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Dark Void Preview

Blake_Morse By:
GENRE Action 
DEVELOPER Airtight Games 
T Contains Animated Blood, Mild Language, Violence

What do these ratings mean?

There's no escaping the Bermuda Triangle.

Dark Void, the upcoming post-holiday season title from Capcom, has already garnered its fair share of hype. Even before folks have actually gotten a chance to play it, there’s already talk of a major motion picture with uber-celeb and one half of the Rainbow Coalition Babies parental units, Brad Pitt, and his production company backing it. So what’s the big deal? Why are folks anticipating so much from this game? I had to take a look for myself. Fortunately for me, Capcom likes us enough to send preview builds to check out.

click to enlargeFrom what I’ve seen so far, Dark Void is an ambitious, genre-bending game that may just have what it takes to live up to the mighty expectations being placed upon it by its media blitz. It has many of the elements that have made so many recent A-list titles a huge success. What I mean by that is there are many good games that you will be reminded of when you finally get a chance to play it yourself.

The story follows the exploits of William Grey, a WWII pilot who finds himself trapped in the Bermuda Triangle and is stuck in the middle of a battle between man and weird slug-like aliens in robot suits with laserguns known as The Watchers (not to be confused with Marvel's big-headed "What if?" mainstay). But with the help of Nikola Tesla and his experimental jetpack, they just might stand a chance of saving the world. I know the synopsis may leave you scratching your head, but it's at least as plausible as a plumber traveling to a magic kingdom full of anthropomorphic mushrooms to save a princess from a giant turtle.

To compliment the odd plot, you'll have some equally eclectic visuals. Environments build an exotic atmosphere, a combination of sci-fi fused with Aztec ruins that may end up reminding some folks of Uncharted or perhaps Halo 3. And the World War II backdrop adds a bit of '40s retro for good measure as well.

click to enlargeGameplay is a mix of platforming and Gears of War-style duck-and-cover third-person shooter genetically spliced with an arcade dogfighting game. Levels will offer up a variety of action, whether they're vertical shoot-outs with the robo-slugs while traversing over mountainsides or taking to the skies with your jetpack. Ah yes, the jetpack. Probably Dark Void's most unique offering adds an almost Crimson Skies quality to a game that is already shaping up to be quite entertaining, with a variety of very different types of gameplay throughout each level.

Much like in Halo, your weaponry is a mix of alien technology and good ol' fashioned American bullet shootin' guns. Throughout the game you'll have chances to upgrade your armory with things such as extra ammo, better accuracy, or the ability to deal more damage. Your rocket backpack is equipped with machine guns and will allow you to make defensive maneuvers as well, such as barrel rolls and loop-de-loops to gain the upper hand against flying saucers and planes alike.

So far, it looks like Capcom is trying to draw upon its historical reputation for offering up unique and intriguing gaming experiences and odd plots (just try to make sense out of the Street Fighter timeline) to make Dark Void another winner in a long line of success stories. Plus, in an era of sequels, it's always refreshing to see a new face. Look for Dark Void to hit the shelves on January 12th 2010 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

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