GameSpot Reviews – Dark Void
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GameSpot Reviews – Dark Void

August 27, 2019

Since the dawn of flight, human beings have
reveled in taking to the skies. Yet it was only with the invention of the jet engine
that man realized his true destiny: to strap one of those bad boys to his back and take
off like a bat outta hell. Dark Void tries to make the theoretical awesomeness of jetpack
flight into a videogame reality.When it comes to zooming around with your jetpack, performing
acrobatic airborne maneuvers, dogfighting with UFOs, and flying places you probably
shouldn’t, Dark Void can be pretty darn fun. Unfortunately, the other parts of the game
aren’t as fun. The third-person shooter action is competent, but mundane, and the plot is
an adventure-y cliche with only a few sparks of life. The campaign isn’t particularly short,
but once finished, there’s nothing else to do except play it again. It’s baffling, but
true: there are no online jetpack dogfights against your buddies. No multiplayer of any
kind. It’s a shame, because there is some fun to be had here. Sadly, it just isn’t enough
to justify the sixty dollar price tag. And it doesn’t help that the game gets off
to a slow start. Discounting the throwaway prologue mission, it’ll be a couple of hours
before you can take to the skies with your fully operational jetpack. In the early going
you’ll plod through levels, shooting enemies with a few different guns and taking cover
behind a lot of objects. Dark Void has that sticky, press-a-button-to-enter-and-exit type
cover, and if you don’t use it fairly well, you stand a good chance of being mowed down
by enemy fire. And cover isn’t just walls or low barriers. Dark Void has a vertical
cover system that allows you to lean over or hang from ledges and shoot enemies below
or above you. It has a certain novel appeal, but it doesn’t significantly improve the action.
Shooting mechanics are good and headshots are reasonably satisfying, but the third-person
run-and-gun action isn’t that exciting. You’ll realize very quickly that you have the power
to kill most robots with a single punch, so you’ll melee attack whenever possible. This
encourages you to be aggressive and elevates your run-and-gun tactics to run-and-punch-and-gun,
but again, this kind of combat doesn’t get much better than competent.
Unfortunately, the narrative elements in Dark Void sometimes seem to aspire to competence.
Things start off with a few cliches: The handsome down-on-his-luck roguish fellow, a mysterious
woman from his past, a fateful airplane ride. Throw in a sci-fi twist and it’s pretty much
business as usual. The bad guys have some enjoyably sinister moments, and the journals
you find scattered around tell some intriguing tales, but these signs of life are overshadowed
by predictability, dull dialogue, and occasional miscues. One glaring example is the introduction
of one of the main characters, which could hardly be called an introduction at all. There
is a lot of assumed familiarity that deflates any sense of wonder or intrigue. Why do the
protagonists know the names of landmarks they haven’t encountered before? Why does our hero
know exactly how to melee kill a complex alien combat robot? And on the opposite end of the
spectrum, why does the main character say, “Wonder what this is for?” after picking something
up for the eighth time? Inconsistencies and loose ends plague the plot and the characters
alike, making hard to really get involved. Yet the story proceeds at a reasonable clip
and takes you through a fairly sizable adventure, so it isn’t all bad. It’s just not particularly
good. The one part of Dark Void that is particularly
good is the jetpack. You fly with a fun sense of speed, and each flailing take-off is a
great visual reminder of the forces that propel you. You can fly, boost, brake, and hover.
There are also a few acrobatic moves that you can pull off to help evade or pursue enemies.
You are very maneuverable in the air and as a result you can take some daring and disorienting
flight paths if you so desire. Alien UFOs prove to be engaging foes, and the large-scale
dogfights provide some entertaining aerial combat.
Getting fancy with the flight controls Dark Void’s most appealing activity. Sure you could
hover into that open hangar, land, and then pick off the enemies from behind cover. But
why not try to scream in there at top speed, blast a robot point blank, smash the control
panel, and zoom the hell away? Yeah it’s dangerous, but why else did you strap that thing to your
back? Dark Void is at its best when it lets you use your arsenal and abilities in whatever
way you see fit. The simplistic cover combat becomes much more entertaining when you are
jetting across a level and then landing gracefully behind cover. A field of stones custom-made
for cover-to-cover movement is a lot more fun when you just decide to fly back and forth
over it, strafing your entrenched foes. The best moments in Dark Void are those of your
own making, when you embrace the fact that you’ve got a crazy jetpack on your back and
try to pull off daring stunts and maneuvers. And that right there is Dark Void’s chief
appeal. If tooling around with a jetpack sounds like fun, then you’ll have some fun here.
Unfortunately, it takes a while to get there, and the other action isn’t fun enough to stand
on its own. And without any multiplayer modes or replayability to speak of, Dark Void isn’t
a very good value. If you’ve got a few bucks, some spare time, and a hankering for flight,
consider Dark Void a reasonable rental. You may have to slog through some mediocrity,
but you will earn yourself some high-flying thrills for your troubles.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. when compared to the generic video game, this game isnt so great. but if you manage to look past your standards, and play this game with a open mind, then you'll find that this is the greatest game ever devolped.

