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Dark Void - first impressions

You're able to scale cliffs and sheer walls thanks to little boosts from the jetpack, so you can dangle underneath edges and crevices, lean out to fire and duck back down - basically you're using vertical cover, doing the same as you do on the ground but with the added suspense of possibly plummeting to your death. If one of the Watchers is right above you, trying to kick your hands away (there's that grip system again) you can zip up with the pack, grab him and toss him over the edge. Then the proper thing to do is turn the camera so you can watch him fall to his broken death.

Our first reaction to this whole "vertical cover" business was "well, if we have a jetpack, why don't we just fly to the top of the cliff and be on with it?" To that end, the devs said you're totally exposed while flying and hovering, whereas if you use cover, you're more likely to make it up top safely. We're not exactly worried about health though, as it employs the standard red screen/regeneration system, and there's no fuel for the pack, so don't mind us if we try to fly from point A to point B constantly. Still, it does offer more than one way to get to your destination; from the looks of it you'll be able to choose from hoofing it, jetpacking it or commandeering an enemy unit and shooting your way through most of the levels.

The rest is gaming as you like it - pretty visuals, nice gunplay, upgradeable weapons, cinematic action set pieces and over-the-top boss battles, which we hear might use the grip system as it was in Colossus - to topple mountainous foes single-handedly. Scaling massive monsters with a tiny hero is always fun, and if we can toss a jetpack into the mix, hell that's all we really need to get our attention. Here's hoping our next encounter with the void is a enticing as the first.

June 3, 2008

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