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Darkest Of Days

Darkest Of Days is not your typical run of the mill summer game. Come inside and find out why.

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Introduction

As most games, in between summers too early fall games go, the games that come out during this time of year are usually mediocre at best. Occasionally we get a game that is good but it is not great. As summers go, a lot of times we gamers will play just about any type of game that we can get our grubby little paws on. Waiting for late fall/ winter time for the really good games to come out.

This summer was no different from the previous summers when it comes to our games, a couple of games here and there as fill ins or distractions, or we end up go digging around in our heaping pile of game discs tring to find any thing that might peak our interest for more then two seconds.

But every once in a while there comes a game during the dead season that gives us exactly what we gamers need. Death, Destruction, and total Mayham. Darkest Of Days is that type of game, and the timing could not be anymore perfect.

Darkest Of Days is a type of game that immediately sucks you into the plot, keeps you there, and throws a whole lot of baddies at you. But this game is not like the everyday average FPS, because this time we don’t allways have access to the most advanced weaponry known to man kind, instead we have the most advanced weaponry of that time. Then on top of that you fight in some of the most famous battles in history. If you think you gonna just go through this game and be able to just to lay waste the baddies with out a care in the world, well there’s another slight twist, you can’t kill the guys who have a blue aurora around them, shoot them and it is all over.

Instead of showing you an image of the box, or a screen shot of the game. I am going to give you a trailer of the game that gotten my attention towars this game.

Oh BTW the demo can be found HERE.

So lets dust off Mini Me, fire it up, get everything warmed up and locked, cocked, and ready to rock. Because we are going in, and not coming out till the dust settles and leaves us standing alone on the battle field as the Victor.

The Game

This is just a quick summery of what this game is all about. I will post some screen shots of this game but these will not be in any order. If you want to see what this game is all about, then you gonna have to wait till it gets released in September or download the Demo HERE. For a larger version of the picture please click on each one.

This game is all about time travel. You are a ghost of time, and your mission is simple, go fix any anomolies in the time line that can hinder the progression of mankind, also locate and get the “The Father of Time”. But you are not allow to kill any people that contribute to that progression, meaning if they either directly or have children that later become a vital role in this progression of man kind. These people will be marked with a blue auora, kill them might as well say your prayers and have your wills filled out properly, because it is over.

The graphics engine used in this game is stunning. If I had to say what the graphics looks like, figure a cross between Crysis, and Call of Juarez. When the resolution got cranked, AA & AF applied, the game play was smooth as silk. And this was on a single ATI HD 4870 video card, unfortunetly this game did not properly see my Tri Fire set up.

Darkest Of Days also utilizes Nvidia Physx, so for those with Nvidia video cards will get another special treat that will only add more to the intensity of this game. Just like the Demo, the actual retail version will come out with a physx tester, (benchmark) this benchmark is more of a general performance measurement that gives us an idea of what our computers can do with this game. These next few shots are the in game Physx tests, Everything set too max visual quality 4x AA 8X AF Physx to low, with a ATI HD4870 video card.

PLAY TIME

Nothing gets my blood pumping more, then seeing a Reb in my sights at point blank range just before I squeeze the trigger. KABLAM, just before the area becomes unidated with the smoke from the hexagonal barrel of my muzzle loader rifle, I can get a quick glimspe of blood leaving as he falls to the ground. Then I am reminded that this weapon I hold in my hands is indeed, slow as heck to reload, because by now there are dozens of Reb’s converge on my location shooting at me.

On a particular level, during the heat of the battle, you get surrounded by Rebels during the American Civil War and you are in an old barn that has collapsed on its self. The smoke from this battle gets so thick you can barely figure out whos who, who to shoot at, let alone in what direction to shoot at. Your partner in this game reminds you, “Do not shoot the guys in blue”. Then just at the moment, you see a quick movement to the edge of your monitor, you bring up your sights, a pull the trigger. Guess what, everything turns green, little silvery balls start to appear all over the place, nothing is moving execpt for you and these gents that are emerging from these silvery orbs, they start shooting at you, because you just killed a guy that had a blue aurora around them.

When you do manage to complete a specific mission, you are teleported back to the time you are currently working from (future). You are greeted by a large screen with a partial face that can be seen on this display, She will expalin how that mission went and what is next to do. This face is only known to you as “Mother”.

It is not allways having to use the most advanced weaponry of that time period, every once in a while you get a chance to use the most advanced weaponry of the time you are working from. You can abliderate an incoming German horde during Wolrd War I with a rocket launcher, to mowing down Rebel forces with a fully automatic rifle in the cornfields of the Great American Civil War. Keep in mind just because you have advanced weaponry, does not mean you are invinciable.