  2. @ravenhousegaming Well…. I guess you're right. It's just that there are so many cool features in this game but it didn't go well together. and besides, I just got skyrim and now I WILL NEVER LOOK AT A GAME THE SAME WAY EVER AGAIN.

  3. getting this game for 15 $ and pretty excited to finish it or jsut get close (or jsut play) then pop it upin my collection'

  4. I torrented this, played it once, finished it in a day, went over some levels a few times over then deleted it, virtually no replay value 🙁

  5. THIS GAME IS A GREAT GAME! The crazy angles is very innovative! It was a breath of fresh air to me, I had fun

  6. Ill agree it is a very fun game, but I was disappointed. Not because any of the game is particularly bad, but because it seems like its unfinished. I dunno what happened, but the story just seems to skip ahead way too fast. There are parts that look like you are going to get story and then it just says "a few weeks later" it doesnt explain any of the characters. There is the bit where Nikola Tesla gets killed and replaced, and thats never mentioned again. And the last boss was pretty lackluster.

  7. Thats why I never get excited for eastern games. It sounds racist but it seems like namco and the rest of the video game legends from the eighties have fallen off the band wagon.

  8. i had alot of fun with this game, and for 10 bucks its worth it, there were alot of problems and i wish the developers had a little more time and money but it was fun, not going down as my top 10 favorite games but its deffinetly in my top 50 lol

  9. Liked the original (on DS), liked demo on PS3, so I got it for xbox 😀 and whats with the bashing about routine shooters? Did you also bash MW3?

  10. 60 bucks for this at the time is a hell no but for 5 bucks you can't reall go wrong with any game this ones pretty good.


  12. It's Nathan drakes voice 🙂 great game! I think it's underrated and is worth 60$ unlike most games. Great variety in game styles and great voice acting and music. It's under 10$ now so get it trust me.

  13. truly a fun game, but maaaan i hate some of those mission…you know the one where you have to baby sit the air ship? yea that one

  14. I got this used on sale at Gamestop for $2 in spite of the horrible critical reviews. I gave it an 8/10 and I would have given it a 9/10 if it weren't for a few horrible glitches. 3 of them happened in one chapter.1)I got stuck in cover and couldn't move or shoot. 2)The music and sound of gunfire stopped until I restarted the checkpoint. 3)I had 2 parts with HORRIBLE framerate issues, far worse than I've ever seen. Then later in the game I couldn't progress because my AI partner got stuck.

  15. I just bought it for the Jet Pack gameplay and man, did it took a while to get there…but it was oh so worth it. I love the fact that your arms and legs flail around as you jet through the skies. It's so annoying yet amusing….and fun. The flight in Iron Man:The Game was okay, but the Jet Pack mechanic in Dark Void really beats Iron Man by a long shot. Take what you have in Dark Void and put it in a sandbox style game with a setting like LS from GTA5, add in Multiplayer = you're gonna have a hell of a time.

  16. Every time I hear a review take points away just for not having multiplayer it instantly loses credibility for me. Sure some games it definitely needs it, but with other games like this one I think it's just better to rate it for what it does have and not penalize it for what it doesn't.

  17. This might actually appear to be a game that would be better now than 4 years ago. I don't own it (yet), but for 7 bucks on Amazon, and these albeit middling reviews, it could actually prove itself to be a hidden gem. I've always been a fan of flight in games that don't normally have that feature, a primary reason I could actually why I could stand the overworld in Skyward Sword, and this one seems to let you be as creative as you want with the mechanic at points. I'd actually love to pick it up some day just to see if it was worth the money. 

  18. This game made me feel like boba fett if he was good and blended with nathan drake I think this game has the best jetpack in it with all the upgrades needs a sequel set in a massive city or a huge open world on PS4 or Xboxone

  19. Awesome little game, reminded me of the early Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers. t,v, serials. This game felt really fresh and different to me, It was a lot of fun. Just fucking about flying around was awesome.

  20. Like! I like Dark Void because this is a good game upside the bad reviews! And jetpack wasn't the best, but ok… BTW I'm uploading my full walkthrough of this game for my channel too! 🙂

  21. This game would be so much better if it had lock-on targetting. The UFO dog fight can be a little frustrating trying to shot them down while they zip around you.

  22. Personally, when I first played the game, I was young and hot blooded. Perhaps not the best type of gamer in training for a game like this.

    But now, looking back, I see the awe in the sticky cover mechanics and the vertical combat as something cool. Sadly, I'm struggling to find a copy so I can see if it was just my young mind that lacked the enthusiasm to properly play through it.

  23. The game looks amazing, why shit all over it…? It's the fucking Rocketeer in video game form, it's just a fun game man, and underrated!!!

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