The industry has been a bit devoid recently of space simulations and space games in general, now there are a flood of them heading our way over the next few months on a variety of platforms, the game that got my attention because I have a fondness for any kind of space sim good or bad, is CDVís
Ascaron entertainment, the talented developers that brought us Sacred
and Sacred Underworld
have taken a leap into outer space with a slightly different take on the space sim genre. Story
Claudia Kern (German science fiction author) has created a decent story, it could be considered a bit clichťd in places but that happens to everyone. I am certainly not going to deduct any kind of points for it, because out there someone will find the story compelling and as long as the game and story mesh well together then thatís all that matters.
You are a young pilot, Kayron Jarvis and your father left you a rather unique vessel, the Darkstar One. This ship is definitely not the run of the mill junk freighter that most space games will have you start from scratch in. The Darkstar One is integral to the plot and I wonít say anymore about the actual story to the game, but it is certainly full of a few twists and a good old evil alien badguy race.Gameplay
Right from the start this isnít a deep tactical game nor is it the next big thing compared to the other, comparing Darkstar One to any game thatís come before it is like comparing apples to oranges and tanks to bananas. It is a space game thatís obviously inspired by those games that have come before it and the grandfather of all space games: Elite
and it adds a few little twists to make it a refreshing change from just another space shooter.
Using mouse, keyboard or joystick you can navigate the Darkstar One around the various colourful star systems (clusters) and either follow the story, with the help of a comprehensive map and in-game log system, or go your own way and do your own thing until youíre fed up of exploration.
There are several tutorial missions to get you started, both in terms of navigation and also in terms of hard monetary income, you wonít get by here without cash and youíre going to need lots of it to make sure the Darkstar One stays one step ahead of the competition (be they pirates or other) and always has the best weapons and equipment.
Without going into a long winded diatribe about the gameís space flight simulation, itís very simple to fly and harkens back to the days of the early space games, you wonít find a Newtonian Physics flight model or complex controls, everything is easy to understand and flying the Darkstar One is a breeze.
You can trade cargo if you like thanks to the gameís trading component which is set up very much like Elite
was, complete with the various denominations of government such as Anarchy and so forth.