Chillingo’s recently released game D.A.R.K is a sci-fi action RPG that draws you in with its visuals, but ultimately leaves you hanging. I really am a bit fan of this genre of game starting all the way back from Robotron; and this one has promise (I’ll get back to that statement in a moment). The setting and audio is perfect, almost reminiscent of an Aliens film, giving a creepy feeling of what’s to be lurking around the next corner. The main character, an Earth marine, reminded me of a table top game I played in my college days called Space Hulk. Unfortunately his bulkiness is shown in more ways than one, with his clunky slow-paced movements. Luckily, the game adds an RPG-element to the further the gameplay. It is a sort of shop for all your racking up of carnage. You’ve gotta love it that these creatures not only have the ability to take your life, but have cash on hand as well.
As for the gameplay, it’s your typical run-of-the mill dual stick shooter-but with some goodies you don’t usually see; the controls are responsive, the music adds atmosphere, and the background reminds you of every single sci-fi shoot em’ film you ever seen.
In the App Store description, Chillingo promises that a “Massive single-player campaign will have you playing for hours on end.” After a little more than an hour of gameplay, I noticed when I paused the game that I was already 85% of the way toward finishing the game(and yes of course I was playing this on the ‘normal’ difficulty level). Within the next twenty minutes the game was over…or was it? I discovered that I had just finished episode one, expecting to move on to the second one; nope-didn’t happen. It’s grayed out and states that it’s “coming soon”. Now that raises an eyebrow-was the game rushed out or is this going to be released in some sort of serial form? It’s been several weeks since the game’s release, and other than a price increase, there have been no updates adding new episodes.
So now you know why I stated that D.A.R.K “HAS” potential: it’s all a question of when/if the powers that be will release further updates and not leave gamers like myself hungry for more. With Game Center achievements and Crystal, D.A.R.K still is a worthwhile albeit brief, purchase, but not at its current $2.99 asking price. Until there is more content to justify the price, I’d wait for it to drop back down to its 99¢ launch price.