Many browser games tend to be silly little time wasters created for the sole purpose of making people feel amused –which is not a bad thing. Then there are the games that try to use the medium to be more than just the source of jokes, this ladies and gentlemen, is a virtual surgery game: Dark Cut 3. This is not a game you play for medical knowledge, but it is something that will not only test your hand-eye coordination, it will also determine how well you can do under pressure. Extracting fragments of broken bones, stitching up massive wounds, and forcefully setting a bone into place are not exactly procedures made for the squeamish, and it gets even worse when you are in a battlefield and bullets are zipping past. And throughout the course of the game, you constantly have to ask yourself, why should you even be doing this?
What is Dark Cut 3?
As the title implies, Dark Cut 3 is the third game in the DC series. For those of you completely unfamiliar with the title, this is a browser based game series that allows the players to perform virtual surgeries in war-time scenarios. Think Trauma Center, except that the most of the procedures are being done in triage tents with explosions and gunfire making everything harder to see, and the makeshit facilities preventing you from accessing all the best equipment found in the sterile environment of a proper operating theater.
The setup alone already provides a lot of pressure on the player (which is what the game is all about really), but this is made even more complicated by the fact that there is also a running narrative that is designed to gnaw at your subconscious. In this game, you are actually not in the war-zone, instead, your character is sitting on a computer and is 'uplinked' into a war-torn area that is supposedly set in the past. Your actions will apparently change the future. As to how this happens is not exactly depicted in the game, instead, the computer AI will constantly ask you some rather important and distracting questions about the moral implications of saving people who were supposed to have died in the past.
How it Plays
The gameplay itself is pretty simple, operations are just a series of mouse clicking exercises where you have to follow the onscreen prompts as fast and accurately as possible in order to finish the operation before the patient dies.
Prior to operating, you will have to also connect the uplink system to the patient (which allows you to operate on them). Also there is an option to sedate the patient (a major luxury not afforded to many patients during real world wars), which will allow you to operate on them longer –as long as they are under, they panic less and their life gauge depletes much slower.
The operations themselves is a simple matter of clicking on the onscreen prompts. Sometimes, click and drag works well for hitting multiple key points at once, though for some actions such as stitching, it seems to be faster if you just click on each box as fast as you can. The game player pretty well on a regular mouse, though those of you with access to a stylus will find that it works even better for this game.
Not Quite Trauma Center
Being a flash game, Dark Cut 3 lacks much of the medical accuracy presented in Trauma Center (some of the fixes in Dark Cut are next to impossible, though it can also be argued that Trauma Center has its fair share of fictional treatments). So this game is all about making an impact. The music and visuals are geared towards making the player feel amped up –a bit bonus for getting immersed in the war time environments of the game. Also, if you enjoyed the past two games, this one is definitely going to be worth your while.
Aside from the regular stages that the game offers, players can also try to seek out several bonus