Compared: November 22, 2002
Sierra and Radical Entertainment bring James Cameron's FOX television hit, Dark Angel to the world of video games. What could be better than a sexy star who just happens to be a gentically enhanced super soldier? While the concept made for a good first season of TV and certainly sounds feasible for a video game something was simply lost in the translation. The fact that the series was cancelled long before this game saw the light of day certainly doesn't help with name recognition.
Round 1: Control
Dark Angel is a traditional third-person action/fighting game and manages to make good use of the Dual Shock and the Xbox controller. While Dark Angel has several issues dealing with the quality of the gameplay none of them are related to the controls which are as equally fluid and responsive on either system. This round is a draw.
Round 2: Visuals
Both versions of Dark Angel look remarkably similiar but the Xbox attempt to run the game at a higher resolution and the framerate suffers horribly as a result. Both games are very dark, but the game takes place either indoors or at night so this is expected. Even so, it can be quite difficult to make out various enemies and objects.
The PS2, although slightly less crisp and defined, wins this round proving that a smooth framerate beats out high-res jerky graphics.
Round 3: Music & Sound
Both games features identical sound mixes, both in content and quality. The futuristic techno and synth music is right from the show and creates a somber futuristic vibe while the uninspired voice work of Logan and Max create a rather dull and lifeless gameplay experience. With no Dolby Digital support for the Xbox there is no clear winner for this round.
Round 4: Other Deciding Factors
There is nothing that really makes either game standout when compared to each other or anything else in either system's library. It's merely an average fighter based on an average TV series. The Xbox does offer a slightly better/faster load speed, but it's so marginal you may not even notice unless you put a stopwatch on it.
There were several opportunities for the Xbox to exceed the PS2 version yet nothing was done to really enhance the Xbox version other than the attempt to improve the graphics and subsequently ruin the gameplay. It's pretty obvious to see that this project was started when the TV series was in full gear, and once the series got cancelled this project was rushed out the door in hopes of cashing in before everyone forgot about it. If you are a true fan of the show or simply want to play an average 3D fighting game then wait to find this in a budget bin.