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3 out of 5
Strictly average space opera
A space flight sim that promises a mix of Freelancer
and Wing Commander
-style thrills, Darkstar One doesn't really do anything wrong but suffers mostly from its lack of innovation and originality. The result is bland experience that cannot be described as anything more than 'adequate'. Players jump into the shoes of the typically ludicrously monikered pilot, Kayron Jarvis, a rookie pilot who finds himself caught up in a conspiracy revolving around the supposedly accidental death of his father. The old man's last gift to his son was the Darkstar One, a dinky spacecraft that will allow Jarvis to venture into the stars and find out the truth behind the mystery. This basically translates into a fairly standard space combat/trading sim where you fly about the galaxy, taking on jobs blasting pirates out of the sky, doing business with dodgy aliens, or even take a trip down the dark side and become an outlaw yourself. In most ways this is pretty ordinary stuff, with a vast universe to explore, plenty of upgrades for your ship to discover and a fair amount of action to enjoy. On the plus side, the game certainly looks impressive, with well-directed cutscenes and well designed in-game graphics, while the interface and controls are uncluttered and responsive respectively. On the downside though, the trading aspects are highly simplistic and rather pointless while although the game is supposedly open-ended with a great deal of freedom, you have to follow the slow plot in order to open up the universe so that you can explore. If you want to get into space flying sims, this is a reasonable bet as it lacks the complexity of the best of the genre but if you have played the likes of Privateer
you'll likely one this a bit dull.