Flying its way onto your XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 comes Dark Void. This title blends third person shooting, aerial dog fights, jetpack combat all into one package. With so many shooters flooding the market, Dark Void tries a few new things to keep it fresh. It also has some famous voice actors behind it.
However, can voice work from Uncharted’s Nolan North help this game be a great addition to your gaming library? Or will it simply get lost in the void? Let’s look at the HOTs and NOTs.
Nolan North Gives life to Will Gray
If you are a huge fan of Uncharted, one of the first things you will notice in this game is that the voice of William Augustus Gray aka Will is done by Nolan North. We know how great he is when it comes to giving life to a character he portrays and by playing Will, the narration of this game makes it more interesting to listen to.
Aerial Dog Fights
It’s rare that we see both aerial dogfights and third person shooters combined. In Dark Void, 50% of the game is spent hovering with your Jetpack and shooting UFOs while the other 50 you’re engaged in ground fights. The controls can be confusing at first but once you get used to it, you will have fun flying around deep inside the Void. Remember that when flying with the Jetpack, the boost meter is limited unless you have the Gold Jet Pack that can only be obtained via pre-order promotion as of now. With the Gold Jet Pack, you will be able to boost as long as you want without limitations!
If you think flying a Jet Pack is too boring, you will have an opportunity to steal and take control of any vehicle you see in the airspace. It’s also one of the easiest ways to take down UFOs rather than shooting them. When you manage to steal a UFO or an enemy’s aircraft, you will have to do some series of context-sensitive button action to gain control of it. Think of it as Grand Theft UFO.
The usual cover system of taking cover behind a wall and firing is getting a bit old, thankfully Dark Void takes covering to a new level. One of the things that Dark Void has that other third person shooters don’t is the vertical cover that allows you to shoot upside down at an angle. These can be done on ledges and you will find this in mostly every place you go to.
Upgrade Your Weapons
Every time you kill the Watchers, they will leave a glowing orb behind that gives tech points. These points can be used to make your weapons more powerful. In the six weapons that you are able to use in the game, each of them has its own different types of parts that you can upgrade. There is only one weapon that I really use and that is the Liberator, which is like a SMG.
Story is damn confusing
Unfortunately, the story behind Dark Void is very forgettable, and it won’t be long after you complete it do you find yourself already unable to remember everything that happened. The game is plagued with plot holes that are never addressed, nor resolved by the time the credits roll. The story moves a bit too fast for it’s own good, almost as if it was rushed.
The game starts off with Will, a courier pilot, who is on the job delivering goods in another country with Ava. As they pass through the Bermuda Triangle, the plane crashes and they both find themselves in a forest. From there, the confusing story starts. You will be introduced to the Watchers, an alien life-form that apparently is lost in the Void, the Survivors, the famous scientist Nikola Tesla, and Atem, none of whom are ever explained or given a backstory.
Lots of Glitches!
Another factor that makes this game a total disappointment is the glitches. Prepare to experience random lock ups and sound issues. There are also some frame rate problems and screen tearing issues that completely take you out of the game. When it come to sound, you will hear no audio most of the time when fighting tons of Watchers and sometimes, it just stutters. These glitches are annoying and I hope Capcom will release some sort of patch.
The campaign mode of the game takes about 6 hours depending on the difficulty of the game. Dark Void is divided into three different episodes with four chapters in each episode. Some chapters can easily be finished in less than 30 minutes and some can take up to an hour. There is really no replay value of this game after finishing it. I know you wouldn’t want to go over again with the flaws the second time around.
Weak Enemy A.I.
While the action is intense, you will find most of the Watchers and enemies in this game to be very stupid. There is really no challenge when it comes to killing these damn Watchers. They will just run towards you like a fool without even thinking of hiding. Hell, you can finish this game without using the cover system and still not die.
Poor Rip-Off from Blockbuster Games
It’s good that Airtight games took inspiration from games such as Uncharted, Gears of War, and Halo but with all of the problems found in this game, it makes Dark Void nothing more than a poorly done rip-off that very few will remember. As soon I see Will and Ava in the forest, the first thought that came to me was Uncharted. Yeah, you will notice a lot of similarities to Uncharted. To me, it’s like Nathan Drake meets the Covenant.
To tell you the truth, Dark Void could have been a great start to a new franchise if only the story was better and if the gameplay had more polish. I see so much potential with this game but, the flaws keep it from being anything other than a minor distraction that will last you no more than a weekend. While the action is good, you may just want to play through it and never play it again. I suggest a rental on this one rather than a purchase.
[Editor’s Note: Dark Void was reviewed on a PlayStation 3 platform. The game was supplied to us by the publisher.]Dark Void Review,