Daily Archives: March 8, 2011

Really Late Game Review: Darkest of Days

Okay, so I just finished this game. It’s a game that caught my attention a long time ago but I never got around to getting it for various reasons (price in particular).

But sometime last year I noticed the game had a demo on Steam, so I downloaded it and tried it and although it wasn’t the most polished gaming experience ever, it was fun and had a really interesting concept.

So I decided I’d buy it, but it was $40 on steam which is just too much for me for anything other than a game I just must absolutely have now, of which there are maybe 4 or so a year. Part of the reason these reviews are “late” game reviews, in addition to just plain old lack of time to play the games, let alone write about them, is because I wait for most games to go on sale or hit the bargain bin to buy them.

So knowing Steam as I do, I decided to wait for the game to go on sale. So I waited. Annnddddd waited… And waited. But the damn thing never went on sale.

Then, finally, last year during the holiday sale, it dropped to like 13$ so I grabbed it.

Just finished it and for the most part it is what I was expecting. Not a super polished fps, some clunky bits like invisible walls, mediocre or even slightly below average graphics (for its time even) and some kind of silly plot holes (which I’ll go into below to avoid spoilers yet), but overall not bad… Up until the “ending” that is anyway.

You may be wondering why I have quotes around the word ending there. That would be because it didn’t really have one. It just sort stopped and started rolling the credits part way through. It was honestly so abrupt I thought there must have been some sort of an error that made the credits roll early. But no, just a really horrendous cliffhanger.

I mean the game itself took me about 7 hours start to finish, which isn’t too bad I guess. Well, not for 13$ anyway, if I had actually paid $40, I would have been pissed. But it made the game feel even shorter than it was and just left me feeling really ripped off and disappointed. I mean, one of the main reasons I bought the game in the first place was because I really liked the concept and thought there was potential for a good story, but it ends so suddenly and literally nothing is resolved. None of the main story or plot points is resolved at all. It actually leaves off at the point where you think you might finally start getting some answers. And, the game did poorly so odds are there won’t be a sequel.

So that is my single biggest complaint about the game. So fair warning to those considering it. The game is fun, but my god horrible cliffhanger, so in clear big flashy print, IF YOU WANT A COMPLETE STORY AND/OR HATE CLIFFHANGERS, SKIP THIS GAME.

The gameplay itself and the concept are still fun (running through the civil war with a full automatic assault rifle is probably one of the most fun things I’ve done in a game), but damn the ending left me bitter. I’m so tired of everything I like, Sci-fi in particular (but that’s another rant) ending abruptly with no resolution.

Anyway, on to the nitpicking:
(SPOILERS BELOW!!!!! Mostly mild, but I’ll hide them behind this spoilers tag just in case.)

Display spoilers

Okay so you are time travelling time cop/maintenance guy, but the reasoning behind a lot of stuff is really flimsy. There was some definite laziness in the storytelling for some parts of the game, because you constantly get your fancy future guns taken away at different points.

The reasoning behind not having the future guns all the time is unknown, but none of the conceivable reasons seem to work.

It can’t be because you can’t be seen with them, because you are seen with them constantly when you do get them and no one even bats an eye at you.

It’s not over worries of them being left behind, because I left them behind a lot when I ran out of bullets and it wasn’t a problem, not to mention the corpses of the futuristic bad guys in their future armor and with their modern guns lying about everywhere when you are done with them. But of course you have to have the future sniper rifle self destruct later lest the future technology fall into the wrong hands, however 2 seconds later you are caught and still have the future machine gun pistol on you, not to mention your time cop armor.

Also the whole “protecting time” or “running amok” isn’t really very clear. Like in the Pompei level, yes, all these people are going to die, but they have excavated parts of Pompei. All of the locals with bullets in them might raise a few questions. Let alone all the future portal technology and bad guys in future armor etc.

And speaking of armor, they mention yu being in period costume and having to use the period soldiers around you as your living armor and whatnot. I understand wearing like civil war uniforms during the civil war and stuff, but why not wear kevlar under it? Sure would have been nice against all those ball and powder muskets in the civil war.

Quick and Dirty

The Good

  • Interesting concept and story
  • Super fun running through historical battles with modern weapons
  • Decent dialogue
  • Interesting settings you don’t often see in FPS (Civil War, WWI, etc.)
  • Instant action mode which lets you replay any level with any weapons you want

The Bad

  • Clunky. Not a very refined shooter
  • Weird plotholes and unreasonable restrictions
  • Short. 6-7 hours at most for the average FPS gamer to complete the storyline missions
  • Horrible, horrible cliffhanger that will likely never be resolved because of the game’s poor sales performance

Some Images:

Darkest of days full auto in the civil war

Fair and balanced gameplay

Mass of dead from automatic weapons in the civil war

I'm sure the timeline will be fine

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