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Dark Void Review
publisher: Capcom Entertainment
developer: Airtight Games
|ESRB rating: T
release date: Jan 19, 10 (released)
|» All About Dark Void on ActionTrip|
Not to long ago, in their march towards new and fresh game franchises, Capcom supported a promising little project called Dark Void, developed by Airtight Games. Prior release, Dark Void seemed like a good effort to revive a long-forgotten genre. In fact, it gave off an impression of a rather spiffy combo of fast air-based shooting and ground-based 3rd person action. Although on the surface Dark Void is reminiscent of familiar stories such as The Rocketeer, for the most part, its setting looks fairly interesting.
Dark Void begins as a cargo pilot named William Augustus Grey crashes somewhere near the Bermuda Triangle (bad luck there Willie... heh, "Willy."). Our unsuspecting hero gets teleported to a parallel universe where he comes across other humans, who are called the Survivors. Will joins the Survivors, who are fighting against a powerful alien race known as the Watchers; it was his only hope of ever returning to Earth. The Watchers are strong and technologically superior. Fortunately, Will and those opposing the Watchers will get help from Nikola Tesla (fancy that), using the Watcher's technology against them.
As I've explained earlier, the story won't dazzle you with incredible writing and brilliant dialogue. However, as far as new IPs go, Dark Void does a relatively solid job of introducing a fresh setting to eager players. There's honestly not much to say about the plot, aside that it keeps you on your toes throughout most of the game. That's something given today's average crappy game story.
C3PO's evil twin?
Where is this thing taking meee?
As players hit the skies in their very first mission, they are introduced to the basics of jetpack flight: speed, maneuvering capabilities and so on. When trying out the first flight tutorial mission, my initial expression was very much in the what-in-the-flying-fuck department. Apart from being completely awkward, the flying segments have some serious camera issues, which proved to be a problem throughout the entire game. It's like the camera is too fast to focus on the action and then, just the opposite - it becomes to darn slow, especially when you're trying desperately to locate your target. While we're on the subject of targeting, the game features a lock-on option, to help you locate targets more efficiently. Sadly, this doesn't help one bit because the system doesn't actually lock-on to enemies. Instead it just locates foes for you, leaving you to chase targets manually. By the time you catch and take out one enemy, you'll be seriously pissed off at the controls, as well as the targeting system (at least that's how it was for me). To cut a long story short, it's a confusing and altogether underdeveloped control scheme. Whoever designed it was drugged out of their mind or simply using something other than human hands to grip the 360 gamepad. Between all the weird camera behavior and wearisome target chasing, I found myself cursing at the screen often because I didn't have the slightest clue where I was supposed to be going.
In Dark Void a majority of the gameplay is comprised of on-foot third-person shooter segments that throw players in a predictably mediocre round of "fire-and-duck before the bad guys shoot you." Knowing Capcom reputation, I assumed this portion of the game would be at least something along the lines of Lost Planet, but clearly, Capcom did not have much of an influence on how things played out in this one, which is a damn shame.
If you're not the kind of gamer who gets pissed off at weird controls and awkward flight mechanics (and I sincerely doubt you're not), you'll still liable to get very disappointed with this title right at the outset. Even if you enjoy the hell out of the flying bits, the game takes that away at the beginning, hurling you into a long-drawn-out shooter sequence that's similar to almost any third person shooter you've played before. This constitutes a great part of Dark Void, leading gamers across a series of levels crammed with generic-looking on-foot action.
3.9 Don't Bother
Looks okay and I guess the story is okay, even has a few cool gameplay ideas;
It flops in just about every department and it tries too hard to be something it's not, completely failing to deliver the best of both old-fashioned air-based shooters and traditional 3rd person action games, weird camera issues, awkward flying mechanics.