First off I want to thank Jeff Williams of Parallax Studios for sending me a copy of Darkstar for review. I have been delayed in getting this out because of my move to a new town and home, and I also wanted to play the game all the way through. In my opinion Darkstar is a little hard to review for me just because I don’t want to give away to much of the storyline, but here it goes. In Darkstar you start the game by being awoke from a deep cryo-statis sleep. You find out that you have been a sleep so long that you have a little amnesia, you even have forgotten your name, why your on this ship (The Westwick), your crew members and your mission. You find out you are Cpt. O’Neil and you are on the Westwick, which is on mission to Darkstar. The year is now 2499 and you and your crew have been asleep for 312yrs! This is really where the game begins and you now have to find out things about the crew, why the ship is currently in lock down and what happened to Earth and why are you going to Darkstar. As you progress through the game you will find these ‘bio-locks’ that you will need to unlock to access video clips of the back story as to why you are on the mission (these are like memories coming back slowly to Cpt. O’Neil), the bio-locks also used to unlock areas and ship functionality. You need to disable all of the bio-locks on the ship to get it out of lock down mode.
Checkout this trailer for Darkstar: (You can also see more in-depth developer and behind the scenes videos on Parallax’s youtube page)
If you are an older gamer (like me) you will definitely recognize the style of game play to be like these classics; 7th Guest, 11th Hour, Zork and Myst. That’s right all you need to play this game is a mouse to do point-n-click actions. What is Darkstar’s strength? The story in my opinion, Parallax Studios did a great job on the ship interiors and the video clips in the game to keep you going into the wee hours of the morning. The story is very well told and all of the video clips are in HD, did I mention there is over 20hrs worth of video in the game. One thing I liked about the game was the music score and some of the interesting puzzles and mini-games. Just make sure that you pay attention to what you have done in the game, read about and interacted with to progress through the game. The choices that you make in the game move the story along, just don’t make the wrong choice and you won’t find a interesting way to kill yourself.
Darkstar definitely keeps you enthralled with the game content and keeps you playing for some long sessions to see what happens next. And in playing Darkstar I remembered how much I enjoyed playing these FMV story/movie games from the past. And best of all this is a sci-fi game that actually has a good plot.
- No disc switching, everything installs to the hard-drive
- HD video clips and audio was good.
- The acting is decent and not too cheesy like some of the older FMV games
- I personally liked the ship interiors
- You may run into some issues playing this on Win7 64bit OS, run in WinXp or Vista emulation mode and you might need a newer version of quicktime than what is supplied on the disk. You can also go here for more assistance if you run into problems with the game (http://www.darkstar.gs/support-home/)
- Save game tool could have been more informative as to time/date or a screenshot of the save progress.
- I would have liked to pilot something in the game instead of it being a video clip.
- Not really a con but I found out about this game via Amazon doing a search, it is still only purchasable from their website or Amazon.com
For those that have never tried an interactive movie here is your chance, because Darkstar is actually one of the best of the FMV games I have played yet. here is a little tidbit I didn’t know about Darkstar development until I watched a few videos is that this movie/game had a development cycle of around 10yrs! For the dedication alone it deserves a look at. Just remember when playing to really look around and examine all areas of the ship and environment because I missed a few crucial small things that had me stumped for a little while in what to do next. Give us your feedback on Darkstar either here or in the forums.