Dark Void achieves liftoff, but doesn't exactly soar.
Dark Void is really a shame. This was a game with limitless potential, and while not a total disaster, it falls short in a bunch of ways. The world and its backstory are quite interesting, but you really only get bits and pieces when playing the main story. Seeking out all the journals helps to flesh it all out, but this is annoying and feels tacked on. And the journals are just text. It's like they looked at Bioshock, figured they could do the same, but it just doesn't translate.
The beginning of the game takes place in some nice jungle areas. Not the most inspired, but plenty pretty to look at. But the last two sections take place in the most boring, uninspired areas I've even seen. boring red and tan rocks abound. The desert levels in Crimson Skies never looked this bad. There's not even a ground level, everything just fades into mist as you go too far in any one direction. The interior of the Watcher bases are just as boring and uninspired, featuring mindless corridor shooting and plenty of greys with bluish force fields.
Flying with the jetpack can be fun, but it's often easier to just jump in an AA gun and just mow down your enemies that way. Special moves are awkward to pull off and don't really add much in terms of combat. I only really needed to do a barrel roll for the final boss. Peppy would be proud.
The game ends on not quite a cliffhanger, but leaves room open for a sequel. Thought I doubt we'll see a proper sequel, the success of Dark Void: Zero and recent rise of games like Dead Rising: Case Zero have me hopeful that somebody could pick up the reins of a this admittedly cool IP and make something great from it.
7/10 if you liked Crimson Skies. 6/10 if you didn't.