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September 1 2008
Dark Sector - PS3 Preview
Release Date Distributer Publisher Developer
10/10/2008AFA InteractiveD3Digital Extremes
Offline Players Online players Price Anticipation
12-10$99.95
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Graphically this game looks great.
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Flames; a painful way to die!

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Guns are also available to Hayden.
Dark Sector was one of the earliest games shown for next-gen systems. Indeed the title was first unveiled in mid-2004 and was the first title announced for the Playstation 3. Can you believe that? It has now been almost 4 years since the game was first shown, and it's almost here for release. It looks good and developers Digital Extremes have developed several solid titles in the past (not least of which was co-development duties on a certain series called Unreal!) so can they finally deliver an all-new IP to bring them the glory they deserve? Well everything seems to be on track at this late stage of development.

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Walking around in near darkness.
Dark Sector thrusts players into the role of Hayden Tenno, a covert operative sent on a dangerous mission into Lasria an Eastern European city on the brink of ruin that hides a deadly Cold War secret. In the midst of this mission, Hayden is attacked by an unknown enemy and infected by the Technocyte Virus - a brutal bio-weapon that twists its victims into mindless killing machines. Surviving this attack, Hayden finds that the Technocyte virus has granted him powerful, inhuman abilities unlike anything he has ever seen. Now, he must evolve with his powers, survive and become a hero.

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See the blood flying!
Essentially this game is a third person action title. After being exposed to a failed cold-war experiment, Hayden will physically evolve specialised superpowers that become more lethal and sophisticated over time. The unique feature is the Glaive which is a bladed disc that grows out of Haydens infected hand and which can be thrown at enemies with deadly results. Impressively the game will allow you to use the tilt sensing of the Sixaxis control to guide the Glaive towards the enemies. Fortunately if you don't want to use the tilt controls they aren't compulsory so we get the best of both worlds. It will also be possible to collect elements from the environment such as fire and electricity to use on enemies and interact with the world.

As you can see from the surrounding screenshots Dark Sector doesn't have a HUD. Instead Dark Sector removes traditional on-screen elements such as health bars and ammo meters, instead using the character himself as the HUD. As the character takes damage he will begin to physically show it, ammunition levels will be displayed on guns, available weapons and inventory will be displayed on the character all serving to keep the player focused on the character and the gameplay.

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Getting the gun off...
Multi-player is also going to be widely supported in the game. While we're still a little fuzzy on all the exact details the game will support 2-10 players online as well as through a LAN setup. One of these multi-player modes will pit one player as Hayden against all other players who assume the role of militia. In this mode Hayden has been made fully evolved so he has all of the superpowers at his use. The person who finally kills Hayden then becomes this character for the next mode! A second mode sees 2 teams, each with their own Hayden, trying to achieve mission objectives while also attempting to kill off the opposing Hayden. In addition to online gameplay the game will include Leaderboards as well as downloadable content, although the exact details of this content remain unknown.

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Now they're some cool enemies.
The graphics in Dark Sector really are impressive. Built from the ground up this title makes great use of varied lighting and strong texturing. Audio should also be impressive with the games hero Hayden Tenno being voiced by Michael Rosenbaum who many of you may know as Lex Luthor from the Smallville TV show.

With a release currently scheduled for late March we don't have too long to see if Digital Extremes have managed to develop a game worth our time. Certainly the graphics look nice enough, and the gameplay sounds like fun so we're hopeful for something special. Dark Sector was expected to be released in Australia on March 28th, but was Refused Classification at the OFLC. The game, now reclassified to MA15+ is now expected to hit the shelves on October 10th.