Dark Void

Gods. They created you. But what have they done for you lately?

Dark Void isn%26rsquo;t the kind of game you should bring round for tea with the vicar, and that%26rsquo;s not just because it stars a hero who smashes human skulls for larks. According to Dark Void%26rsquo;s storyline, the true nature of the gods is quite removed from the sugar-coated version used to keep church donation boxes rattling. The gods we%26rsquo;ve worshipped for millennia, Dark Void tells us, were in fact an evil Alien Race who, in turn, were the minions for a powerful nebulous ancient force.

Millions of years ago, this race - who would come to be known as The Watchers - came to our planet and created the human race (hey, we said it was a powerful force). We came to see them as gods and willingly enslaved ourselves to them - unwittingly aiding their dark purposes. At some point in history, a group of humans - who came to call themselves The Adepts - developed super powers and were able to banish their rulers to an alternate dimension. (We%26rsquo;re sure there was more to it than that, but that%26rsquo;s the version of events Capcom are releasing for now). Ever since, the gods have impotently watched their usurpers - but soon, these gods will return, and in a big way.

The religious subtext of Dark Void%26rsquo;s plot sounds controversial enough to whip up a tornado in middle America - so it%26rsquo;s fortunate then that anyone who plays it will be too busy shooting gods in the face to ask any questions. While the plot might sound like a professor%26rsquo;s Theoretical Religious Studies course, the gameplay is a veritable breadbasket of blammo. Dark Void%26rsquo;s as-yet unidentified hero isn%26rsquo;t afraid to kick some holy arse, and he%26rsquo;s not particularly choosy about the way he does it. He%26rsquo;s equally adept at meeting his makers strolling around on foot or hovering about the place in a futuristic bi-plane (of all things).

Airtight%26rsquo;s previous release (the excellent Crimson Skies) means it%26rsquo;s the latter areas which will garner the lion%26rsquo;s share of attention (and they seem to retain the ferocious dogfighting that was Crimson Skies%26rsquo; trademark) but here%26rsquo;s a thought to get you in the mood for some third-person godsmackery: think Capcom has the market cornered in epic boss fights? We%26rsquo;ve only seen our hero fighting humanoid minions, but just imagine what their take on a god might be. A developer with excellent credentials married to a publisher renowned for their quality control. All things being equal, this%26rsquo;ll be the current-gen Capcom shooter that Lost Planet couldn%26rsquo;t quite be.

May 29, 2008

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