Darkest Of Days

September 21, 2009

Darkest of Days’ premise is promising: players travel through time to important battles, using futuristic weapons to turn the tide in a battle against evil time manipulators. It’s certainly a cool idea. You should take a couple of minutes to just daydream the possibilities of this.

There, you’ve experienced the good part of Darkest of Days. Admittedly, the concept is very interesting. In the game, you use different historical sets of weapons depending on when you are, and you also go to the same eras with future weapons.

The real problem with the game is the complete lack of polish. The interface is painfully simplistic and clunky, and the controls aren’t tuned at all either. The AI isn’t the most sophisticated, but worst of all, it’s incredibly consistent. That’s right, consistency is a problem, because early in the game you’re using historically accurate weaponry that’s hard to load, hard to aim and not very damaging. Since you later get to use sophisticated, powerful future weapons, the difficulty curve actually goes downhill. This means most will get discouraged in the first couple of levels, and those that like the challenge get disappointed as a result of their own success.

Also, it’s really hard to tell what you’re looking at. Everything is blocky and muddied, and there are no indicators or defining characteristics that distinguish people you should shoot from people you should protect.

With the game design being so bad, a multiplayer arena with interesting weapon combinations would have been an interesting, redeeming addition. Of course, there isn’t anything like that. In fact, outside of the barebones story mode, there’s absolutely nothing. It really does feel like this game just wasn’t completed.

Unpolished, inconsistent experiences can occasionally be decent to play, but not in overcrowded genres with a multitude of fully-formed options. This game could have been special had it been in the right hands and fleshed out, as the concept is indeed intriguing. In the real world, though, you can’t go back in time and change things, so just avoid this game so you don’t regret it later.

ESRB: M– Killing. Killing and blood. Killing, blood and cursing. If you’re looking at the ESRB rating, don’t get this. (Heck, just don’t get this.)
Pros: Interesting concept
Cons: Poor execution, lack of polish

Score: 1/5

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