January 2010 was a pretty good month for gamers, looking back on it. The PS3 had MAG; the Wii had No More Heroes 2 and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom; Darksiders and Bayonetta were big multi-platform hits; and then there was a little regarded 360 title called Mass Effect 2…
And lost in the rumble and jumble of those amazing titles was a Capcom game called Dark Void [PC, PS3, 360].
Most people passed this by simply because of the volume of games that had been released on either side of this title. Most of those who didn’t seemed to be sorely disappointed in what they received, considering what they probably passed on to get it. But now, a year and a half later, I got my hands on it.
The game is a cross between Uncharted and the 1991 cult classic movie, The Rocketeer. It combines the over-the-shoulder, run-for-cover, shoot-‘em-up action of the former with the shaky flight simulation you would imagine of a remake of the latter. It does neither spectacularly, but it does them both well enough to make this a decent game.
The story follows the main character, Will, on his adventure into a sort of Purgatory between Earth and the world of the mysterious alien Watchers after his plane crashes in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle. After a few tutorial scenes in the rainforest of a strange island Will is separated from his one-time lover, Ava, and journeys into the Void to save her. It is in the Void where we learn that Will is the prophesized savior of humanity.
As mentioned, the gameplay is mediocre. Transitions between the ground and the air are frustrating at first – I found myself turning on my jetpack and flying straight into the ground on numerous occasions. But, after spending enough time doing it, the process eventually became somewhat natural for me.
Perhaps the best reason to play this game is for the sounds. The soundtrack was composed by Bear McCreary (main composer for Battlestar Galactica) and the voice of Will is acted by Nolan North (whom you should know better as Nathan Drake.) I found the script to be very engaging – I wanted to know what happened next throughout my experience with the game.
As an interesting side-note, a Dark Void movie is currently in development and set to release in 2014.
I realize that I may be chided for my admiration of Dark Void, but I truly had a fun and entertaining time with this game. Does it stand up when placed next to Darksiders or Mass Effect 2? Probably not. But if you get the opportunity to get a hands-on with Dark Void, you may find that you enjoy it as much as I did.