Next to flying cars and video phones, possibly the most-sought-after "futuristic" technology of decades past was the jet pack. There's a reason the various jet pack prototypes glimpsed in grainy test footage have never become workable military or commercial products: it's apparently really hard to fly around with a rocket strapped to your back.
We've seen Dark Void at various points in its development over the past two years, and we always liked the basic concepts and design ideas. The WWII-era setting, the pop-culture nods to Saturday morning movie serials and "The Rocketeer," and the idea of a "vertical shooter," with cliff faces to scale, all seemed to point toward a clever, original game.
We've had plenty of time with the retail build of Dark Void and here are our final impressions:
Jeff: Even with its unique jet pack gameplay mechanic and somewhat thought-provoking storyline, there's something very familiar in Dark Void. It's probably because the first part of the game feels exactly like Uncharted 2 with its jungle backdrop and cover-based combat. And yes, believe it or not, Nolan North (voice of Drake, Assassin's Creed, etc.) actually plays the main character in Dark Void as well.
Repetitive voice-acting aside, there are only a few moments of exciting gameplay here. Your jet pack abilities are slowly introduced; starting off as a jump booster and gradually up to full free-form flying. That said, once you have the ability to go anywhere, the controls really start to become cumbersome. Aiming while flying is tough and we never felt totally satisfied with our ability to target enemies. Even more upsetting, the PS3 version we were given for review had some moments of serious framerate dropouts, bringing the game dangerously close to unplayable.
We liked the storyline with Nikola Tesla and time-warping through the Bermuda Triangle made us smirk. But with enemies that take too long to go down, a tedious weapon-upgrade system, and a story that never fully realizes its potential, Dark Void fails to deliver an overall compelling experience. And with so many other notable titles being released in the early part of 2010, you should have no concerns about skipping over this one. … Read more