Dark Angel flies on console
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Dark Angel the game is based on the hit television show of the same name staring Jessica Alba and created by James Cameron. The game is a 3rd person adventure, with emphasis on stealth and fighting. The setting for the TV show and the game is 21st century post-pulse (apocalyptic) Seattle.
The main character is Max, a genetically enhanced super-soldier developed for the military. As a child Max escaped from a company called Manticore along with other genetically enhanced children. To this day they are still-hunting her. Max is helped by her friends and in particular Logan Cale, a cyber journalist.
The game starts off just like the show with Logan alerting Max to a security lockdown of the city and advising her to get to his apartment. Naturally along the way Max encounters some bad guys who try to capture / kill her. Very early on in the game, I found my self thinking that all I am trying to do is get from point A to point B.
Basically you're on a map and your objective is to get from where you are to a door or exit somewhere else on the map, with bad guys in the middle that you either have to sneak by, or beat up. Once you reach the exit, the game saves, and you move on to the next map. Repeat until you reach the level objective. Now I admit, all of that did not come to me in an instant. I developed my opinion while playing through what amounts to the first couple of levels of the game.
Just like in the TV show, Max is a tough girl who kicks the crap out of groups of men, each three times her size. She does this by punching, kicking, spinning, flips, bouncing off walls and other great moves from the show. She also has some special moves like a speed burst and when her rage meter reaches full charge, she really starts kicking butt and taking names, well without that taking names part. She is also, like the show, totally hot.
When she needs to take targets out at range, she has an X5 stealth gun that zaps people. And she picks up tonfas and walkie-talkies that are lying around and other stuff including the all important first aid packs. While the game is third person, you can enter a first person view which helps when you're going to shoot someone as well as when you want to look around. In this mode you can also zoom in really close to get a better look at things.
Dark Angel is not going to win any awards for graphics, but the dark, dirty, and gritty streets of post-pulse Seattle do come alive in the game and the characters do resemble their counterparts on the show very nicely. The camera angles just stink though; they don't do justice to the fight scenes at all.
The background sounds are good, the background music builds up at all the right spots, and the voice acting done by Jessica Alba and Michael Weatherly is fantastic. They match up with the show perfectly. Max is her usual tough girl with lots of sarcastic remarks. The only problem here is the repetition of the same sayings over and over and over again.
Dark Angel has all the makings of a good game, but somehow manages to fall apart very early. I admit, I was never a huge fan of the show, and maybe true fans will overlook some of the things that I found lacking. For me however, I found myself rather quickly getting tired of the game. If I were not reviewing the title, I would have put it away much sooner than I did.
Chris Richards is a Gin Product Tester. He played his first game in 1985, Rogue, and it has been downhill ever since. Chris can be contacted at : firstname.lastname@example.org.