A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What 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."
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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.
Talk to your kids 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?
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