We’ve written a few preview articles about Darkest of Days, a game that throws you into a time-traveling adventure.
I met with the guys that run Darkest of Days at PAX 09 and they gave me a tour of the game. Now I know why it was a guided tour…
To make a long story short, the game is very, very disappointing. The graphics are okay, but nothing you haven’t seen two years ago. Some of the smoke and particle effects can look impressive when running PhysX, but the voice acting is horrible, the music is bad, and I ran into so many “invisible walls” I couldn’t believe it.
The gameplay is just as bad as North American Hunting Extravaganza, reviewed here.
The AI is just horrible. I noticed this in the PAX demo, but having played the game I now know that all soldiers from every time period were dumb as rocks. Enemies will often times park themselves right in front of you, allowing you to take them out with ease.
The game developers tried to implement gimmicks that are used in other games, but are sloppily implemented. Much like Gears of War, there is a quick-reload bar. If you click in the “sweet spot” then you finish loading; if not then your gun jams. The reload bar looks real bad, and just isn’t polished.
Another stolen feature is the map, which works almost exactly like Far Cry 2. Press TAB and you pull up a physical map with your left hand. You think you could go anywhere on the map, but in fact you are severely limited, and not given any indication of where you aren’t supposed to go. Although it seems like an open area, the levels are rather linear, so you’re not given the option to go around an enemy outpost… you have to walk right through it. A mime would have a field day with all the invisible walls.
The game’s developers said there are five time periods, which is true, I guess. Custer’s Last stand is really more of a playable intro and lasts about four minutes. The “future” is just training and mission selects. Most of the gameplay takes place during the Civil War or WWI. Only after suffering through all of these missions do you get to see the only semi-interesting level: Pompeii.
The menu system is completely unpolished, and could have easily been implemented in HTML by a twelve-year-old.
The game had potential, but everything about this game is unpolished. The storyline isn’t very engrossing, and unfortunately that’s the best part of the game.
Instead of our normal review format, I just wanted to do a quick writeup about it. Honestly, I don’t want to think about this game anymore, so writing down every little detail explaining myself just wasn’t appealing.
Many other reviewers gave Darkest of Days a 3 out of 10, or a 2 out of 5. I totally agree. It’s not worth your money, even as a rental.