Mixed or average reviews - based on 71 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 71
  2. Negative: 4 out of 71
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  1. This is the surprise action game of the year, not that the arrival is any surprise; D3 has been hyping this title for nearly two years, but the sheer quality and originality of gameplay, mostly thanks to a single little throwing weapon, makes this a must-play title for any action gamer.
  2. If you're a fan of fast-paced action complemented by gluttonous gore, do yourself a favor and allow Dark Sector to infect you.
  3. The similarities to Gears hurt its originality, but the glaive is simply awesome.
  4. There may have not been a lot of hype surrounding the release of Dark Sector, but it’s definitely worth a look.
  5. Maxi Consolas (Portugal)
    It’s the culmination of a very long development that presents itself as one of the first good surprises of the year. It doesn’t have the intention to innovate, especially when compared to Resident Evil 4, but its solid gameplay mechanics, alongside with some great visuals, make for a great experience. Especially for those who like visceral action. [Apr 2008]
  6. Dark Sector doesn’t try to revolutionize the action game genre. It just wants you to have fun, by killing enemies with an awesome weapon and going online to do the same. And it certainly succeeds as being a fun game, with great presentation values.
  7. In closing, Dark Sector has familiar gameplay to Gears of War, using the cover system, perspective and excessive bloodshed, but it's addition of abilities helps animate the darkened world.
  8. The great level design, intense combat setpieces, and the incredibly depressing design aesthetic are all top-notch. It's a prime example of great execution elevating a tired premise.
  9. Outside of a few issues Dark Sector does a good job of blending the elements of action, story, and interaction that create a fun, enjoyable gaming experience.
  10. Dark Sector is recommended to any gamer looking for a gruesome fix of body slicing action, and whilst the game is not near as bad as the media has perceived, it is undoubtedly going up against a strong line-up of first-person shooters currently on the Xbox 360.
  11. Not everything needs to be "Gears of War," there is room for good shooters with some original elements that fill the gaps in-between "Super Smash Brothers" and "Grand Theft Auto," and that is where games like Dark Sector come in. The multiplayer isn’t good enough to keep you playing for long, but it is definitely worth a single play through.
  12. This action opus provides buckets of blood-spilling entertainment, especially once you utilize the raw power of the Glaive weapon.
  13. 80
    It would have scored 9+ easy with a fleshed out story and engaging multi-player, but as it stands you get a truly visceral and enjoyable single-player action romp that will satisfy any fan of the genre.
  14. It's not going to set the world alight like Gears of War and it doesn't revolutionise survival horror like Resident Evil 4, but its thrilling combat and sensational visuals make it well worth adding to your collection.
  15. 360 Gamer Magazine UK
    Dark Sector is constantly impressive and tighter than most triple-A releases, with only a few tiny niggles and its decidedly basic structure holding it back from taming the genre altogether.
  16. For action fans, Dark Sector is definitely a game worth checking out because it hits all the right notes.
  17. Dark Sector is engaging and addictive, but only the first time through. After beating the game, you will more than likely find yourself searching for a reason to work through the storyline again.
  18. The shoddy script will annoy and disappoint everyone, but luckily, the rest of the game is solid, and even impressive.
  19. In closing, Dark Sector is a decent action shooting game that will appeal to those gamers who like a little thinking with their blasting.
  20. Dark sector is a good action game, mainly thanks to the entertaining Glaive. However, it has its flaws, especially the close combat, short lifespan and weak online mode.
  21. Its faster-paced take on the Gears of War formula, coupled with the novelty of the bladed glaive mechanic, pull Dark Sector above the mire of mediocre shooters that it could so easily have become.
  22. On the whole, while a few elements of combat fall short, a decent story coupled with consistently delivered “Wow!” moments make Dark Sector enjoyable.
  23. Games Master UK
    A really satisfying set of powers makes up for middling creativity. And cheer up a bit, eh? [May 2008, p.70]
  24. 77
    When the really similar levels and waves of opponents get too repetitive towards the end of the game, Dark Sector's weak storyline might not be enough to carry the more fickle fan to the finish line...It's fun, but it's not perfect.
  25. If you’re in the market for a third person shooter that involves a little more than just shooting, this will make a worthy acquisition for your Xbox 360 library.
  26. Digital Extremes has set out to create an original 3rd-person, action-shooter powered by next-gen hardware, and in that respect team from London, Onatario has done an incredible job.
  27. With a bit more diversity in the environments and enemies, more weapons to use, and a longer running time, Dark Sector could be a real contender.
  28. The glaive is something that every action nut has to wrap his or her hands around. Like the BFG or the cerebral bore, you’ll remember this weapon forever. Sadly, you’ll remember the weapon more than the game itself.
  29. 75
    So it's not for multiplayer fans or story fans or innovation fans, but Dark Sector is certainly a good game. When it all comes together and you're ducking in and out of cover while shooting and throwing the Glaive at groups of enemies, it's a lot of fun, and the visual spark and A.I./pacing/combat polish make it worth playing.
  30. Dark Sector lacks the compelling storyline that it alludes to early on, but offers plenty of enjoyable combat nonetheless.
