Dark Void is a third person shooter released by Capcom. It is rated T for teens is and is available now for the PS3, PC, and Xbox 360. The hype surrounding this game focused on its unique vertical cover system and the ability to use a jetpack. While I was very excited for this game, it never lives up to its potential and leaves the player wanting a more polished experience.
Dark Void’s Story and Game Play
The year is 1938 and players are cargo pilot Will Grey. While flying through the Bermuda Triangle, he winds up in a parallel universe populated by oppressive robot aliens, The Watchers, and a group of humans called Survivors. Interesting concept, but it never makes much sense or goes any where intriguing. I never found myself immersed in the story.
The game play is basically like Gears of War. There is a lot of ducking, covering, and shooting the aliens. There’s nothing wrong with that, but the targeting gets frustrating at times. It seemed better just to melee the aliens. They usually died with one hit. There was no real feeling of intensity or need for strategy like in Gears. It was cover, shoot, get frustrated that no aliens died by gunfire, and run up with a melee attack. It gets repetitive; especially since the type of enemies don’t change much through out the game.
Once you get the jetpack, it is a great experience to soar high above the enemies on the ground with machine guns. It does take a bit to get used to controlling the jetpack. The controls are inverted; up is down and down is up. This can be confusing and cause you to fly straight into the ground. The targeting is different while flying. Instead of aiming the jetpack’s machine guns towards the flying discs, it shows you where the nearest one is. They always seem to be behind you. The camera angle changes to show the UFO causing you to fly right into the side of a cliff if you’re not careful. With the jetpack, you can also hover in the air. I preferred the targeting system in hover mode over the flying one, but it was much harder to take down a flying disc with your “ground weapons.”
The vertical cover is interesting, even if it is dizzying at first. By an on screen button prompt, Will is able to scale a tall structure and jump from one to other. This is the most intense the game gets. The perspective can be nauseating and nerve wrecking, but as long as you hit the button when prompted, Will makes it.
Dark Void’s Graphics
The overall graphics were good, nothing really amazing. I noticed when Will was walking away from a crate or control panel, the edges became increasingly pixilated. The best display of graphics was definitely the view from the jetpack. Unfortunately, the jetpack isn’t used enough to appreciate them. On the PS3 version, the sound had a tendency to be uneven at times.
Dark Void’s Replay Value
The game is short at about 8 hours. Once you finish it, the ability to go back and play through favorite levels is unlocked. No online co-op or multiplayer is available. You can’t even just goof off and fly around with your friends. Coming on February 10th for the Xbox 360 and the11th for the PS3, is downloadable content called Survivor Missions. The player is up against increasing difficult waves of enemies. The DLC sounds a lot like Horde mode in Gears without the online playability.
I really wanted to love this video game. Jetpacks and parallel universes sounded awesome when I read early previews. But Dark Void never fully delivers on its promises. I don’t hate the game. I just wish it was more polished and longer. This is a great rental choice, but nothing to drop $59.99 on.