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Dark Century has interesting things to offer but not enough of them to make it good value.
It is Dark Century's sit-back-and-watch approach that appeals to me more than the facility to drive around shooting. It was most satisfying to program my vehicles and then watch the ensuing fight to the death.
Within these limitations, Dark Century is a competently programmed, well-implemented piece of software clearly aimed at gamers with a strong bent towards programming. Even with the manual options, however, its specialised subject matter is unlikely to appeal to the average lover of shoot 'em ups, arcade adventures, even simulations. If you do feel like hiding away with a manual for a couple of weeks, make sure you know exactly what you're buying first.
Although there's the opportunity to program tanks and send them out after the opposition, it’s never a very exciting challenge. The tanks move too quickly to play the game as a straight shoot-'em-up and you'll spend a sizeable chunk of your time cynically considering if it might just not be more fun to stick all the tanks on auto-destruction mode and send them out into the great black yonder.