Publisher: Phantom EFX
Developer: 8 Monkey Labs
by: Nicholas 'bapenguin' Puleo
There comes a time in any young boys life when he plays Cowboys and Indians with his friends. And at sometime during your backyard games, some neighborhood kid comes by and ruins it by using his 6 barreled, battery operated, 200PSI super soaker. That's kinda like Darkest of Days, the latest first person shooter from Phantom EFX.
The game starts with your character in the battle of Little Big Horn, Custers's Last Stand. Suddenly you are whisked away into the future to find out you've been recruited as an agent of time, asked to do the same thing that just happened to you. From there it's off two World War 1 and World War 2, and even Ancient Pompei. Each time period has period specific weapons to use, though each can be upgraded with enhancements to make them better. While it's nice to see a great variety of weapons and types in the game, it's the futuristic weapons and their uses against the enemy that yields some interesting results.
One moment stands out in particular, as I overlooked a WWI battle field and was tasked with repelling back the oncoming German army. At my disposal was a rocket gun that shot a projectile into the sky with giant billowing smoke behind it, and then came crashing down like a meteor into the ground scattering enemies like toy soldiers. The PC version of the game is really gorgeous with PhysX support for extra smoke and environmental effects like blowing leaves and dirt.
In the end while the setting and concept of the game is interesting, the AI most times is fairly idiotic. I found a lot of immersion breaking moments as I saw the on screen character just do some blatantly aweful things...like shooting the wrong direction at a rock. If you fancy playing yourself a first person version of Civilization, give Darkest of Days a shot, just bring your futuristic super soaker and not a musket.