follow us:

Latest News

Video of leaked Halo 4 beta the start of new viral marketing campaign
This weekend, it appears that 343 Industries was hard at work with their new viral campaign for Halo 4. A "leaked" video shows up, screenshots, and Twitter accounts tying all the evidence together. ... [read more]
Kojima announces Zone of Enders sequel
Finally, after tease, tease, and more ... [read more]
Demon's Souls fans rejoice, server support extended
Atlus announced last year that the servers for Demon's Souls were going to be shutdown. Then at the last minute, they decided to keep the servers up until May 31, 2012. Once again, Atlus has given the servers another reprieve, and will continue to support the game for the ... [read more]

Latest Articles

Gaming with Mom on Mother's Day
Most sons take their mother's out to eat for Mother's Day. For my mom and I, we spent the day playing Modern Warfare 3.... [read more]
"Not just another zombie game" Sandswept Studios talks about The Dead Linger
With the huge success of the Double Fine Kickstarter project that raised over $3 million, game developers flocked to Kickstarter in hopes that their game would become the next crowd funding success story. One such developer is Sandswept Studios with their game, The Dead Lin... [read more]
3 reasons why there's no need for story in fighting games
If you're playing a fighting game for the story, you're doing it wrong.... [read more]

Latest Reviews

Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Review
Minecraft gained popularity a few years ago and now it’s on Xbox Live Arcade. How does it compare to other Xbox Live Arcade titles?... [read more]
Max Payne 3 Review
Almost 12 years since the original PC game was released, Max Payne is back in action with the self-titled Max Payne 3. The release of this game wasn’t an easy one, after being announced back in 2009 the game has continuously been pushed back in its release. ... [read more]
Lone Survivor Review
Lone Survivor by Jasper Byrne mixes some 32-bit graphics with the gameplay mechanics of one of my favorite PS2 games: Disaster Report. This game had everything going for it but somehow it just doesn’t work for me.... [read more]

Latest Videos

The RPG Fanatic: Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition Review
The RPG Fanatic is taking a break from RPGs, and is reviewing the big Xbox Live Arcade hit: Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition. ... [read more]
Trials Evolution Achievement Guide - Burnt to a Crisp and Hard the Hard Way
2010 Iron Man of Gaming, Gnarblat, will guide you on getting the "Burnt to a Crisp" and "Hard the Hard Way" achievements in Trials Evolution.... [read more]
8-Bit Eric: Atari 2600 Subscriber Special
8-Bit Eric has reached 2600 subscribers, and it's time for something special. Eric brings out the Atari 2600 to share some of its retro goodness.... [read more]
Darkest of Days Review
Posted on October 26, 2009 by OG

Darkest of Days was released for the PC and Xbox 360 on September 8, 2009. This FPS was developed by 8monkey Labs and published by Phantom EFX. Labs is a small development company of which Days was their first project. Reviews had not been very kind to Darkest of Days for a variety of reasons. How do we feel about it?

The story in this game puts you in the boots of Alexander Morris, a soldier at the 1876 Battle of Little BigHorn. Just before he is about to get a tomahawk to the head, a mysterious glowing blue orb brings the arrival of a man from the future. This mysterious man beckons Morris towards the portal, and is promptly killed by the Indians. With no chance for survival, Morris naturally heads into the portal.

The portal leads him to the KronteK labs in the far future. Morris learns of Mother, a supercomputer that controls time travel and is the creation of the father of time travel, one Rainier Koell. Koell has gone missing from the 22nd century; finding him is one of your missions. Before this, you train with fellow agent, Dexter, as a means of catching your 19th century weapons skills up to date with the more advanced weapons that you'll be employing during your first mission: to the battles of Antietam during the American Civil War or Tannenberg in World War I. Then the game begins in earnest.

The graphics in Darkest of Days have been endlessly compared to similar genre fare as being especially weak and out of date. This is one of the most egregious errors that a game reviewer can make. It is unfair to compare one game to another, especially when you have to consider production budgets, game genres, and the game's intention. Comparing Darkest of Days to a game like Halo ODST as a basis for giving a low score graphically is disingenuous, but sadly not atypical.

