"Into the Darkness" is the perfect mobile game for those, who don't play mobile games.
You don’t like mobile games? You think that all these casual, FMCG games are ruining the business? Fantastic. In that case, get your smartphone out of your pocket and install this one. You got me right! Buckle up for a review of the most uncommon mobile game, that I’ve ever played: Into the Darkness by Dark Faction.
To get straight to the core, we have to point out the three main ingredients of a mobile game: it’s rather small (so that you can download it even without turning on your Wi-Fi), it’s rather simple and shallow (so that you can play it on the run and pick it up at any time) and it’s rather handy (so that you can control it easily with your touchscreen). Into the Darkness is nothing of the above. The game is so ridiculously big, that I had to uninstall three apps before I was able to download it. It’s deep, tough and complicated – and I love it.
In this game, you start by searching for your lost wife in a menacing, thrilling post-apocalpytic scenario. Danger waits behind every corner and you have to walk right, shoot fast and act wisely in order to master this mission. To make things clear: This ain’t got a cup of coffee to go, it’s neither suitable for short breaks nor second screening. Into the Darkness wants nothing less than you full concentration, which is like a real antithesis to the modern conception of consuming multimedia content.
The good thing is: Dark Faction succeeded in bringing the tense atmosphere of this genre to a mobile device. If you allow the scenario to sink in, you will be rewarded by feeling true tension and emotions by playing on your smartphone. And I have to admit, that this is rather a rare opportunity.
The bad thing is: Into the Darkness does a lot to prevent you from doing this. There are both technical issues (lags, bugs, …) and balancing problems (you die too easily!) that make it hard to clear all hurdles. Sometimes, if you take a wrong step (out of the map?) you immediately die or the whole world turns black and you walk around in a vast void. Kind of reminds me of bad custom maps in Half-Life 1, but that’s more than 15 years ago…
The more I think about it, the more I guess that the flaws of “Into the Darkness” are due to its strength. The framerate is low, because the world is huge. The game is tough, because the scenario demands it. It isn’t easy (to pick up), because it’s not designed to be a (casual) mobile game. This unqiue concept won’t convince everyone but I guess that wasn’t the goal of Dark Faction in the first place. Still interested? Then follow me into the darkness!