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Dark Void Preview
Dark Void Preview
Date: 27-09-09
Topic: Reviews & Previews
Author: Akshay Singh

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Dark Void Preview

Dark Void Preview


We got a chance to have our way with this very early build of Dark Void which promises to take the third-person shooter genre to new heights, like literally.

Capcom is feeding off man’s age-old desire to fly. I believe this is probably a B-School approach to adapt their product to cater to the primal desires of the gamer, whether it comes through Lost Planet’s grappling hooks or Bionic Commando’s ‘Bionic Arm’, in one way or another we have these games that experiment with this whole ‘funda’ of fighting at an considerable height over ground level. What usually people term as trial
and error, Capcom calls it a game, another game and, then Dark Void which is based on some parallel Universe in which you end up fighting Aliens with the help of other Humans called ‘Survivors’.

Experimenting with these gameplay mechanics in its previous investments, Capcom seems to be thinking out of the box this time around by mixing two genres, flying-sim and third person shooters.

Is it a bird?

It’s a Bird! It’s a Plane! Oh No! It’s William Agustus. William, what?

William Agustus, simply put, is the closest thing that comes to Superman, a WWII warplane and, Marcus Fenix combined. Abilities like flying high with the help of jet pack or tearing through the skies with the help of NOS built into the pack, with so much speed, you might just have the balls to show Superman the finger while you whiz past him. Not ignoring the two machine guns mounted up on the jetpack for convenience purposes which apparently can fire an unfathomable amount of bullets. The orchestral score composed by the composer of Battlestar Galactica fits perfectly in missions involving mid-air combat.

The flying mechanism of Dark Void is by no means a simple task to overcome; players will struggle time and time again before getting a hang OF all the features the jet pack has to offer. Sections that involve these flying missions have a vast vista look to them; they look gorgeous while staying still but flying like a crackpot can cause dizziness and it’s not a rarity in this game because the player will be spending a great deal of time trying to control the erratic flight controls of the game. Missions which involve destroying objects while in flight require a lot of practice before hitting the bulls-eye.

To make things worse, Dark Void offers special moves in the middle of the air which are mapped with normal flying controls and they can be initiated involuntarily at times. The feeling can be best described as turning continuously in random directions and then being made to stop abruptly.

Apart from missions involving mid-air combat, Dark Void sports on-foot combat as well which involves the all too familiar cover system. Dark Void is a game based on Unreal Engine 3, with the main player having guns placed on his back, and a cover system that is carbon copy of Gears of War in every sense possible, you sometimes wonder if you put in the right disc. Not in a good way though. The movement is highly mechanical and you won’t feel its fluid enough. The enemy AI itself is bugged in many ways with their erratic movement and dying animations that seem more broken than a shattered vase, obviously signs of an early build.


Bringing something new to the table, but is it enough?

While it does take inspiration left and right, Dark Void brings something new to the table none the less and it’s the heavily advertised feature of the game which is called the “Vertical cover system”.

Vertical cover system is exactly what it sounds like, in simpler terms, it means fighting on the side of a wall/hill facing upwards with ‘cover’ present on it and the player clings on to the cover with one hand and fires with another. Instead of moving ahead from cover to cover, in this type of system the player jumps upwards with the help of the jet pack and it works both ways. While it doesn’t necessarily offer something ground breaking, it does provide a sense of exhilaration which comes bundled with a lot of frustration. Immediately changing directions from horizontal to vertical can confuse and irate players to an extent. In Dark Void, players need to grab cover while on a vertical position; the game makes it worse by having sections in which you are moving up a hollow cylindrical area with cover circling around it. The sense of direction is completely lost when the players are required to change views ever so often in order to combat the enemy AI while clinging on to a cover which is moving in circles.

Even though it sounds unique, it soon turns out to be a topsey turvey ride that warrants the use of painkillers every few minutes. Finding faults in Dark Void is like finding hay in a stack of hay. They are abundantly present, but it needs to be known that during our time with the game, all these factors were spread consistently, which means you won’t necessarily be fighting in mid-air or behind cover or at the edge of a cliff all the time.

While we played a very early build of Dark Void which was meant nothing more than a teaser, we can understand the blanket of inconsistencies that covers Dark Void at this stage, we just hope before its official launch in Q1 2010, they sort out all the problems plaguing the game at this stage.

That's all for now!



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  #1  
By vijayninel 28-09-09
Re: Dark Void Preview

Cool.. lets see how it is when it is released
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  #2  
By stonedsurd 28-09-09
Re: Dark Void Preview

Haha, that's quite a slamming to give a game that hasn't even released yet
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  #3  
By BLuEBLOODED 28-09-09
Re: Dark Void Preview

^^Early build deserves an early spanking, eh?

Nice Article, told you long back...
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  #4  
By HoserBob777 29-09-09
Re: Dark Void Preview

I got to play a build the game recently, and I disagree with most of this article. The build seemed very stable and polished, and I dislike how the article speaks for all 'players', saying they will find it this way or that way. Further, the 'special moves' are not mapped to normal flight controls at all (you must use the button which is used exclusively to special moves during flight) Dubious.

The Gears cover system integration is a nice addition to the main combat, and there have been control improvements over Gears' to prevent accidental cover entry if you don't want to use it. The flight controls are also very nice if you've ever played a flight-sim before.. this feels very similar to Crimson Skies (some of the devs came from that team)

Games used to be much harder to master back in the day (imagine the first time you played Super Mario Brothers). Dark Void does require a basic familiarity with on-foot aiming as well as flight-based controls, but is forgiving enough and has an easy difficulty mode for the inexperienced, allowing them to play through the game while becoming familiar with the controls. The dual control scheme may take longer for a non-gamer to learn, but I appreciate games with harder mechanics anyway, because the mastery of such is much more satisfying and makes replay more compelling.
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  #5  
By akS ! 29-09-09
Re: Dark Void Preview

The build we played had the special moves mapped to the analog controls. We needed to jerk onto them to get the desired effect, as for the rest of it, you are entitled to your opinion
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  #6  
By reYez 30-09-09
Re: Dark Void Preview

whoa pretty cool, commendable gfx too!
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