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whatshot Dark Void PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Gameplay 7.0
Graphics 8.0
Sound 7.5
Value 6.9
Distributor: THQ
Classification:
MA15+
Review Date:
Jan 2010
Reviewer:
Tyrone Williams

7.0


Dark Void

Dark Void is an interesting premise that aims high, however fails to deliver the vertigo inspired action in this 360 degrees third person shooter. The story of Dark Void revolves around a pilot named Will who finds himself trapped in The Void due to a crash in the Bermuda Triangle. From there, he finds a group of people called the survivors who must band together against an alien race who are planning the ultimate invasion of planet Earth. Clichéd and almost like a bad B-Grade science fiction, the story of Dark Void is cute to say the least but misses that true blockbuster gaming feel.

In essence, Dark Void is a third person shooter that has the player taking on a plethora of enemy combatants from standard grunts to at times, challenging boss battles. Of course, along the way, additional weapons and upgrades become available but the selling point of Dark Void is the ability of flight and ever since The Rocketeer, gamers have stared at the skies. With that said, this is the most enjoyable aspect of the game, using your jetpack and flying through the air which does offer the player some limited freedom.

In terms of flight, the game helps introduce the gamer to their jetpack early on in the game, so those wanting to hit the skies will be pleased with this aspect. Exploring the various environments actually works quite well and the developers have successfully managed to create a sense of vertigo, albeit forced. Your jetpack does get upgraded as you progress which offers more freedom with flying and rather than just hover around, you can actually fly!

Just like the aforementioned movie, using the jetpack can be a little tricky at the start because just as easily as you can leave the ground, you can also come back to it pretty damn fast but once you've mastered it, you'll even be doing some impressive tricks.

However at its crux, Dark Void is an average third person shooter that does not really offer this genre anything new in terms of content, it's competent but nothing too flashy. The combat in the game is sturdy and the enemies AI can sometimes be a little challenging as you attempt to blow them into the alien afterword by bullet after bullet. This is quite reminiscent of those older first person shooter games that had the player unleashing a full round of ammunition into their enemies but the game does use certain hot spots on your victims which does dispatch them quicker. Ironically, melee or hand to hand combat is easier to use and is easier to fell your enemies which does have us raising one eyebrow.

The game does use a decent cover system, provided you're on the ground which adds some elements of realism to this third person shooter. Flying does add a new element to the gameplay which for me, became reminiscent of those classic arcade flight simulators but it's great to zip in and zip out, provided you don't get blasted out of the sky. Apart from combat and using your jetpack, Dark Void even allows you to control certain vehicles in the game and if we spoil one aspect of this game, it's the ability to commandeer and fly a UFO. If only they fleshed it out more because Dark Void is a good looking game, however when it comes to those "wow" moments in the game, it lacks that unique inspiration and around half way through the game, you'll be thinking, where are the new levels or enemies.
 
The control system on the PS3 is nicely mapped and as soon as you pickup the controller, it's easy to get into that third person shooter zone. The only tricky issue with the controls is the flight controls, however if you've been in the gaming field for a minimum of two years, than you'll definitely be combat ready. Difficulty levels are available for those gamers who wish to be challenged which generally makes enemies more bullet resistance with a higher level of accuracy.

Graphically and with the audio department, Dark Void is a good looking game that has some impressive looking character animations and gaming environments. Unfortunately it becomes a tad repetitive which is the downfall of this title. The music sounds like a science fiction film and the sound effects are a little tacky at the best of times.

Final Thoughts? Dark Void manages to capture the experience of flight, however unfortunately the third person shooter perspective is just a tad stale when it comes to other third person shooter games on the market at the moment. Graphically it's a well designed game with the attention to detail on the environments, especially in terms of flight, however at it's heart, killing aliens and saving the world has been done before and unfortunately a little better in most circumstances.

This is not to say that Dark Void is a bad game, rather it's an above average game that misses to deliver that final knock out punch. Even so, if you wish to be Batman or Superman flying through the air as you fight and perform some impressive acrobatic manoeuvres, than Dark Void does deliver in these aspects. It's also a shame that the multiplayer facet of this game hasn't been fleshed out more but hey, it's a New Year and it may keep you busy for a few hours or so.





 

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