Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dark Void

Developer: Airtight Games
Publisher: Capcom
Release Date: Jan. 19, 2010
Systems: Xbox 360 (reviewed), PS3, PC
ESRB Rating: T
Official Web site

In a nutshell: The Rocketeer is missing his rocket pack.

0:00 I played Dark Void briefly at CES 2009, and then again at CES 2010. During those sessions I was a fan of the floating, jetpack-based combat but not a fan of the severe lack of ammunition I keep running up against.

0:01 A blue light with a metallic logo flying in. Timpani-heavy drums in the background. Fade to white and the menu screen, a generic futuristic computer interface.

0:02 I choose Normal difficulty and dive into: "Episode 1, Chapter 1: Prologue." Introducing: An Introduction!

0:04 "Silver Watcher Sergeants are tougher and more aggressive." Thanks for that, loading screen! August 1938. Biplanes fly over a mesa. But they have jet engines? In the '30s? A guy with a jetpack flies with them. "The lateral stabilizers seem to have made the difference," says a voice in my ear as the camera swings behind the jetpack guy and I'm immediately in control. "Yeah, I have to admit I was a little nervous, but it's flying great." And it is ... the controls and pretty fluid and natural. The beautiful rocky outcroppings below help.

0:05 "Hold up, we got company." It's a thin, circular alien ship, with a rotating ring around it. Looks like something straight out of "Independence Day." "Look out!" "Incoming!" The aliens take out a jet-biplane.

0:06 Some satisfying aerial dogfighting action -- dodging their shots with gentle loops, then zooming to get them in my sights. The only sour note is the constant radio chatter. "Now, take them down with your rocket pack." "Take 'em out, take 'em out!" "Let's make 'em pay." SHUT UP!



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