previews\ Jun 6, 2012 at 9:30 am

E3 2012: Dark preview


E3 2012 is in full force, and we checked out some outstanding titles today. We got the chance to get the scoop on some of developer Kalypso's upcoming games, kicking off our tour of the studio's booth with Dark, a stealth-action game that features a vampire protagonist. Don't worry, though; we were informed that this main character won't sparkle like those other vampires from that one series of crappy movies.

The story in Dark is centered on a vampire who wants nothing more than to be human again. At the forefront of the plot is a big company that invests in natural preservation but is secretly running an underground scheme, turning people into vampires. We also got a quick look at Rose, a female protagonist who acts as a guide and love interest for our sun-loathing hero.

The first thing that stood out to us was Dark's visual style. The game has a cel-shaded look, and characters have a distinct comic book appearance to them. Environments are also rich with bold color usage and nice outlines that really solidify that awesome graphic novel style. Kalypso is really looking to deliver a dark and grim fantasy world, and from the quick look we got, it's definitely succeeding in delivering that visual quality.

Our Kalypso rep compared the gameplay in Dark to Splinter Cell, and there's definitely a heavy emphasis on stealth. The main character can creep around cover, and when an enemy's in range, the press of a button immediately allows him to quickly appear before his target to perform devastating finishing moves. We got to see the protagonist taking a bite of a foe's throat and chokeslamming another enemy, and we were told that there would likely be about 10 to 15 kill animations in total.

Successfully taking out bad guys grants you experience points which unlock new moves and skill trees. We were told that all of the possible abilities couldn't be unlocked in one play-through, and with the potential of multiple difficulty settings, it's possible that Dark will warrant multiple runs. In addition to experience, something you need to keep an eye on is your character's blood meter. Performing kills drains blood, so players will need to find a balance between punishing enemies and employing stealth to sneak around them.

We only got to see guard-type enemies in our demo session, but our Kalypso rep was quick to inform us that Dark would feature bigger powerhouse enemies, supernatural foes, and plenty of bosses. These characters will also react to fallen comrades, so you'll need to make sure to hide your victims' lifeless bodies. Also, UV light will totally kick your vampire's ass, so you'll have to avoid areas and foes that are heavy with UV and UV-related abilities, respectively.

The version of Dark that we saw was still in its pre-alpha stages, but there's certainly a lot of potential here. The game features some cool stealth gameplay, and we were told that the campaign would last about 10 hours. Currently, there's no info on extra modes, but the game looks pretty cool already, and it may just deliver an enjoyable stealth experience and possibly become a sleeper hit. Dark is expected to launch for the Xbox 360 and PC sometime during Q1 2013. Oh, and PC gamers, there will be full mouse and keyboard support, so there's that for ya!

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David Sanchez David Sanchez is the most honest man on the internet. You can trust him because he speaks in the third person.
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