Rescue History! Darkest Of Days Launch Trailer

Time bubbles are pretty. I wonder if they pop.

I rather like this low-key trailer that accompanies today’s release of Darkest Of Days. The completely bonkers shooter can now be bought from the likes of Steam, sending you through time to fix the broken bits of history. Its premise is so splendidly insane, recreating realistic weaponry to match the battle, and then letting you loose with a modern (or even futuristic) weapon to mow down the stick-carrying historical idiots.

There’s a demo of it, don’t forget, that will reveal both how much fun it can be, and how amateurish it feels in places. However, I’ve not played the full game yet so can’t make any comment on that yet. In the meantime, see if this smartly quiet and daftly narrated trailer whets your appetite.

55 Comments

  1. Zed says:

    Sounds pretty fun – a full review would be nice!

  2. Hedenius says:

    This is probably the first trailer since the dawn of time that actually makes me interested in a game that i had previously discarded as crap. Nice job.

  3. Paul says:

    That was one of the best trailers I have ever seen.I think I might buy this if reviews are at least in 7 range.

  4. schwerpunk says:

    I’m of exactly the same mind as Hedenius. Shit, I’m impressed… Can’t wait for the reviews, but I think this is one of those games that will be more fun to play than than the critics let on (a la Rogue Trooper).

    So, are they saying that all these events (Pompeii, POW deaths in WW2, etc); events that we consider normal, that these were somehow altered? That’s cool!

  5. Rinox says:

    Um…maybe I’ve been desensitized by all the “WHAA EXPLOSIONS WHAAA MARYLIN MANSON” sort of trailers, but this was pretty…meh. Imho. Which doesn’t mean I’m not looking foward to playing the game, because I liked the demo quite a bit. :-)

  6. Marty Dodge says:

    That looks rather fun… demo is worth downloading eh?

  7. Mark Roberts says:

    Wow, the review over at Ars was very unkind…but that trailer makes me think I might give it a go.

  8. Vinraith says:

    The concept is interesting but the demo didn’t do much for me. Too many invisible walls, forced rails, and similar linearizations of environments that should be more open.

    Maybe I’m just losing my tolerance for corridor shooters, though, in the wake of playing more open games.

  9. tycho says:

    One problem with this that niggles at me is that none of the old-time combatants seem to mind that you have technology that far outweighs their own. I mean, if you were a civil-war musket wielder, wouldn’t the sight of what an automatic rifle can do send you running for the hills?

    And what about the Roman Centurions? Wouldn’t they be more than a little scared by guns in general? Instead, they seem to rush at you unfazed, kamikaze style.

  10. Krondonian says:

    I found the demo fun. Haven’t really played any shooters using old weaponry. The graphics felt much more like an RTS than an FPS, with the hordes of identical units.

    I had always thought that fighting as one little man in a Total War game would be fun, so that’s not a criticism. I think if they priced it more like £15 it would probably be a good buy.

  11. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    A perfect game to buy after a slight price drop, something like 15 quids would be an impulse buy

  12. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    2Krondonian:
    a case of congeniality, maybe? Lol :)

  13. Kato says:

    Tycho: The idea is that all those people will die. The people marked in blue can’t see you use future weapons, and you have to incapacitate them before you can.

    At least, I think so. I played the demo and once it got to the “on-rails” part in the cornfield I quite because it was slow and rubbish. The voice work was also laughably bad and the game looked like 2006 art with a 2009 renderer.

  14. jarvoll says:

    Man, the concept of this game sounds amazing, but then things like Little Big Horn reveal just how shaky the ground it’s standing on is: those 300 bastards all deserved long, painful deaths for their violent enforcement of manifest destiny. I don’t imagine this game is open enough for me to help the Cheyenne. Killing the expansionist and culturally-imperialist Romans with a machine gun *does* sound like loads of fun, though.

  15. Dominic White says:

    Don’t get me wrong here, I LOVE mindless hyperkinetic megaviolence. I’m drooling over the prospect of getting my hands on a graphically and technologically updated Serious Sam soon.

