The Mark is a 2006 action first-person shooter video game developed by T7 Games (a team consisting of Mirage Interactive employees) and published by JoWooD Productions in Australia and Europe, Akella in Russia, and DreamCatcher Interactive in North America for Microsoft Windows.
Fanatical terrorists are planning the ultimate strike. From the son of a Russian millionaire, they have obtained a nuclear warhead, and from Iraq, a carrier rocket. Their target: London, England. Two specialists have been called to stop the madness. For Steve Fletcher, a U.S. Marines elite officer, it is also a personal vendetta – the terrorists have kidnapped his sister. For mercenary Austin Hawke, it is the assignment of his life.
Why It Sucks
- Generic storyline for first-person shooters standards. The story does not change every step and it is still your task to defeat this antagonist.
- As befits a budget game, the plot is told in low-quality cutscenes, but also in the worst case of slide shows.
- Boring and painfully linear level design. There is no exploration as there is either a dead end or an invisible wall at any given moment.
- The levels mostly dominate the corridors, which look quite similar.
- In addition has no secret rooms or places to hide.
- The graphics are poor, despite the fact that it fully uses the original engine that the creators themselves boasted. Somehow it looks worse than DOOM 3 or F.E.A.R., which came out earlier. The game has a blur effect to the point where it is almost unreadable. Textures that look like they're from the era between Half-Life and Half-Life 2. And special effects, especially the lights, look like they are based on Big Rigs.
- Bad optimization, especially when you meet several opponents.
- The game is poor in options and the game resolution can only be changed before starting the game.
- Repetitive gameplay that limits you only to brainless killing an opponents and following the linear path that the authors have set.
- Awful artificial intelligence, both of opponents and teammate.
- A teammate is blocking your path, he can clip through walls, and sometimes it happens that he does circles pointlessly.
- The opponents' action plan is limited to taking a few steps and freezing in place. Although the opponents make up for the accuracy of their shots by not missing.
- As with some old City Interactive games, there are no first aid kits or ammo.
- The sound effects are poorly made, especially the weapons, which are more like the sounds of their toy counterparts.
- Very bad voice acting. The characters sound like college students who don't want to act out voices.
- The game has a multiplayer, but since the game's release, they have ceased to function, which is why there is a void.
- The game generally does not use any potential of the game engine (which was created by the game developers themselves) due to budget and laziness. According to the creators, the engine controls realistic graphics, an extensive physical system of the depicted world and the interaction of artificial intelligence algorithms. Although in the situation of this game, they're extremely deceiving.
- You can choose one of two characters with different skills. One of them can detect enemies through walls, but the other slows down time, like in Max Payne.
- There are fifteen weapons in the game that additionally deal good damage depending on the weapon in question.
- The soundtrack is fine for the atmosphere of modern conflicts.
The game received very negative reviews from both critics and players alike. The Mark received a 27/100 based on five reviews and a user score of 3.1/10.
GameSpot gave it a 3/10, criticizing for the graphics that cause physical discomfort, for the poor plot and dialogues, and for the frustrating and repetitive gameplay. The last sentences read as follows: "The Mark isn't a humorous or fun game in any sense of the words. It's also a tedious game that taxes your patience and your endurance. When you get down to it, there are simply far too many other shooters that you can spend your money on, and most of those will offer a more enjoyable and fun gameplay experience than The Mark."
French website Jeuxvideo gave a 6/20, describing: "Inspired by the very worst in action movies, The Mark can't even tell his story because his narration lacks consistency. As for the gameplay, it suffers from a fairly similar defect, its balance is absurd, its design devoid of interest."
HonestGamers gave a 1/5 stars, summarizing: "The Mark is a bad game. It’s important to get that out of the way early. It’s a relic of an age that, as a media, video games moved on from long ago; this dinosaur exhibits poor, blocky graphics that would put the original Time Crisis to shame, a clichéd plot that fails to capture any interest and some of the worst voice acting to befall the digital revolution since a tubby beardo declared someone the “Master of Unlocking!” Everything The Mark sets out to do fails."
- Austin Hawke and Steve Fletcher resemble Karl Urban and The Rock in the game's box art.