Dark Void Review
By - Craig H.
Dark Void is a brand new IP from publisher, Capcom. This third person shooter adds new twists to the regular gameplay with a new combat feature called Vertical Combat and the use of jet packs throughout the campaign.
Dark Void starts out with what seems to be a routine cargo flight that goes terrible wrong when the plane gets sucked into the Bermuda Triangle and the passengers are stuck in The Void. The void is the area between 2 planets which leaves all its inhabitants trapped. On this planet are villagers and The Watchers. The villagers are humans who got trapped in the void and are being oppressed by the Watchers. The Watchers, slug like aliens that wear metal robotic suits, are the enemies in the game and have been trapped in the void by humans and are looking for a way to get out and seek vengeance. You play as Will Grey, voiced by Nolan North, and are accompanied into the void by an ex-girlfriend, Ava. Throughout the campaign you get a few flashbacks which try to explain their history but come way too late in the campaign and fall a bit flat. Overall you basically just want to get out of the void alive with the hopes to rekindle the romance that you once had. The game will run you roughly 10 hours depending on the difficulty you choose.
The games presentation holds up well with the Unreal Engine and has varied environments to fight through. The game starts out in a jungle and moves to a rock formed villages, caverns, space ships and many more. Overall the character models look very good with the Capcom classic oversized protaganist. Nolan North does a great job, as usual, with the voice of Will. The games soundtrack keeps the sci-fi feel alive throughout the entire game.
The guns in Dark Void feel a bit underpowered on even the lowest droid enemies taking a large amount of ammunition to dispose of. Throughout the campaign you will pick up tech points which are used to upgrade the guns and the jet-pack. Each of the 6 guns and the jet pack can be leveled up 3 times each. Most players will find a gun that you like and stick with it (and level that one up to the max level). The cover system works well and requires you to press a button to get pulled to it and can easily move to new cover with the press of a button.
Dark Void does try a few new gameplay mechanics which include “Vertical Combat” and the use of Jet Packs. The vertical combat has the players holding onto the edge of a ledge and either shooting up at enemies or shooting down. You move from ledge to ledge by pressing a button when prompted (i.e. when you line up with another ledge). Dark Void uses the jet pack both as a means of travel as well as a combat unit. During the beginning of the game you will receive a basic jet pack that gives you an extra jump boost and hover but later you will receive a fully working jet pack with the ability to fly. Obviously, your jet pack will be used for travel but the most intriguing feature of the jet pack is the ability to use it whenever you please. This give you the ability to hover above a battle to regain health or get up to higher ground for a better vantage point. One thing that does not work is the hover ability when trying to shoot enemies. There is no ability to lock-on to enemies below thus making it near impossible to accurately shoot. You are better off landing and fight on the ground otherwise you will waste tons of ammo. Also, you must make sure to have plenty of room to take off because your takeoffs are less then graceful. If you are indoors and attempt to take off you will be violently thrusted against wall after wall until you die (i.e. DON'T DO IT).
The lack of multiplayer kills the longevity of this title and unless you wish to collect all the items in the game (of which your radar will show you the locations of after your first completion) or upgrade all the weapons you will probably not revisit the game. Just when you get the jet pack down the game ends and you cannot take those skills into the online realm.
Overall, Dark Void is a solid first offering that has some intriguing new gameplay. Dark Void may not be perfect but it tries new features that is commendable and quite refreshing considering that most play it safe and go the proven route. I personally enjoyed my playthrough of the game and only wish that I could carry it on further into a multiplayer mode (jet pack dog fights sounds awesome).
Pros: New gameplay mechanics are used well and adds a twist to the normal third person gameplay. The jet pack provide the player the ability to easily move to new cover or escape when wounded. The campaign will take roughly 10 hours to complete depending on the difficulty. The soundtrack of the game does a great job at keeping the sci-fi theme.
Cons: The game only has a hand full of enemy types that will be repeating the entire campaign. The jet pack inexplicably has no lock-on feature making it near impossible to shoot ground enemies while in flight. No multiplayer what-so-ever takes away from the game longevity.