E3 2012: Dark Preview
Who forced you into a life in the dark?
At E3, we were presented a new game called Dark. In this upcoming gritty stealth action game, you play Eric, a changed man on a mission. He's woken up, suddenly changed: human one moment, a vampire the next. Over the course of the game you get to guide Eric as he tries to determine what has happened to him and why. He also has a love interest named Rose who helps him along, serving as a radio contact who gives him hints and tips during his journey.
Dark is presented as a cell shaded journey into the supernatural underworld; a dark, shadowy descent through an increasingly bizarre setting. As the game progresses, the environments become more fantastic, giving the player an intriguing world to stealth through.
And stealth is the name of the game. Eric has no physical weapon that can be used; meaning that stealth is absolutely critical. As a vampire, he has a blood pool that he can use for healing and for abilities. Several of his abilities help him with combat, giving some options for progressing. In addition to a takedown that allows Eric to regain blood points, there is a quick takedown that can be used to simply eliminate a threat. He also has several shadow powers that he can use to zip from cover to cover and also to immediately move towards the next target and take them down. And when there aren't any more blood points left, Eric can move from cover to cover with the click of a button in order to avoid enemies and pick the opportune moment.
Dialogue options in the game are presented in a Mass Effect type style, with a rotating circle that allows the player to pick conversation options. The dialogue doesn't change the outcome of the game, but it does provide the player with more information to help flesh out the mythos and story of the game itself. And during game play there are points where dialogue between Eric and Rose happens independently of any player action, providing an amusing and entertaining backdrop to the gameplay.
While Dark is still a game in progress, it looks to be very promising. For instance, the physics engine needs a little bit of work. When hiding a body to maintain the stealth element, the animation isn't the smoothest. Also, they are still working on some of the graphical details for the game. However, what was presented was artistically stunning, with a great attention to detail. Little touches like decorations on the walls and on the background furniture shows that the development team are trying hard to immerse the player in the universe. While what we've seen is early on in development, we can't wait to check out more as the game gets closer to release.