Dark Void - 360 - Preview 3

A title that first hit the radar a couple of years ago, Dark Void has stood out as one of the most anticipated titles on Capcom’s roster, promising to shake the foundations of the action genre by introducing a cool new jetpack mechanic unlike one in any other action title. The game has seen a few delays and false starts, but still continues to be a title that Capcom fans and action gamers alike have had a close eye on.

GameZone was given the opportunity to play through the early stages of the game via a preview build from Capcom, and the results are pretty solid. The game’s jetpack feature goes beyond being a gimmick and adds a great new element to the gameplay, be it during the grounded or in-air combat sequences. All in all, Dark Void should be yet another action title that Xbox 360 gamers can get excited about.

The preview build began with a prologue that started with guns blazing (literally) by putting us right in the middle of a battle in the sky fitted with a jetpack. This section played out like an arcade-style shooter like Crimson Skies, and featured easy to grasp controls and fast-paced action, as well as some cool maneuvers like barrel rolls and flips. After the brief prologue, the build shifts to a new place a week later and introduces us to the game’s main character, Will, as he crash lands on an island within the Bermuda Triangle after being shot down by robot soldiers.

The on-foot combat elements will immediately seem familiar to many action gamers, as it feels very cover-heavy like Gears of War or Uncharted. You’ll spend a lot of time shooting enemies from behind cover, and luckily there were ample places to grab cover in the jungle environment that we were presented with. The game features some cool changes to the traditional cover system, including the ability to take vertical cover and hide behind platforms as you shoot foes on lower levels. The on-foot action changes even further when you obtain the jetpack. You’ll be able to hover for a distance, getting hard-to-reach items and adding new directional elements, which is quite fun to pull off in practice.

That said, there were a couple of gameplay issues in the preview build. The AI wasn’t terribly sharp, with the robotic enemies often making beelines for the lead character and not really performing as well as enemies in other games. Additionally, they were a bit too hard to take down with weaponry and it often took nearly a full clip to take down one enemy, which is puzzling considering how effective melee attacks are (there were several times that I simply ran up to a group of enemies and punched them to death instead of dealing with the rigmarole of shooting at them from behind cover). However, the game still has a ways to go in development before its January 2010 launch. If all goes to plan, then Capcom fans could have a bonafide hit on their hands.

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