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D3Publisher, the folks behind the delightful Simple Series and the not so delightful Dark Sector, have Tokyo Game Show booth companions. Six of them by our count. That’s a very conservative number for a company that releases not so conservative games.
No chance for Dark Sector in Australia? Not quite the case. Local distributor AFA Interactive appears to have finally gotten its hands on the toned-down build for the Japanese market (or a custom one from developer Digital Extremes) and coaxed an MA 15+ rating from the Office of Film and Literature Classification.
AFA has yet to announce a release date, but it’s fair to say we can expect Dark Sector to hit Australian shelves shortly.
A toned-down version of Dark Sector based on the Japanese build? Yes, we could deal with that.
Sadly, it seems this information was more of a plan rather than solid confirmation, as we were led to believe. Digital Extremes, the developer of the game, got back to us recently with this:
We were aware of the Australian banning, it got quite a few headlines over [in the US] . We did make an altered version of Dark Sector for Japan which could easily be updated for Australia but D3 hasn’t requested that we do it yet.
AFA Interactive, the local distributor, gave me a call to clarify that the matter is entirely in the hands of D3 and, while it has been working hard with the publisher to bring the game out here, nothing has come of it yet.
Digital Extremes says it doesn’t want us to miss out on the game but as far as it knows “it’s not going to happen”. Australian retailers: 0, overseas stores: 1.
Sigh. Refuting opinions against the R18+ classification is really starting to tire me, especially when a little research on the author’s part would save me a lot of time. But hey, that’s what I’m here for.
When Dark Sector was refused classification in Australia, we decided to chase not only the publisher, D3, but AFA Interactive, the local distributor and developer Digital Extremes.
AFA today got back to us with the following information.
Digital Extreme’s Dark Sector is meant, it feels, to be the beginning of something, a game that serves as an origin tale and set piece for what could become a franchise. In the game you play as Hayden Tenno, a black-ops agent sent into Eastern Europe to assassinate someone. Things go astray, as these things often do, and Tenno is infected with a virus that gives him evolving and deadly powers; chief among them the ability to boomerang an organic three-bladed knife at people, lopping off appendages.
Digital Extreme probably had a no-brainer hit when the decided to let people lop off body parts with a deadly Frisbee, but in their pursuit for something more they may have missed the mark this time around.
Here’s the launch trailer for D3Publisher’s Dark Sector, and while the gameplay still strikes me as a bit unexciting, the cutscenes certainly seem to pack a punch. This is one of those releases that is going to have me extremely conflicted. Not so much interested in the single player, but the multiplayer sounds nifty and the storyline and voice acting might be just enough to tip me over to the purchase side of the fence. It’s one of those games that will have me at the game store on the 26th, endlessly picking it up, getting halfway to the register and then putting it back down again. The GameStop employees absolutely love me.
What’s this now? The D3 folks just sent us a press release with the full break down of Dark Sector’s Xbox 360 achievements and… Playstation 3 entitlements? More and more frequently we’re starting to see knock-off achievements rear their addictive heads in Playstation 3 versions of games that show up on both the PS3 and Xbox 360. Maybe they’ve decided that since they’ve gone through the trouble of creating a list of “achievements” for the 360 they might as well rename it and use the same list on the PS3.
I’ve emailed the PR folks to find out how exactly they’ll show up in the PS3 version of Dark Sector. If you’re interested in the nitty-gritty, hit the jump for the games achievements and entitlements, which are broken down into level completion, combat and multiplayer.
I’ll make sure to update when and if we hear back.
DARK SECTOR – I played Dark Sector at TGS. Thought it sucked. Anyway, word’s come through that the game’s been refused classification in Australia, mostly because it’s a “violent and sometimes gruesome game with a sinister storyline and ominous outcome. The violence and aggression inflicted upon the protagonist is of a high level, naturalistic and not stylised at all”. It’s expected the game will be edited and resubmmitted for classification at a later date. While the loss of Dark Sector itself isn’t going to cause too many sleepless nights, it is troubling that the OFLC have found it unacceptable, since while violent, it wasn’t particularly more violent than something like, say, Gears of War.