European cover art
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360|
|Genre(s)||Stealth, action role-playing|
Dark (stylized as DARK) is a stealth action role-playing video game developed by German team Realmforge Studios and published by Kalypso Media, released in July 2013. It was officially announced on May 4, 2012. A playable version of the game was presented at the 2012 Role Play Convention in Cologne, Germany and the E3 2012.
A reveal trailer was released on May 24, 2012.
The gameplay of Dark is based on stealth combat. Eric has many supernatural vampiric 'skills' at his disposal; he can use Shadow Leap to quickly teleport to different areas and to perform stealth finishers, make himself temporarily invisible, see in the dark and slow down time. His abilities are linked to a certain amount of 'blood points' which are used up each time Eric uses a skill. He can drink blood from his enemies to restore his health and blood points.
The game follows the story of Eric Bane (Doug Cockle), a newly turned vampire suffering from amnesia. He learns that his transformation is not complete and that, if he does not drink the blood of his sire, he will mutate into a mindless ghoul. In order to avoid being such a foul creature, he receives missions to drink ancient vampires' blood. However, an angel in Eric's view appears to guide him to the righteous path, and ease intolerable pain that comes from not drinking appropriate blood as it disappears. With a question of this vision, he tries to recover his deleted memories and his true self.
Dark received "generally unfavorable reviews" on both platforms according to video game review aggregator Metacritic. Much of the game's criticism has been aimed at the poor melee combat, camera, script, and lack of interest in the game's protagonist. In a mixed review, Jon Blythe of Official Xbox Magazine UK stated: "DARK is frustrating, because that initial feeling of being a zippy blur of a vampire in a world of neon-lit night never leaves you. It's just swamped in frustrating design decisions, a script that lurches from passable to laughable, weak enemy AI, and a vortex of a lead character who's impossible to like or hate." Dan Whitehead of Eurogamer stated that "low-budget games can be delightful and surprising, but only if the core elements work. Here, they don't. In its best moments, this is only ever a reminder of better games. In its worst moments - of which there are far too many - Dark frustrates and irritates as only a clumsy stealth game can."
Michael Engle of The Game Scouts said, "I would rather [insert cliché about how to kill a vampire here] than play this game."
In the most negative review on the website, Andrew Reiner of Game Informer complained that "I’ve played a lot of bad Xbox 360 games for achievements, but hardly any are as unpolished and poorly executed as Dark. It’s easily one of this generation’s worst titles. Even when the stealth is working moderately well, the slow pacing is a killer, and no amount of blood sucking brings satisfaction. Most levels were completed through trial and error, failure after failure, and then success coming from exploiting an AI bug or an odd design decision."
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- Mitchell, Richard (14 May 2012). "Dark is a stealth game with vampires, sneaking to Xbox, PC". Engadget (Joystiq). Retrieved 31 January 2016.
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- Edge staff (24 July 2013). "Dark review (X360)". Edge.
- Whitehead, Dan (8 July 2013). "Dark review (Xbox 360)". Eurogamer. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- Reiner, Andrew (9 July 2013). "Dark (X360): A Vampire Who Sucks At Everything". Game Informer. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
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- Johnson, Leif (11 July 2013). "Dark Review". IGN. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- Reparaz, Mikel (24 July 2013). "Dark review". Official Xbox Magazine. Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- Blyth, Jon (8 July 2013). "DARK Xbox 360 Review". Official Xbox Magazine UK. Archived from the original on 10 July 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- Cobbett, Richard (November 2013). "Dark review". PC Gamer UK: 68. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- Kollar, Philip (15 July 2013). "Dark review: thin blood (PC)". Polygon. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- Poxon, Ryan (20 August 2013). "Dark (X360)". The Digital Fix. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- Goodman, Paul (19 July 2013). "Dark Review - C-Grade Vampire Noir (X360)". The Escapist. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- "DARK for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- "DARK for Xbox 360 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
- Engle, Michael (12 July 2013). "Dark Review". The Game Scouts. Archived from the original on 15 July 2013.