Arkhan was born in a post-apocalyptic world and raised in a Stallite (Citadel of Light), one of the few places in the world with natural sunlight. Outside of this sanctuary, the world is not a safe place. The darkness creates a sickness that ravages the land. Given such an environment, the sun is worshipped as a god. A sun priestess Arkhan is defending, is attacked by an assassin. In defending her, he gets a vial of darkness thrown at him. Affected with the disease, Arkhan begins to wander the land in an effort to cure his illness and bring order back to the world.
Dark Earth is a third-person action game with light puzzle-solving elements. It has pre-rendered backgrounds with fixed camera angles, similarly to Resident Evil games. There are few firearms in the game, and ammunition for them is limited. Weapons break down after a while and must be repaired. Arkhan can grab and use improvised weapons such as kitchen utensils. He must also search for food to replenish his health when wounded. During the course of the game, Arkhan gradually succumbs to the dark side in him. On several occasions the player is able to make dialogue choices that will influence this transformation.