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Skulking, Sulking: Dark Has Vampiric Stealth, Grumbling

I really quite like Dark‘s premise, which basically amounts to vampires tossed in a scrumptious stew of stealth, role-playing, and gritty near-future conspiracy. On paper, that reads to me like Vampire: The Masquerade meets Deus Ex, which is something I’d expect to find in a box labeled “All of Nathan’s Hopes and Dreams.” There would also be a pony. But then I see footage, and my emotions do that thing where they flutter about like a confused swarm of those creatures that use sonar to see. You know, submarines. I mean, Dark doesn’t necessarily look bad. It’s just sort of confusing, is all.

Why are there backflip kicks in my game of supernatural hide-and-seek? And why do a lot of the textures and animations look like they’ve been in hiding since 2005? Also, please, please, please say sneaking won’t mostly take the form of sticking to pre-determined cover points. That’d be kinda the worst.

But then the press materials start seducing me with talk of upgradable skills, dialog choices, and “worlds of blood and darkness.” Those are the two main things I want out of most worlds! Here’s a meatier piece of the skinny:

“Your name is Eric Bane, and yesterday evening, you were still a man. But when you woke up this morning, you felt incredibly powerful and thirsty – a thirst for blood. As a new-born vampire, you will soon discover even the world of vampires is a place of deceit and intrigue. In the course of your investigations, you will end up between the minions of a powerful vampire lord, mankind security forces and the secretive M17 special unit, which only goal is to hunt down and kill vampires for good.”

You’ll also be gumming up the works of something called the GeoForge Corporation, which sounds like a looming, soulless pinata filled with heaping gobs of ’80s sci-fi kitsch and intrigue. In other words, this could be incredible.

Or it could be absolutely miserable. These sorts of seemingly low-budget, mostly out-of-nowhere releases tend to be super hit-or-miss, no matter how good their intentions. Obviously, I’m crossing my fingers for the former, but I’m far from convinced. That trailer opened with some highly impressive grumbling, though. Was that Geralt from The Witcher? If not, Kalypso got quite the soundalike. Also, if it is him, can we start calling this The Vampirerer?

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Nathan Grayson

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