Darkest Of Days does not allow the player to save his/her progression. This game however uses save points instead, I normally hate save points in games because normally they are to far apart from each other. If you die in that game, you have to go all the way back to where your last save point was and this point is the beginning of that level or map.

Darkest Of Days does manage the save points a lot better, by making these save points closer together if and when we do die in the game, we just get sent back a little ways and not to the beginning of that map or level. Just be careful though, you may find your self in the wrong place, at the wrong time, on the wrong side of the battle.

The Good

I actualy enjoyed playing Darkest Of Days, it is not the average everyday FPS we all play. What makes this game differ from other FPS, is the minute you orb in to the minute you orb out of the battle field you are constantly under fire. There are no puzzels to figure out, no sneaking about, no need to having to buy weapons or do stupid little side missions to get enough cash to buy a better weapon. Just point and shoot, or run like hell. Now also add to the game play, that we are fighting in histroic battles that shaped our world, then every once in a while we get a chance to use future type weapons in these historic battles. Which keeps the player constantly moving, and not having to worry too much about multiple avenues to complete the quest. Only having one rule in play, Do Not Kill The Guys In Blue, you can shoot them in the leg, shoulder, arm, foot, and the hand just do not kill him. Sometimes it is easier said then done.

I liked shooting with a muzzle loader rifle, despite it took forever to load, it forces the player to stay constantly on the move. A lot of us military folks got drilled Shoot, Move, and Communicate, well keep this in mind when playing this game. Then moving to World War I time period, gives the player the ability to use a bit faster reloading weapon, you can shoot faster but now there are even more bad guys to shoot at. Can’t have one with out the other. The AI of this game I consider to be good, the bad guys (opposition force) tracked with you when you moved from one spot to another, they also would sit behind trees, rocks boulders, or bunkers. Just like real life you would get the occasional hero and he would charge your position.

THE BAD & THE UGLY

The only real bad I could find with Darkest Of Days, and even this is nit picking, I wish we could use more of the future weapons then the weapons of that time periods.

Time for me to mention The Ugly part of the game. On my current computer specifications and two other computer systems, we all run ATI based video cards, in fact they all run ATI HD4870 video cards. Up until I gotten too the court yard in Pompeii this game would run beautiful, I had no problems reguarding performance, it was not until I gotten to the court yard in Pompeii that the game would just crash. At first I thought this was a Windows 7 issue, until I ran this game on two other ati based machines (both running Windows Vista 64bit) and this same issue arose on thier machines as well. On my computer I did everything from reinstalling the video card drivers to completly reinstalling the operating system. No matter what I did I was still met with this crash as soon as I entered the court yard of Pompeii. Now I thought it was strange that out of three computers (all of which again running ATI based video cards), I could not get past Pompeii.

So I made a call to a friend of mine to bring up his 8800GTS 320 so I can see if the game will run on an Nvidia video card. What gave me this idea, Our Cheif Review Editor Mark, sent an email to the gentlemen who wanted us to review this game. His reply was to try an Nvidia based video card, because this game was soley optimized for Nvidia and not ATI, and if I had the same issue then they will get to the bottom of it. Well this did not settle to well with me. Long story short, I was able to continue this game on an Nvidia based video card.

Now I am faced with a dilemma. The game play of Darkest Of Days is what exactly what we needed. But because I don’t have Nvidia based video cards I cannot fully enjoy this game, or complete it because the makers did not optimize this game for ATI.

My personal thoughts on this matter, I realize there are a lot of Nvidia fan boys out there and you probably get a kick out this small problem. But there are also a lot of ATI fan boys who you could not pay enough to use an Nvidia video card. So the boat goes both ways. As a reviewer myself, I feel a game or program should utilize both types of video cards, and give the user little to no problems from the get go. In the end it is us the user/purchaser who gets hurt in the long run, when manufacturers choose what will work on what component.

  • Performance 9
  • Value ??.??
  • Quality ??.??
  • Warranty 9
  • Features 9
  • Innovation 9

Pros:

+Game Play is simple enough to understand, and has no holds barred

+Graphics are beautiful

+The Use of older weapons will definetly make things interesting

Cons:

-Game crashes as soon as I enter the court yard in Pompeii, while using an ATI based video card.

Darkest Of Days was exactly what we needed to bring us out of another boring summer of games. It is refreshing and also keeps you constantly moving. I give Darkest Of Days a:

The Award and score are pending a fix for the ATI bug, a game that runs on half the GPU’s in existing machines isn’t a finished game and we can’t in all good conscience rate it.

Editors Note:

ATI is aware of the issue and is working on drivers to address the issue. 

Scott

 

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