Darkest of Days E3 Preview
Reviewed by Didi Cardoso
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2009-06-06 PC FPS RP (Rating Pending) Phantom EFX

Sometimes people are so busy during E3 or just so overwhelmed by the "big companies" that they never find those little gems that lurk around in the smaller booths or meeting rooms. One of these was Darkest of Days, which we were looking forward to seeing there since we heard about the main theme of the game.

Darkest of Days by Phantom EFX is a first-person shooter that revolves around bending the rules of time and space. If this sounds familiar and you're already thinking Time Shift, don't. Darkest of Days offers historically accurate settings and events and some interesting features that make it different from other games.

The company wanted to offer a fresh new look, and has decided to build their own engine. The battles are massive and the locales are wide open. Their goal was to be able to have about 300 people on screen, but giving each independent AI instead of creating just armies of clones.

Another distinct feature is the wide range of weapons and since you can travel through time, you're not always limited to period weapons. Yes, you can go back in time and use some incredibly powerful futuristic weapon.

The story of the game revolves around a time where time travel has become a reality, and while investigating, it is discovered that a lot of people died in certain battles when they weren't supposed to. People who were supposed to survive need to be helped and rescued, and this is where you come in.

As you are about to die, you are saved by one of these time agents. You are then taken to the future and begin your training to become one as well. As a time agent, it is your job to make sure that those people survive. Saving these key characters will award you with "experience", which can be used to upgrade yourself. Some of the historical events you will witness and participate in include the battle of Little Bighorn, WWI, and Pompeii as Mount Vesuvius is about to erupt.

Key characters that you can't kill will be marked, but you are still able to incapacitate and injure them if needed. The position of enemy characters will always be marked on your map. Killing a historical figure - and therefore altering the course of history - will cause the time agents to come after you, which is definitely a sight worth seeing. They appear out of this watery-like bubble and the area will freeze as if time stood still. If you change something you were not supposed to, there will be consequences and you will need to go back and fix it. To explain it in simpler terms, think about the elements you liked from movies like Time Cop and Back to the Future and place them into an FPS game.

From what we saw, this build looks fantastic. There was a lot going on on screen, dozens of NPCs, a lot of shooting, explosions, ashes raining from the sky in the Pompeii setting, the leaves trees swaying in the wind, and this with no noticeable slowdowns. But we found out that a dedicated NVidia team is still working out some details regarding weapons and weather.

Darkest of Days will see the light of day on PC and Xbox 360 Fall 2009, and we can't wait to get our hands on it. For more information about the game, visit the official site at http://www.darkestofdays.com and check out this interview with the dev team.

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