    Darkest of Days leaves me kinda cold, though. They don’t go nearly far enough with the concept. When I think ‘time-travel rampage’, I think The Battle of Thermopylae, only instead of 300 spartans, it’s just one guy with a minigun Vs the entire Persian army.

    For a game that DOES do the concept justice, the almost-completely-unknown Warship Gunner 2 on the PS2 is where you should look. Naval warfare with super-fasttracked technology. You start out in a pre-WW2 frigate, and end up in a (completely self-built) fusion-powered twin-hulled battlecarrier from the future with plasma cannons and anti-air laser batteries.

  16. JonFitt says:

    Ars has a review up which pretty much confirms all my worst fears about the game.

    You can partly forgive invisible walls, and ropey graphics in places as indicators of a low budget title, but they completely overlook interesting ideas which could have been explored.
    The effect of grabbing someone from history and giving them laser guns, and the reaction of the other historical people, were what I would have liked to have been explored by this game.

    Lasers in Rome, Yay! Is only going to get you so far when the implementation isn’t top notch, and it sounds like it’s not.

  17. gulag says:

    Let me get this straight folks. Some of the above would like to see a shooting game with rails and invisible walls take a realistic look at the reactions of Joe Soaps in the middle of historical battles to some sod from the future with weapons they have no frame of reference for? You’d like to see carefully crafted sequences conveying these simple men confronted with mind-shattering truths that call into question all the assumptions they hold dear about the cosmos? While you shoot them in the face or as a cut scene?

    Do you guys feel disappointed that your cats can’t bark?

  18. Dominic White says:

    I’m dissapointed they didn’t go further with the high-tech abuse of historical earth stuff. Really, the civil war with an assault rifle? I want to take on an entire crusader host with a railgun.

  19. Unlucky Irish says:

    jarvoll@ What, so the members of Seventh Cavalry should be picked on for doing what every decent solider in the history of the world has done? That is follow orders. I ma by no means supporting the Americans treatment of the continents indigenous people but it’s grossly unfair to condemn men who were just misused by their superiors and products of there time.

    Also: The game looks interesting….

  20. Blackberries says:

    Hmm.. If the price comes down, I fear this may well wind up yet another impulse buy.

  21. NeonBlackJack says:

    I played the demo, and it seems a little half-assed with the concept, and a little flaky on the tech side, but also incredibly awesome and stupidly fun.

    I think I’ll get it at the first price drop.

  22. Shalrath says:

    Why the hell does everyone (claim) they want some crazy epic, intertwining story for a game clearly made about shooting tonnes of people who are vastly inferior to you.

    Seriously guys, come on. It was a fun, simple shooter. It set out to make me a future-weapon’d badass amongst old-timey rifles.

    I’m in!

  23. Polysynchronicity says:

    @Shalrath: the complaint that I remember is that the AI soldiers didn’t really react to you like you were a future-weapon’d badass. They didn’t run screaming, your fellow soldiers weren’t appropriately terrified (“I’m glad he’s on our side” kind of thing), et cetera

  24. Jeffjeffjeff says:

    Am I mistaken, or did I just see a level set in a frickin concentration camp? Hmmm

  25. MunnyFan says:

    @Polysynchronicity Yep, at least that’s what I thought after playing the demo. I REALLY like the concept -dude from future going back to fiddle with history- but absolutely no one even seems to notice that, indeed, you are from the future.

    If I remember correctly the player himself is supposed to be from the past and was basically time-traveled into the future. But in no cutscene did he remark any confusion or even any reaction at all. He just took it all in and went with it.

    I know this isn’t supposed to be some hyper-realistic simulation, but some credibility or something helping my own suspension of disbelief would have really helped,
    me thinks.

  26. MunnyFan says:

    Oh, and also
    for what could be done I really like the trailer.
    But it also reminds me of the terribly jittery aim I had with this game.

  27. dragon_hunter21 says:

    For some reason, when ever I think about this game, I get a retarded grin on my face and start giggling like a little girl. I always imagined what it’d be like to bring a modern military unit into the civil war- but this is even better.

  28. Benny says:

    I think the problem with their reactions are that the general idea of a story driven game is to support it’s story with appropriate suspension of disbelief (i think that makes sense lol). Basically it breaks the immersion of the player in the world, the immersion being a key part to any single player game. To a lesser extent i suppose the graphics in places can do that too (the animation on the native americans was very stocky for instance).