That reality aside, Darkest of Days does a good job at rendering several different periods of history. At Antietam, you will never think you are in the Revolutionary War. The weapons are period specific and possess the necessary details. I like the reloading animation of the Springfield musket (have to take your time reloading!) While the game does reuse the same enemy sprites, you'll often be too mowing down enemies with futuristic weapons to notice. The moment in which Morris gets to mow down dozens of traitorous Confederates with an AR-55 was a deeply satisfying experience, both visually and dramatically.

Given the use of future weapons, one would expect them to pack a punch, and they do. From cannons that seem to call down orbital bombardments to automatic shotguns, I'm glad to know that the future is well capable of destruction.

When it comes to the negative aspects of the graphics, yes, there are tons of invisible walls. To me, these walls have always served a necessary purpose. A game world must be contained if the developer's vision calls for it. Frankly it makes quite a bit of sense in Darkest of Days; you wouldn't want to just be able to march right into an enemy camp accidently, would you? Especially considering your archaic weapons and the whole purpose of your presence on these historic battlefields...

The graphics also suffer from pop up and a short draw distance, with trees, graphics, and similar popping up at an uncomfortably close distance. This could be seen as a weakness, but it is hardly game breaking. Hey, remember how Grand Theft Auto:Vice City on PS2 had this problem in spades yet somehow its visuals were highly praised? Hmm, I wonder why...

Enough about graphics, let's move on to sound and music. The music in FPS often takes center stage as a way to accompany the often over-the-top action. Darkest of Days has such sequences, but still feels grounded in reality in the context of the time periods you are present in (for the most part...) Thusly, the music is pretty subtle and low-key for most of the game. Nothing really bad, it just didn't stand out. The best music was probably the march through the cornfield at Antietam. Very epic sounding!

Gameplay follows the standard of first person shooters. You play as a disembodied hand moving around a background on your way to accomplish certain tasks, most of which involve shooting enemies and occasionally preventing allies from getting killed. Darkest of Days plays pretty much like every FPS ever made. If you played one before, this game will be familiar to you.

The biggest innovation in the ubiquitous FPS weapons system is the necessity to subdue, rather than kill, certain historical individuals. To this end, Morris is equipped with little bombs called Chasers. These devices seek out the blue auras and incapacitate them. If you accidently kill them, you will lose out on upgrade points used to improve weapon accuracy, clip size, reloading speed and suchlike. If you kill too many of the blues, you'll get some surprise visitors!

The map system could be improved, due to the necessity of getting to certain parts of the battlefield for mission goals and it not always being straightforward. You can view the map via the back button; the problem is that it is full screen and can be difficult to decipher, especially if you are trying to find out if enemies are nearby. Let's have a mini map next time, ok?

Challenge is Darkest of Days is fairly easy. Much like recent innovations, Days uses a regenerating health meter. Simply moving away from the action for a few seconds is enough to restore Morris to full health. I certainly find it preferable to constantly quick saving in these games. Health packs in FPS should remain a multi player only affair, as it adds strategy to the combat.

Replay value is limited, due to the lack of weapons per campaign and some stubborn linearity. If I play this game again, it will be mostly for the story.

In summation, Darkest of Days is an above average game with a few technical problems that prevent it for being better. With a larger budget and more time, I'll be interested to see what developers could do with a sequel. To me, if a game can keep your attention throughout, it cannot be a bad game. Darkest of Days kept my attention.

-Ugly Bob

OG - Editor-in-Chief / Original Gamer og (@) www.original-gamer.com | all author's articles

How has your Diablo III experience been so far?

Absolutely horrible with all the lag, Error 37s, and server downtime. Screw you Blizzard for making me wait so long for this.
Started off bad, but I've been having a lot of fun with it.
THIS IS THE GREATEST GAME EVER!!!
They made a new Diablo?
View Results - View Comments

Podcast


Pre-E3 talk, Steampunk, Diablo III and a new asshole company


Darkest of Days Review

Goldeneye 007 Review

Question of the Month: What is your Game of the Year?

Other Gaming News From The Web
Gaming News