  31. A fun if slightly derivative third-person shooter. It certainly isn’t close to perfect -- the melee is kind of wonky and disappointingly underdeveloped, it suffers from a fair bit of repetition, and the enemy A.I. is only somewhat smarter than the girls on Flavor of Love. But the infected powers, the occasionally dazzling visuals, and Michael Rosenbaum’s sweet, sweet voice definitely make the game worth a look if you’re a fan of the genre.
  32. And while there’s little aside from the inclusion of the glaive in combat that could really be considered an innovation, it’s still something that can keep a solid hold of the player’s attention throughout.
  33. 75
    Digital Extremes has done a fairly good job with bringing a new IP to life, while not the AAA title that many expected, it's an incredibly solid action game with gorgeous graphics, intense combat, and a story that if done right could go places in a sequel.
  34. In the future, Digital Extremes needs to put the storyline through the ringer and give it a much better narrative for players to follow through.
  35. If Dark Sector were a student, he'd be expelled for plagiarism. Thankfully, the Glaive more than makes up for the rampant copying of mechanics and ideas.
  36. While it sure isn't a AAA game, it's hard to fault Dark Sector for anything past the seriously broken melee attack.
  37. Overall Dark Sector is a good investment if you’re just looking for some good mostly mindless fun.
  38. Dark Sector can best be described as a game born out of a formula. To create this game, you will need 2 parts Gears of War, 1 part Resident Evil, and a dash of X-Men. It is totally easy to rip this game to shreds based on this description. But as you play this game, something unexpected happens: you find yourself having an amazing amount of fun.
  39. One should go into the title with the knowledge that there isn't much of a story, and some of the gameplay can get pretty frustrating.
  40. So much effort went into replicating the glaive's flight and awe-inspiring kills that every other aspect of Dark Sector took a noticeable hit in quality and polish, save for the visuals. Remove the glaive, and this game's appeal drops below mediocrity into a rinse-and-repeat nightmare.
  41. Dark Sector goes for gore and glory, but does better spattering blood than it does applying polish. Despite a number of original elements and a fairly solid gameplay core, the game isn’t able to add substantially to the formula and mechanics it’s borrowed from other games in the genre.
  42. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    The first few levels drag a bit, but by the time you hold your full suite of special abilities, the combat really clicks. [May 2008, p.80]
  43. Outside of the glaive, the game boasts little that feels original, although Hayden’s sprinting ability is intentionally difficult to control, which adds makes the simple act of running more challenging.
  44. Gameplayer
    All the pieces are there, it’s just missing that magic spark that turns a good game into a great one.
  45. Dark Sector's ultimate error is that it still can't quite shake off its tag of "just another generic action shooter." But it sure as hell gives it a try. [Apr 2008, p.82]
  46. games(TM)
    There’s plenty of fun to be had here, but we’re pretty sure you’ll forget all about it once Epic’s hugely anticipated sequel arrives later this year. [Apr 2008, p.120]
  47. 70
    Dark Sector isn't a bad game but its considerable potential is squandered thanks to some iffy design decisions and inconsistent gameplay.
  48. 70
    Dark Sector is bipolar rollercoaster ride that tops out at gorgeous, innovative, and striking (glaive, visuals, virus powers) and bottoms out at a bland, unoriginal, and buggy (gunplay, storyline, melee attacks). The extremes are both high and low, but at least Digital Extremes has a solid base moving forward to the inevitable sequel.
  49. 70
    Dark Sector is a good game that has some great hooks, such as the wonderful glaive and a powerful shotgun. It's unfortunate that other elements, such as unpolished combat and some very generic NPCs, undermine its ambition (though they don't render the game unplayable).
  50. X-ONE Magazine UK
    The game lulls into tedium's lukewarm embrace far too often for its own good. [Issue#31, p.85]
  51. What should have been a solid enough third-person action title is ultimately let down by game design glitches and AI bugs, not to mention an over-reliance on the glaive that cheapens the experience.
  52. So in essence then, Dark Sector contains some good ideas, some quite obviously stolen ones and for a game that has spent 4 years in development it feels a tiny bit disappointing and seriously lacking in fine tuning or play-testing.
  53. Edge Magazine
    A Frankenstein’s monster that actually works. Its mind is sound, its looks beautiful, its sutures invisible and its stolen parts functional in all the intended ways. It has no soul, of course, nor distinct personality, but that’s the nature of the beast. [May 2008, p.88]
  54. Play Magazine
    Shooter fans may not respect it, but they will enjoy it. [May 2008, p.54]
  55. The game has some nice action, original weapons and funny endbosses. The game isn't very original though, and it's more of the same. So if you are bored to death and have some money left, then Dark Sector could be a nice solution. But don't expect an earthquake in this genre.
  56. You might get three days of amusement out of it instead of only two. Wouldn’t that be something? Not too shabby for game built around a prop from a twenty five year old movie that nobody’s ever heard of. Not bad at all.
  57. 70
    What it lacks is the spark that elevates a merely decent game to greatness, but it's still a fun time for people who dig the duck and shoot style gameplay.