    I really hope this goes well for 8monkey Labs, as it’d be nice to see what they can pull out once they have a 2nd jab at this. Maybe a witcher style massive content pack/patch? Would be nice rather than them blitzing onto a 2nd game strait away.

  29. Benny says:

    Heh, MunnyFan beat me to it.

    Another thing to note is 8monkey Labs made their own engine. I wonder what kind of fidelity it can offer compared to the Unreal 3 engine or the Illusion engine running Mafia 2 etc. The art quality in Darkest of Days doesn’t really show it off too well imo.

  30. Marty Dodge says:

    Its nuts, played the demo. Not sure I would get the full game thought.

  31. jarvoll says:

    @Unlucky Irish: IMO “decent soldier” is an oxymoron, but that’s another discussion entirely. Yes, ultimately it’s about wanting to kill what they represent, rather than the individuals themselves. Obviously I’d be left cold if I wanted to murder the individuals, since this is merely a computer game, and not real life. Really what my beef comes down to is the same as most others’, though possibly for different reasons: this isn’t nearly open enough. For me, anyway, 90% of the appeal of this concept is the ability to change history in ways I’ve always dreamed of, even if it means merely being able to fight for either side in a conflict, and having a little text message at the end explaining how your future-man slaughter altered events’ outcomes. Pwning sword-and-shield-ers with my laser cannon is a minor joy, comparatively.

  32. heroic zero says:

    @MunnyFan: The same thing has kind of ruined it for me too…in the gameplay trailers I’ve seen, no one seems to take appropriate notice to the player.

    I mean, if I showed up in the past with futuristic weaponry and started blowing people away, you would expect there to be more of a OMG WTF WAS THAT! response by both sides.

    I mean, come on…the zombies in L4D show more humanity than the soldiers in this game. :)

  33. Alaric says:

    @jarvoll

    You, sir, presume too much.

  34. Persus-9 says:

    @ Jarvoll: I disagree with what I think is the general thrust of your original 11:19 comment but now I’m not sure I was reading you correctly because of your more recent one. Anyway I’d like to see the game put you in the shoes of the bad guys more often, preferably half the time. I’d like to see you saving Confederates and Nazis for the sake of the time line. After all if it’s necessary in the greater time war then surely it’s still the right thing to do but it would give the player something of an emotional challenge and hopefully make them think a little more about all the people they’re pretending to kill. Perhaps it wouldn’t fit in with the somewhat absurd nature of the game (but then neither does that POW camp) but it’s still something I’d like to see done. In my opinion we spend far to much time dehumanising the enemy in computer games and I’d like to see that challenged. The bottom line is most of the individual soldiers that die in almost any war are victims. Most German soldiers during World War II certainly didn’t deserve to die, I think I’m right in saying most of them were conscripts (and that’s one way, in my opinion, there can be decent soldiers) and yet we spend most of our gaming time in that period happily pretending they did, treating them all like they were members of the SS-Totenkopfverbände or something so we don’t have to feel odd about shooting computer representations of them. That doesn’t seem right to me, either we shouldn’t feel odd about shooting them because it’s just a game or we should feel very odd about shooting them.

  35. moo says:

    without the reaction to futuristic weaponry, i guess the game is little more than hacking/modding a civil war period FPS to let you use an automatic weapon, or hacking a gladiator/spartan hack/slack game to let you use firearms.

  36. Oak says:

    The demo was a good time, but Dominic has it right. Why be so prudish when you could have so much fun with this concept?

  37. destroy.all.monsters says:

    The biggest complaint seems to be over a lack of reaction to the weapons or – I think more accurately – the appearance of a “superman” amongst them.

    The problem with this is that in many cases you can’t tell what the hell is going on in a firefight anyway. Sure if there’s an impressive stack of bodies, and they’re all of your guys then I would expect some reaction. The problem would seem to be coding it so that they run in terror only under certain circumstances as opposed to even greater repetition by making it the same generic faces/soldiers fleeing over and over again and it becoming boring.

