most of this is likely due to the script itself which is just about as bland and generic as plots can get. While some characters are voice acted well, others are unforgivably phoned in and even the main character's lines seem to be delivered by someone who would much rather be doing something else. This mediocre acting makes it very difficult for you to care about the character since it doesn't seem like he even cares about himself.
Gameplay wise, Dark brings up some interesting mechanics but once more it feels very limited and too toned down. You don't feel like a vampire for a majority of the game, you feel more like a glorified leech. While concepts such as the Vitae system introduce a nice strategic element to the game, it ultimately becomes a crutch for the game to be 'more challenging'. Before you know it, every little action which a vampire should be able to do (such as running an actually decent speed) requires a bar of Vitae. And this brings up another issue, for a vampire you are significantly under-powered. Speed is a joke without being fully upgraded, and even then it isn't what you would expect. Your powers, while innovative and useful, seem to fall flat and the lack of any real combat system outside of stealth kills makes the game a quite grueling experience. If you are spotted once, prepare to die. Over...and over...and over. Easily 90% of the time you will only be able to beat a missions after constant trial and error, which we have seen work for some games (e.g. Dark Souls) but it seems very out of place and just down right frustrating in this game.
Yet, with all that said, I found myself slugging through mission after mission. It could be argued that Dark appeals to a 'hardcore' or as I like to call it masochistic group of gamers who are addicted to difficulty and unnecessary challenges. I often find myself in that category as well.
As much as I despise Dark for many reasons, I simply cannot bring myself to completely hate it. I think this is due to the fact that Dark just seems to have come out at the wrong time. Dark is a game which should have come out between 2005 2009, not 2013. When you have XBLA titles such as Alan Wake, I Am Alive, State of Decay, Mars: War Logs etc. you expect something more from a full fledged 360 title.
If this game had come out at a different time, it would have been quite enjoyable but in this day and age there is no place for unpolished games such as Dark especially not at full price. I cannot recommend buying this game, but if you want to experience it try a rental or at least wait till the price drops. Don't go in with any great ambitions though, you will be disappointed.… Expand