I didn’t really know what to expect the first time I booted up At Sundown: Shots in the Dark, but after my first hour of play I was pleasantly surprised.
This top down 1-4 player shooter isn’t just another multi-player shooter, it brings something different to the table. The twist is that you’re playing in the dark, so unless you step into one of the strategically placed lights, then your enemies will have no idea of your whereabouts. There are other ways of being spotted though – For example; if you shoot your weapon then you will give away your location, and if you decide to try sprint then your character will leave a trace of dust behind them. All of this is what makes At Sundown: Shots in the Dark special, because with every match you really have to think about what you’re going to do and strategise. This is highlighted even more when the game places weapons or other incentives in the lit up areas of the map, forcing you to decide whether to expose your position in favour of a good power up.
At Sundown: Shots in the Dark can be played either locally, online or even a mixture of both I believe; unfortunately in the time I’ve had this game I have not been able to find a match online, but I am excited to get involved once there is a bigger online community and I will do a follow up review covering the online side as soon as it is possible. I was okay with this though because, for me, a lot of fun definitely came from playing locally with friends. There were many times playing with friends where I would find myself going from feeling very tense, moving around in the dark to laughing and joking as one of us would give our position away, only to get pounced on by the rest of the opposition.
I was happy to find that multiplayer was not my only option when it came to playing At Sundown: Shots in the Dark, as there is a series of training games that feels more like a challenge mode than anything else. This is also the only real way to progress in the game, as you can unlock better weapons for multiplayer mode; I was mostly okay with this as I found this mode highly enjoyable, and often found myself replaying the maps to try beat my last score. The only downside is that if you want to have access to all the weapons in the game, you will have no choice but to beat as many as the training maps as possible, and as much as I enjoyed them, I can imagine this quickly becoming a chore if you just want to compete online.
For a game this size the graphics are good, every map seems to have its own personality and is very colourful and vibrant which is quite an achievement given that most of this game is played in the dark! I found that there was a very old school arcade feel to the whole experience and this was most obvious in the games menus. I am not usually the sort of gamer that is overly concerned with menus and loading screens but with At Sundown: Shots in the Dark, I was excited to be scrolling through stripped back menus that gave me a feeling of nostalgia and reminded of my days playing games like Streets of Rage.
You have four set characters in the game that you can choose between before every match or training session, but without a story or campaign mode these character models don’t really mean anything. Because of this I couldn’t help but wish that there was a way of creating your own character, or editing the ones that are already there, but unfortunately this is not the case; in fact there are no cosmetics to unlock at all. So without a campaign or customisation options, there is no real reason to keep going back unless you want to unlock every weapon, but even that won’t take you too long.
At Sundown: Shots in the Dark isn’t going to have you glued to the screen for hours at a time, in fact you are more likely to only play in hour long bursts before running out of things to do. Thankfully though, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of fun to be had. SD is a perfect party game with a great twist that will have you and your friends laughing and having a great time. The lack of a campaign mode is certainly a shame, but nonetheless it’s a new and unique experience that you are unlikely to get with anything else, so for that reason alone it is worth your time.
I give At Sundown: Shots in the Dark: