Strong women in black leather hold a certain fascination with me. I’m not totally sure why. Whether it be Trinity (Matrix films), Selene (Underworld films), Aeon (Æon Flux) or in the case of Dark Angel, Max as played by Jessica Alba, they wield the dual attraction of the promise of physical danger and, let’s be honest, form fitting clothing. You can understand then that the TV show was of interest to me. And while I can’t say I totally loved the show, I can say I watched most of the first season and bits of the second. The game then, being based loosely on the show, was something I’d need to check out.
It held great promise. All it needed was as many shots of Jessica Alba, in leather, beating up people as it could. Or, in the case of poor modeling skills, someone that looked vaguely like her. That they achieved. When it came to gameplay however, I wished they’d spent more time designing levels and working on the fighting system than trying to model the protagonist.
When trying to come up with some overall opinion of the game, I stumbled on something that I feel it lacks. That simple thing is fun. The levels often devolve into a contest of Max versus a group of men who occasionally look different. They don’t always start that way. Many level introductions explain how you are to sneak into an area or stealthily take out a certain enemy, but it always end with fighting. Regardless of how well you can crouch and hide, the enemies inevitably find you and you have to fight it out street brawl style with wave after wave of enemies.
The game is not without some positives however. Voice acting from many of the regular characters including Jessica Alba and Michael Weatherly are within the game which provide a connection to the original show. The weak fighting system – button smash to win – and weak plot – somehow most of the minor characters get kidnapped at various points – outweigh these promising additions in the end though.