Darkest of Days

11 Oct

So the other day I bought Darkest of Days on Steam after watching Yahtzee’s review of it on Zero Punctuation. As a senior history major in college this game intrigued me greatly. One of my favorite things about this game is the fact that it is at times a muzzle loading FPS. You shoot your musket and then you have to wait a few seconds before you fire again while your character goes through the reloading steps. Given, the steps are sped up so you can fire again in about 2 seconds, but still.

The other thing I enjoyed about this game is being put in the middle of big battles. Usually in other FPS you’re a solo tank running around doing things alone, but in this game you’re put on the front lines with a bunch of other soldiers. One of the best examples of this is when you fight in the corn field of Antietam. You move up in line with the rest of the Union soldiers and you exchange a few volleys with the confederates before having to run.

The other very cool thing about the game is how every so often you’re given modern weapons and told to have at it with the enemy. At one point you have to turn back a WWI German advance and you’re handed a laser guided rocket launcher.

As for technical gripes, the first thing I found out was just how hard it was to control your player with the mouse and keyboard. I constantly found myself sliding my mouse over to look in another direction, only to find that I didn’t turn as much as I wanted, and I had to pick up my mouse, move it back to the other side, put it down, and slide it again every time I wanted to look further to the left or the right. After about half and hour of this I got fed up and went to get an xbox 360 controller.

I then found that I couldn’t easily map the controls on the xbox controller to my liking. I tried to copy the Halo controls of COD controls but no luck. It took me a while to retrain myself not to accidentally throw a grenade when I was trying to switch weapons.

The last technical complaint is with the sound. You literally cannot hear an NPC if you are not looking at them, so you better have subtitles on.

Perhaps the biggest complaint I have with the game is a moral one. The people you are working for don’t want to change history. Their goal is to keep history exactly like it happened. Dr. Kroell, the founder of KronoteK, the time travel company, even says “Who am I to play God?”. This all pissed me off royally.

As someone who studies history, I know history is shit. Almost the entire history of mankind is written in blood and suffering. Who are you to play God? That implies that God wanted history to turn out the way it has, which is extremely fucked up. And if you look at history, horrible shit happens to everyone, all religions, which either means that there really is no god, or if there is, he LOVES to see blood and suffering, no matter what your faith.

Dr. Kroell says that all this blood and suffering is supposed to teach us a lesson. This is an insulting and condescending answer that I have encountered before. So all those people who died painful and gruesome deaths in history did so to teach you a lesson? Fuck no. Any decent human being would want to go back and stop all that bad shit from happening.

It’s funny that they claim to be such stifflers for keeping history in tact. One of the final battles has me running around spraying bullets all over Pompeii before it is covered in ash. I leave a trail of dead future soldiers and bullets. Who’s going to pick all that stuff up? Archaeologists in 18th and 19th centuries….

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