GamesCom 2009: Dark Void Hands On Preview - Multi-Dimensional Combat
Written Saturday, August 29, 2009 By Lee AbrahamsView author's profile
Developed by Airtight Games, the team behind the Crimson Skies games, it is clear to see a lot of parallels between their old and new projects. Most obvious would be the aerial based combat but a quick glance at the story would show some similarities too. You play the part of Will, a cargo pilot and everyman, a fact that Capcom were keen to clear up as a number of sources have displayed Will as a masked, faceless do-gooder which couldn’t be further from the truth. The year is 1938 and Will takes a routine mission to London – unfortunately for him, he chooses to detour through the Bermuda Triangle and gets drawn into the titular void. Crash landing in a strange new world he is rescued by a motley group of humans, who have suffered a similar fate, and joins their group in a fight against some less than hospitable natives. Nikola Tesla, the fabled inventor, is amongst them and he provides much of the advanced equipment and weaponry that Will utilises, foremost among them, the jetpack.
You only get a limited amount of boost, so you cannot hover indefinitely, as that would take away much of the tactical edge, resulting in players soaring out of harm’s way and killing enemies while remaining untouched. Instead you can hover in the air and use you position to outflank enemies and take down any flying opponents. You can also explore the vast levels in the quest for secrets and collectables as the jetpack is primarily there to add an element of strategy and fun to proceedings. Should you want to make a quick getaway you can also enter true flight mode, which allows you to soar away from (or towards) your foes at speed, although at the cost of your weapons. It handles superbly and means you are never confined to following a set path.
While having a jet pack is a lovely feature you can also go for a ride in other vehicles, often by force. As your enemies attack you in flying saucers and the like, you could blast them out of the sky, or you could choose to swipe their ride instead. Get close enough and you can grab onto the vehicle, all while dodging incoming fire, then you can rip off the control panel, dump the pilot and take their place. As easy as that.
The whole game has been geared towards a superb single player experience, with the story clocking in at around ten hours for those that choose not to stray off the beaten path too much. The thought of multiplayer was considered, as who would not love an arena full of flying foes ready to do battle? However, the developers did not want to add a tacked on multiplayer experience and chose to concentrate their efforts on making the single player the best it could be – if only more people would take that path. As it is, the game has a full voice cast and pretty impressive score from Battlestar Galactica’s Bear McCreary. Alongside the lush graphics and epic backdrops, it should easily draw players in.
The game is shaping up to be something pretty impressive and the jet pack is more than just a gimmick as it has a hand in most of the unique aspects of the title, including adding much needed depth to combat that might have otherwise seemed stale. Capcom have a history of superb action titles and this could be yet another one to add to that list.
Dark Void is scheduled for a January 12th and 15th 2010 release in North America and Europe respectively.