Dark Void



Unique sci-fi shooter with robotic enemies and some cussing.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The game is about helping defenseless humans ward off an alien invasion in an alternate 1930s. While fighting is how this is accomplished, the game's message is about protecting yourself.

Positive role models

The main character -- an average Joe down on his luck -- is a likeable one, plus he decides to help humans fight against an alien invasion of earth. But, this character uses weapons to destroy the attacking aliens.

Ease of play

Despite the ability to take to the skies in a jetpack or hijacked UFO, the game is fairly easy to pick up after a short while. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 button configuarion is laid out well (the PC version uses a mouse and keyboard combo, unless a gamepad is available).


The main gameplay mechanic is combat, be it on foot-in, in the air (via jetpack or hijacked UFO), and some hand-to-hand fighting. Weapons include machine guns, grenades, and some high-tech laser pulse rifles. The enemies are aliens who are invading the earth. "Blood" in the game is blue.


Not applicable

Some mildly offensive language can be heard as radio chatter between human fighters. This includes "damn," hell" and "bastard."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Dark Void is a sci-fi shooter, yes; but it's not as graphic as many other third-person action games because the enemy is a robotic alien race and their "blood" is blue. But still, players use all kinds of military weapons to ward them off. The game is also deeply rooted in science fiction as the protagonist ends up in an alternate world and gets a jetpack from Tesla the inventor. Mild language includes the words "hell," damn" and "bastard."

What's it about?

As Will, the owner of a struggling cargo business in the 1930s, you set off in your plane from Nassau to deliver some goods overseas. Entering the turbulent air space over the Atlantic, you suddenly realize you've entered the Bermuda Triangle and encounter what can only be described as a UFO. Your plane is then violently thrown off course and crash-lands on a strange world -- a parallel universe -- where you band together with other humans to fight off a powerful alien race known as the Watchers. While the sci-fi premise of DARK VOID isn't exactly unique, the gameplay is a refreshing blend of on-foot combat and aerial dog-fighting, the latter of which lets you don a jetpack and take to the unfriendly skies -- as taught during a vertigo-inducing tutorial.

Is it any good?


Yes Dark Void is a good game, but it's not perfect. The on-foot third-person combat -- where you'll hide behind walls and other objects and peg off baddies with your weapons -- doesn't really add much to the genre. But things get better. At first, you'll learn "vertical combat" that lets you drop down steep cliff edges from one platform to another and shooting enemies at the same time (sometimes even while hanging upside-down) and jumping up from one ledge to another. Soon thereafter, you're flying through the air and engaging in heated 360-degree midair battles against swarms of enemies and alien ships. You can even jump from one object to the other in midair and hijack a Watcher aircraft to take control of it. Despite some less-than-smart artificial intelligence, and some random camera issues where you might lose sight of your character or the firing enemies, Dark Void is a solid B-grade game that should satiate action fans in search of something different.

Note: All three versions of this game look and play in a similar fashion. A Nintendo DS version is in the works, but will be a different game altogether.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether shooting against a robotic alien race in a sci-fi story is any better than killing humans in a non-fantasy world. That is, are parents more lenient about a game like Dark Void because it's far from real (donning a jetpack and hijacking UFOs) or is killing just as bad in this fantasy setting as a game like Grand Theft Auto?

  • What is the impact of violent media on kids?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Windows
Price:$59.99 ($39.99 for PC)
Available online?Not available online
Release date:January 19, 2010
ESRB rating:T for Animated Blood, Mild Language, Violence

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 11 years old November 26, 2011

I've only played through 5 missions, but its a great game so far.

I borrowed Dark Void from one of my friends and it is great. The violence isn't that bad, its in third person with blue blood. Langauge can be an issue though, I heard son of a b--ch twice, d--n once and h-ll once, but thats a small amount and the words aren't really that bad. I'd say it would probably be ok for mature 8 year olds if you dont mind langauge.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old June 25, 2011

Iffy for tweens

A good game, pretty gory in some parts. You shoot aleins causing (blue) blood to spray. Blood appears on the ground and on the walls.You can shoot an aleins head off causing blood to pool on the ground and spray from his neck. Close combat kills can be gory; one move involes shooting an alien in the back, blood sprays another involves shooting a restrained alien in the head. Some attacks can cause the aleins limbs to fall off. Also, humans die although bloodlessly. Aside from the violence there is some language and positive messages.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 16 years old Written bydabombut January 23, 2010
I think that this game is awesome. There are some parts that i think are worse than halo like there is a lot of gore like you can do a hand to hand combat hit and it crushes the robot/aliens head, there is a lot of green blood too.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing


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