  58. 70
    It does exactly what a game is supposed to: It entertains throughout its duration, it flexes the muscle of both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, and above all it squeezes your testosterone gland just enough to make the gaming experience enjoyable.
  59. 70
    Definitely the type of game to park your brain in neutral, play and enjoy without expecting too much from it.
  60. Xbox World 360 Magazine UK
    Lacks the punch or variety to be a serious contender in the crowded shooter genre. [May 2008, p.86]
  61. Dark Sector just has so much unfulfilled potential. The ideas are there, they just aren’t executed well.
  62. 65
    There's no real need for repeat playthroughs, nor will the urge be there once you've finished it the first time. Multiplayer is a great addition, but it surely won't attract the crowds that Halo and CoD consistently pull in, thus making it a (most likely) unfortunate dud.
  63. The main problem is that the online modes take the one element that everyone will want to muck about with - the glaive - then all but remove it from the equation.
  64. Unless you are a die hard shooter fan who craves any and all titles, this game, while not a must have, is still an enjoyable title that would be a good addition to your library.
  65. It's initially quite good, until the horrible story and unnecessary puzzles drag it down.
  66. Dark Sector assumes you’ve played a metric ton of games. And even if you have, you’re still likely to get confused and frustrated. Some kind of hint when you’re clearly not grasping it would’ve gone a long way toward easing the pain.
  67. The Glaive works well and is rather satisfying to use but this is offset by the old school use of ammo crates and parts of levels being sealing off, making it as linear as they come.
  68. And the poor storytelling doesn't hurt the game as much as the tedium, and the feeling that the game is padded by five or six hours—which suggests that the real draw isn't dismemberment, but distraction.
  69. 40
    The game isn’t fun at all (including the pathetically limited multiplayer options which aren’t worth going into)...It’s just frustrating that Dark Sector, with all the trappings of a good game could squander nearly every single one of them with bad level design, poor logic, repetitive combat, and no attention to what made its inspiration so…inspiring.
  70. Between the dreary action, the sluggish movement speed, and the seemingly tacked-on multiplayer, you’ll probably want to pass on the whole thing.
  71. Every aspect of this game is horribly average, derivative, unpolished, or worse. Half-assed, floaty, imprecise character movement. Half-assed melee combat. Half-assed cover mechanic. Half-assed weapon upgrade system. Half-assed sound design and mixing. Quarter-assed story. No-assed AI.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 155 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 95 out of 155
  2. Negative: 22 out of 155
  1. AndrewS.
    Apr 2, 2008
    This game is amaaaaaazing, don't waste your time reading the magazine reviews, its kind of messed up to see so many midocre reviews, This game is amaaaaaazing, don't waste your time reading the magazine reviews, its kind of messed up to see so many midocre reviews, when this games production value, and story and graphics ,sound are all so great. I would even make the bold statement that I had more fun playing this, than Gears of War's "single player campaign", I know , some will disagree, but i am not a fan boy , I enjoyed Gears, but this was more entertaining as far as a single player story goes. you can even upgrade your weapons! This game is worth a purchase easily. The only thing lacking is a good multiplayer, but I will gladly take an GREAT single player experience any day of the week. Full Review »
  2. Mar 8, 2011
    If your a 3rd person shooter fanatic you may like this game, but the boring plot, repetitive gameplay, and just the fact that it's nothing newIf your a 3rd person shooter fanatic you may like this game, but the boring plot, repetitive gameplay, and just the fact that it's nothing new or exciting will turn others off, while it had some good ideas and fantastic graphics, it was just so poorly executed and the fact that there are tons of better 3rd person shooters out there like Gears of War, I just can't recommend this. Full Review »
  3. Jan 24, 2011
    The first time i tried to play this game i thought it was pretty brutal but this came after playing some other really fantastic games. AfterThe first time i tried to play this game i thought it was pretty brutal but this came after playing some other really fantastic games. After shelving this game for a year or so i decided to give it another try and I must admit this game is pretty good after all. If you check my review on Dark Void much of what i said there holds true with this game as well and for that reason I would say this game is a bit underrated. The problems with this game are almost identical to Dark Void and they really are superficial, not critical- the developer did not hide the idiocy of the AI characters very well and the game play was not very open allowing you to play the game any way you liked. In Dark Void the ultimate fun was acheived with the jet pack and in this game the developer clearly wanted you to stay away from playing this game as a third person shooter and practically forced using the glaive to play the game to get into the feel of the character and story. For some people this would be cool but forced gameplay is a tricky thing as the game basically is a shooter then disappoints by not allowing you to play it as a shooter strictly if you wanted to. You can grab shooter weapons but will drop them after 10 seconds and this is really my reason to think this game was both good and bad. It was a fun shooter with the disappointment you had to play the game as the developers intended and this could come off more as chorelike than fun. That said, anyone willing to play strictly with the glaive probably would really enjoy this. I think the quality, graphics and sound were quite well done and only glitches i found were killing enemies and have their bodies flail around silly style in front of you. Again, also poor implementation of AI but please check my Dark Void review for more detail as this game is almost identical in that respect. Full Review »