What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that if this video game were a movie, would be rated "R." The core game-play component is killing mutated beasts, some of whom look half-human, half-machine, while others are wearing full-body protective gear. Slicing and dismembering enemies causes blood to splash out of their bodies before they slump to the ground. For dramatic effect, some kills are in slow-motion, and from the blade's perspective, so they can be quite grisly. The game also has a few scenes that can get scary where zombie-like enemies jump out at you in the graveyard level.
What's it about?
From Digital Extremes, the co-creators behind the award-winning Unreal games, comes a new combat-filled adventure, DARK SECTOR. But this darker shooter is played from a cinematic third-person perspective rather than a first-person view. Gamers step into the boots of Hayden Tenno, an elite black-ops agent who awakens in a decaying Eastern European city in the near future and finds his right arm has altered by an injection, granting him superhuman powers. Ironically, it's this virus that will help Hayden -- who looks like a cross between Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor and Fall Out Boy's Patrick Stump -- take down the malevolent faction whose virus left this impoverished nation overrun by mutated monsters.
The first byproduct of your powerful arm is a throwable "glaive" -- a three-bladed boomerang -- that can slice and dice enemies even from a distance, before whirling back into your hand. Later you can control the direction of the blade, shown in slow-motion, or have it explode on impact. Toss in weapons such as shotguns, automatic rifles and rocket launchers (the latter of which will be required to take down helicopters), and you're a force to be reckoned with.
Is it any good?
Despite a few bland and clichéd environments -- namely, a shipyard, cemetery, and crate-filled warehouse -- and some questionable artificial intelligence, with enemies who don't run for cover when you're shooting at them, Dark Sector offers plenty of exhilarating combat for both the single-player campaign and multiplayer game modes. Gears of War it is not, but Dark Sector is ideal for mature gamers looking for a solid new diversion.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the morality of killing humans in a video game. Is taking someone's life in a game an innocent virtual (yet visceral) thrill or is it potentially damaging outside of the game world by desensitizing the player to violence? Also, is it more acceptable, morally, if the humans have been transformed into mutants, as in Dark Sector, or does it not matter their state?