Radical Entertainment
THQ
Sports
2
11.15.01

Dark Summit


Snowboarders beware! Something is awry on Mt. Garrick, and if you don't get off the mountain, you are going to be hunted down by Chief O'Leary and his thugs! Dark Summit is the first mission-based snowboarding game to grace a console. Combining mystery and adventure with snowboarding, Dark Summit had the opportunity to offer a whole new gameplay experience. However, due to somewhat tiresome missions and poor gameplay mechanics, the game fails in the end.

Graphics

Graphics are a mixed bag in this game. The realtime cutscenes seem to have been designed for 16:9 television displays, as they appear stretched out vertically on a standard 4:3 TV set. In addition, there is noticable slowdown throughout the realtime cutscenes. Once you get into the actual gameplay, the tracks look very polished, however once again slowdown pops up sometimes when there are special effects such as snow particles flying. All in all, it could have been a lot better graphically.

Sound

Dark Summit features an ambient Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. The music, sound effects, and voices all suit the game, however they are of relatively low quality. In addition, Dark Summit does not allow you to use your own CD-ripped soundtracks.

Gameplay

Boarding can often be frustrating, as controls are nowhere near as refined as other snowboarding games such as the incredible Amped Snowboarding or the excellent SSX Tricky. Once you get used to the controls, you will realize the game really isn't all that fun, after the excitement of being "chased" wears off. The missions are usually relatively simple, and without them the game would have been mediocre at best. Now it's mediocre at best, with missions to cover up its control weaknesses. Multiplayer modes are present, but are nothing to write home about.

Bottom Line:

Though a snowboarding game with missions sounds enticing, Dark Summit just fails to deliver. If you are a snowboarding fan and want to try something new, pick up Microsoft's Amped Snowboarding instead; now that would be money well-spent.

-Pete Calderwood




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