REVIEW: Dark Void
So, Dark Void is a third-person shooter from newcomer Airtight Games. It starts off with a brief gameplay teaser that has you control an ambiguous character who is testing out a prototype jetpack. You are then thrust into a dogfight where you shoot down a few enemy crafts until the enemy gets the jump on you. The next scene introduces Will who runs a floundering air-delivery company and Ava his old flame who just so happens to be the client he is delivering for at the time. Will and Ava fly through the Bermuda Triangle only to crash land in a mysterious land where there is a war going on between humans and an alien, robotic race.
Dark Void is pretty robust in it's control scheme; it introduces multiple circumstances that all need to be controled their own way. When on the ground, Dark Void uses the typical shoot and cover system found in games like Gears of War for firefights. Also in firefights, Will can use his jetpack to float vertically which opens up another dimension of gameplay. When full-on flying, you control a mounted gun on Will's jetpack; directional inputs now have will slowing down, speeding up and banking left and right. Flyign is no problem when using a controller but using a mouse can sometimes be a real pain if you don't adjust the sensitivity. As you come across even more complex circumstances, you will be introduced to a grip system which has you do things like engage in a vertical fire fight on the side of a cliff or highjack an enemy aircraft. Enemies are a strong challenge which normally would be a good thing if it didn't take so many shots to kill them. Thankfully, melee attacks take them out in one blow. The variety of weapons isn't very robust but what you find gets the job done.
You will recognize familiar voices when playing Dark Void. Will's voice sounds like Nathan Drakes voice from Uncharted becasue it is Nathan Drakes voice from Uncharted. Nolan North, who does many video game character voices such as The Prince from Prince of Persia, does the voice of Will. Ava is voiced by Polly Walker who is known mostly for her live action roles such as the role she is playing for the upcoming movie Clash of the Titans. Both North and Walker so an excellent job creating believable dialogue which gives their characters depth and relatability.
Art & Animation
Dark Void looks good on the Xbox 360 and PS3 but it looks great on PC. In fact, Capcom has released a recent patch for Dark Void on PC where Airtight Games has added additional support for those who own particular Nvidia graphics cards that support the PhysX brand physics accelerator making fluid look much more dynamic. The character designs of the human Survivors and the alien race The Watchers look good. However, the various Watcher designs tend to have similar color schemes all around. The design of the weapons give off a huge and exagerated feel. The jetpack that Will wears looks futuristic but at the same time looks like it's made out of old parts; this seems intentional as if to say that there are other jetpacks out there that are much more streemlined.
Dark Void comes out pretty strong if you can get by the slight buggyness of it. All around it's a good game with some minor flaws and lack of polish, some of which tend to be more memorable than others. It's got a good story and great gameplay ideas. It does feel like it could have been fleshed out even more as far as the array of weapons goes. The biggest no-no is the lack of multiplayer. Dark Void is a good game don't get me wrong, it just needs a little more umph to be a great game. Here's hoping for a sequel!