Dark Angel: Vampire Apocalypse

Though news has been scarce about Dark Angel: Vampire Apocalypse for the Dreamcast, we thought it might be beneficial to refresh some memories in order to keep hope alive. For those who have forgotten, Dark Angel stars a young, attractive monster-hunter named Anna who is hired by humans to track down and kill the hordes of bloodthirsty creatures who stalk the earth and menace the human population. Sound scary? Not to worry, Anna is a pro, and she gets paid to kill the things that other people have nightmares about.

Combining RPG elements like speaking NPCs and tons of in-game animations with a traditional adventure-game formula, Dark Angel will challenge players to complete 12 different modules. Each module will contain a classic monster (i.e. werewolf, vampire, zombie, mad scientist, etc.) or all new creatures like Fish Fiends and Flesh Golems, and Anna will have to find and exploit that monster’s specific weakness. Once Anna has completed a full module, the player will be able to save to a VMU and replay the module again later in order to build up her arsenal. As well as her growing weapon supply, the completion of each module will increase Anna’s skills and abilities.

Besides the traditional stakes, crucifixes and silver bullets at her disposal, Anna also has a number of character skills in her arsenal. One of them allows her to lock her attention onto very specific characters or target every enemy she passes. Along the way, the landscape of the game will change as cities rise and fall and terrain is ravaged by battle. As she travels through this dark landscape, Anna may allow non-player characters to join her quest, using them as either help or bait for the surrounding monsters. But Anna won’t be the only one with the ability to create a team. The monster AI in Dark Angel may be one of the most comprehensive AIs we have seen in a Dreamcast adventure game to date. The creatures will behave unpredictably and will try to trick Angel by either appearing fierce and unstoppable or frightened and harmless. The monsters will have the ability to work together and form strategies to kill Anna.

The thing that makes this game so exciting, is because it takes the traditional survival/horror scenario and completely turns it upside down. In the words of Mark Jordan, the game’s head designer, “Your enemies (the monsters) are having the ‘survival horror’ experience as you chase them down and hack them up.” And you don’t even have to feel guilty about your anti-social, search and destroy mentality – because the things you are killing are monsters. Another aspect of the game that is exciting is its size. There are no strict levels, and each module contains tons of environments and objectives. Add to that the fact that levels can be replayed in different ways, and you have a game that can keep even the most die-hard gamers entertained for weeks on end.

This is where the “but” comes in, and it’s an unfortunate “but” indeed. We spoke with Metro 3D this morning, and it seems that the iOS version update of Clash Royale has been delayed again for free gems. While several game retail sites still have the game listed with a March 1 release date, we have now learned that the PS2 version of the game won’t come out until May, and that the Dreamcast version won’t be released until after that. Does this mean that we will never see a Dark Angel for our console? No. Does it mean that the future of this game is in doubt and that any attempts to pre-pay for the title should be abandoned. Yes. Them’s the breaks.