Takes place after Garrett has entered the sewers from the previous mission, looking for a way out of the city of Rocksbourg. Navigating is difficult due to the darkness and the place is full of the undead, with sounds coming from every direction. He locates an old latern, taking it to provide some light. But this only causes his fears to come true. The undead have found him. He makes a quick escape, only to find himself running into a dead end. Suddenly, a portal opens and a voice speaks, “If your survival is important to you, come with me, right now”. With no other options, he jumps through.
By taking a good look around the area you arrive in after entering the portal should be a good enough clue as to what may be lying in wait for you, after having played the series up to this point. There is not much here besides an elevator surrounded by rusted walls and grating. This image alone may send chills running down your spine since the elevator will only take you further down into the darkness. Ink and Dust takes you deeper within the heart of the those odd locations you have found yourself in during the previous mission. It is here that holds an answer to some of the questions while effectively creating many more.
The compound upon your arrival is an eerie yet mystical place with many darkly lit corridors connecting large rooms, each one designed with care and giving them a purpose. Towering bookcases intimidate you as one of your first sights into this new and strange location. Novices work at the many desks scattered throughout the structure as they work with books and scrolls spread out in front of them. There are various other details and locations that makes this place feel very much alive, too many to mention. The ambiance helps in achieving the desired mood from the moans of the creatures roaming around, the whispering of novices and other humanoids as they talk amongst themselves, the occasional sound of a glyph breezing by and other creepy noises there to ensure that you feel uncomfortable here.
Interpreter Thales is the one requesting your presence and is there to answer the question as to why you are here, while not revealing anything about the Order you have just come to know. He gives you a task that you must complete if you wish to get out of here alive. He leaves a book with further instructions as to what you will need to do. Although everyone at the start is friendly towards you thanks to the will of Thales’ power, upon reaching the North Star is where your troubles begin. Only this time you will be dealing with all the novices and creatures that you’ve come across so far. While the South Star only served as a little introduction to the Order, the North Star is much larger and full of enemies that wouldn’t blink an eye after ridding of your existence. New potions are available by keeping an eye out for them, with various useful abilities that work with different playing styles; such as the Stone-Potion which temporarily protects you from physical attacks or the Silence-Potion, allowing you a short time of quiet movement, especially useful on metal grating.
The Dark Zone is quite possibly the best part of the experience during this instalment as you will be required to explore the depths beyond the safety of the walls around you and enter a place that is much more dark and sinister. There is an obvious amount of inspiration from the otherworld found in the Silent Hill series, using the same rusted and gritty appearance while also including the use of various music tracks from the games. Although the similarities exist, DrK manages to create an essence of its own and providing a different approach to this style, which is further enhanced by the first person point of view. I lost count how many times I’ve jumped out of my skin and sat staring into the darkness choosing whether I should move ahead or not. And I loved every moment of it. It only becomes more tense the further you go and the climax to the Dark Zone is a great way to say goodbye and finish up the rest of tasks you have.
Manages to create a frightening atmosphere within a dark and gritty yet living environment, full of ambiance and designed with care. Many questions are answered while more are created, full of mystery with a fitting inspiration from Silent Hill.