reviewed on PC
Introduction of... a ship?
Turmoil, uncertainty, and danger can bring out the best and the worst of humans. In this case, it applies to all the races that inhabit the galaxy of Dark Star One, the latest title from Ascaron and CDV. Set in the Sci-Fi future of the Milky Way, Humans as a species has made the countless star systems of the galaxy home among the other space faring species of the Dark Star One universe. Life in space is tough and our young hero Kayron Jarvis has just completed his training as an escort pilot for the Galactic Union. This is a bittersweet achievement in the light of his father's recent murder however.
The story begins with his father's legacy, the Dark Star One, being bestowed to Kayron. The Dark Star One is an experimental craft with unique technologies which allows it to 'grow' with its pilot. The ship itself has been developed during a secret research project and only a handful of people know of its existence, this however, is all about to change.
With the Dark Star One under his command and a friendly tip, Kayron begins the search for his father's murderer. During his travels however, the galaxy which has known peace for several centuries, begins to destabilize around him. Everything begins to go to hell in a galactic hand and Kayron, with the Dark Star One, will suddenly find himself in the middle of everything.
Dark Star One is a space-sim shooter which holds true to the tradition of classics such as Wing Commander and Freelancer. Fans of the genre and those who are familiar with Freelancer will immediately feel at home behind the controls of the Dark Star One. One of the major selling points of the game is its boast of a massive free-play mode that will allow the player to take on his own identity among the galaxy. From feared bounty hunter to infamous pirate to the sly smuggler, you can become whoever you want to be.
Your reputation develops based on the missions you complete throughout both the storyline and free play modes. The more bounties you collect on notable pirates, the more reputation and recognition you gain as a steel fisted bounty hunter. If trade is your thing, then make trade runs between stations and pick up contracts from local shipping firms to gain your own notoriety as a reliable shipper. Keep in mind however, everything has its price. Your reputation follows you everywhere. Those who follow the life as a pirate or smuggler will constantly be harassed by the law. As a famous bounty hunter, expect wolf packs of pirates to descend upon you when you least expect it.
With a massive galaxy of 300 star systems at the players' disposal, the career options are limitless. With missions available at each station and side missions made available in special instances, our hero Kayron will be hard pressed to be out of work for any length of time.
Politics, Pirates, and the Great Void
Never the greatest of combinations, but it makes for good employment opportunities: The ever present influence of the pirate nation is very real throughout the galaxy. Pirate hunters make good money off of the bounties received for notorious pirates and bounties are plentiful. In some destabilized areas, local police are not willing to step up to the pirate challenge, which leaves plenty of room for our hero to fly in and save the day. Unless of course you have allied yourself with the pirates.
As and added kick in the pants, the pirates will eventually grow to a point where they will take control of certain isolated systems which have fallen into anarchy. These systems can be freed from the clutches of piracy, or used as a safe haven from the harassment of local law enforcers. This is of course, if you have access to this system. Star systems will require a 'key' to gain access to. In many cases, 'side missions' will be made available to allow the player to earn the right to having one of these precious keys, thereby gaining access to an otherwise restricted star system.
No Pros and Cons at this time