The Double-A Team is a new feature series honouring the unpretentious, mid-budget, gimmicky commercial action games that no-one seems to make any more.
Last week, Christian Donlan went out on a limb with Bionic Commando. This week, we’re taking Dark Sector for a spin.
If Double-A games tend to be aimed at the sort of audiences who appreciate disreputable B-movies then Dark Sector scratches a very particular itch, using a very particular implement. Originally released in 2008, it is a perpetually overcast urban shooter with a luminescent sprinkling of sci-fi that clearly evolved in the broad-shouldered shadow of Gears of War, the chunky, in-yer-face triple-A champ of the era.
That explains why your screen surrogate Hayden Tenno – otherwise a physically svelte CIA neck-snapper with a surprisingly graceful diving dodge – has a barging roadie run complete with wobbly camera. It is hardly the best way to navigate the gulags, sewers and graveyards of Lasria, Dark Sector’s stereotypically blighted Soviet setting. Tenno is there to track down a rogue scientist and assess a mysterious techno-organic viral outbreak. While operating in the same grubby but cinematic milieu of Gears, Dark Sector has an extra trick up its sleeve. Or, more accurately, a tungsten death frisbee welded to the end of your infected arm.