You have to wonder if Sony Online Entertainment was so co-dependent during the development of the Champions of Norrath games that they had to abandon the successful series when partner Snowblind Studios was bitten by the superhero bug. Instead of leveraging EverQuest's popularity for the launch of the PlayStation 3, SOE decided to stick with their more generic Untold Legends setting, which debuted on the PSP nearly two years ago. But with its paltry 18-20 hours of gameplay, lack of SIXAXIS support, and all of three pre-customized characters to choose from, Dark Kingdom ends up being little more than a rushed launch title, not the next-gen Norrath many people were hoping for.
- IGN (65/100) wants more PS3 and less PSP: "Apart from the repetitive combat system, there's a ton of gameplay issues that you'd hope would've been fixed with the transition over to the PS3. Load times are surprisingly long when you're accessing new levels. Rocks and boxes, as well as hills or background objects can cause your character to freeze in mid-jumping animation for at least five or six seconds. You'll also run into a lot of camera problems during combat, where the camera will unexpectedly zoom in or out during a fight."
- GameSpot (60/100) thinks Dark Kingdom is ill-suited for looters: "Gear lust is one of the more prominent driving forces in dungeon crawlers, and it's here that Dark Kingdom comes up short. Pieces of armor with different names and radically different effects look identical on your character, limiting the joy of equipping new gear and seeing how it looks on your increasingly badass adventurer. Your character will use the same basic weapon, as well as most of the same combo attacks, from beginning to end."
- GameSpy (60/100) hopes Sony is planning to make better use of the PS3's storage capacity: "What surprises me the most about the whole pre-formed character shtick is how confining it seems for a next-gen console with the power of the PS3. Look at the character customization options in Oblivion and you might understand where I'm coming from with this. All that power and I only have three options to choose from?"