Action-crammed shoot-em-ups and futuristic fighting games might usually get most of the publicity, fame and fan adulation. Still, nothing beats a good old fashioned properly intense scare now and then. Which is where 2Dark from the Gloomywood comes in and aims to scare you into messing your underwear as you roam through it’s intensely dark environment. Whether it even comes close to succeeding though is another matter entirely as while the plot is captivating enough and the graphics relatively satisfactory, overall execution is too piss-poor to scare up even some heartfelt eye-rolls or regretful head shaking. Today, we reviews the game for you.
Well, you are a retired detective named Mr Smith and you have in all probability seen some pretty wild and funky things on the beat. Cop work however fails to properly prepare you for when your wife gets gutted like a Halloween pumpkin. While your two adorable kids have been abducted and neither hide nor hair of them has since been glimpsed. As the grieving Mr Smith who is righteously out to avenge his personal family tragedy that took place seven or so years ago and prevent it from happening to other people, you get to investigate a child abduction ring which might well have been responsible for your suffering. Poor you! Better not mess up your chance at redemption!
If you are the sensitive type and get upset whenever you see a dead butterfly, then steer well clear as going more than a continent distance near the game assures you of countless nightmares and horrific daydreams. Most disturbing in particular are the images of children. Dead children who make up most of the deader than a doornail population of the screen. They get to die if you put a foot wrong while saving them from the clutches of the really evil gangs that hold them captive. So, it’s up to you to behave well as some little kiddos get to depart to the great beyond if you don’t.
If however you are expecting luscious graphics that leaves you deliciously weak-kneed and competes with the latest offerings on the market, then you are in for a scary shock. The game packs only voxel characters that look like they wandered in off a Super Mario game from the mid 1990’s. Still, they do have a charm all of their very own.
The texts onscreen help you understand what is going on, that is if you are too lazy to actually exercise your brain and discern what is actually happening. These though distinguish themselves with all manner of cock-ups as they apparently were translated from a language other than English and not well proofread. As a result, you will occasionally see unintentionally hilarious onscreen messages that essentially contradict themselves and look like it was posted by an eight-grader who was hit on the head by a wrecking ball.
As the grieving Mr Smith your goal is to essentially wander through the game with it’s multiplicity of levels and baddies, discover relevant clues and use it in rescuing needy children like any hero with a halo should. To aid you in your noble quest you get a torch to light the way. Any baddies you meet will try to speedily do you harm. Or will run away to alert their companions that you are present in their crib. Only thing to do therefore is to eliminate them pronto. However, if you are the shrinking violet type you can always give the baddies a wide wide berth. But it’s not all running around like a scared mice. You can also do some dark Machiavellian stuff. Like poisoning your enemies. For each level to end you need to rescue all the kids therein and take care of all the baddies out to scare your heart out or tear your dearly cherished limbs separate from your body.
Doing the game a lot of harm is an unholy combination of clunky interface and clumsy controlling. The interface looks like something straight from the late 1980’s and is as much fun to navigate as an enema administered with a razor-toothed shovel. Picking items from the inventory is a chore and a bore and gets you killed off more times than you can throw a scarecrow at. Not to help matters the interface additionally clutters up a large portion of the screen. And more than once I seriously thought of putting my fist through it. So might you.
Whether you are using a gamepad or keyboard and mouse to control the scary action in 2Dark games, the effect is largely the same-ineffectual! And as the action hots up your method of control will repeatedly let you down at the vitally necessary moments.
While advertised as a stealth game 2Dark is anything but. First, everywhere is generally so bare there is really nothing to hind behind. So, no matter your attempts the baddies will inevitably spot you anyways. Second, the game properly lives up to it’s name as everywhere is really so so dark you need to have your torch or lantern on at all times. That is unless you don’t wish to be playing hide and seek in the dark with nasty game characters out for your blood. And don’t even try aping any Ghost Recon-like creeping up on opponents to wring their necks with no one being the wiser. This is because it takes an ocean of patience plus a lakeful of concentration to get near enough to baddies to do them harm. And even if you do you are still unable to kill them off so what’s the point. Your best bet will always be to just try to sneak past while praying to whatever gods you worship that they don’t spot you. For if they do it’s essentially game over.
And oh, the 2Dark game lacks an auto save feature. To save your painfully acquired progress you must light up a cigar and stand still smoking it for some seconds. Which is more or less like drawing a rifle scope on your chest and something only a self-hating masochist would delight in doing.
Reviewing the 2Dark was quite easy. It’s one hell of a Gloomy Wood, sorry stealth horror game. Overall it’s hard to think of any reason to recommend this game. Not even one comes to mind. You would be better off saving your hard-gotten $30 and getting a better game that doesn’t make you feel like yelling wildly. In frustration not in fear actually. But you really like to get scared for no reason, go for the 2Dark.
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