    Is that doable in a realistic way? Probably. At the financial level that 8 Monkeys has – entirely questionable.

    This probably should be marketed as a $30 game where I think it would take off thunderously.

  38. Fat says:

    Judging by the demo, this game would have been big… 5-8 years ago. Pretty bad, imo.

  39. Hodge says:

    Well it’s $36 on Steam but I get what you mean.

    Played the demo and I still don’t know if I will like it… it depends on how well they use the whole ‘man from the future’ plot device. Judging from the demo, it looks like they don’t even touch on it, which as others have pointed out is a huge wasted opportunity.

    And yes, the enemies should react to your advanced technology, if only because it would be tremendous fun.

    The moral choices thing is interesting too… it would be nice if the game gave you the choice of rebelling against your time-traveling futuristic overlords, to steer the course of history as you see fit. It would also nicely reverse the odds too – all of a sudden you would be fighting an enemy with greatly superior technology instead of the other way around.

    But yeah, all probably beyond the means of a small developer doing their first title.

    Still, this is the first FPS to really grab my attention in what seems like years. Any chance of one of the RPS guys lining up an interview with 8MonkeyLabs?

  40. dingo says:

    That is a concentration camp and not a POW camp.
    The stripe “uniforms” were not used in POW camps as far as I know.

    I read somewhere that you can’t use your futuristic weapons endlessly.
    You have to restrict their use to not raise too much alarm.

    I agree: I will buy this the moment in comes down a bit in price since the concept is really interesting though the execution seems to lack a bit.

  41. Schmung says:

    It’s a rough around the edges, but pretty amusing. The Marmoset technology is pretty spiffy as well. An interview with the 8monkey guys would be splendid if at all possible.

  42. ZeeKat says:

    I liked the demo, but 31,49€ on Steam is just silly.

  43. Clovis says:

    @Perseus-9: Ack, don’t compare the Confederacy to the Third Reich. The American Civil War was not about slavery, and the South was the defender. There really weren’t any good/bad guys in that war.

    I agree that occasionally playing/helping the “bad” guys would be interesting, but I don’t think there is any dehumanization going on. I never feel odd about shooting anyone in a game, since games are fake. It’s not like I have to secretly imagine that random old lady in GTAIV is a pedo before I blow her kneecaps off. I just do it because I just found a shotgun and she walked by. Real life violence makes me curl up in a fetal position.

    I’m thinking that reviews of this game might be comparable to reviews of romcoms/actions films. I enjoyed the demo because it was a silly fun FPS. I don’t care how they explain why I’m using modern weapons against ancient weaponry; it’s just cool that I can. Real life reactions to the weaponry would be annoying after awhile. I can definitely see lots of problems with the game, so there is plenty to criticize. It’s just like someone being shocked that “GI Joe” got a 32 on metacritic, since they thought it was a “fun” movie and critics are just dumb.

  44. The Hammer says:

    Not gonna get this, primarily because of the absence of “oh shit!” reactions from the historical personalities. Still, killing Romans with a sub-machine gun…

  45. Markoff Chaney says:

    I’ll refrain from much discussion regarding the War of Northern Aggression but I will state the fact that the conflict was based much more in the secession of states, as guaranteed, nay demanded, by the Constitution when the Federal Government overstepped their bounds as represented by the Union. Releasing the slaves was actually not desired by the Great Emancipator (and violator of Habeus Corpus) and only happened because military advisors felt a ready made militia within the seceded states made for a good fighting force sympathetic with their traitorous fight against States rights.

    Feel free to delete what you want. Y’all know that. :)

    The demo was rather uninspired and I didn’t like the invisible walls so I’ll probably pass on this one. I may pick it up on the cheap one day, though.

  46. Mike says:

    So killing native Americans in real life was not enough? Btw, I’d like to see you people defend a game where you execute Jews in a concentration camp.

  47. Dracko says:

    I don’t recall killing Native Americans.

    Not directly anyway.

  48. Heliocentric says:

    And in the game?

  49. Dracko says:

    Don’t intend to play it, to be honest.

  50. Adrian says:

    I been playing this game for a couple of hours now and I must say it’s GREAT! I haven’t had that much fun with a game since ages!