Dark Void

Dark Void isn’t the kind of game you should bring round for tea with the vicar, and that’s not just because it stars a hero who smashes human skulls for larks. According to Dark Void’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’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’re sure there was more to it than that, but that’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’s plot sounds controversial enough to whip up a tornado in middle America - so it’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’s Theoretical Religious Studies course, the gameplay is a veritable breadbasket of blammo. Dark Void’s as-yet unidentified hero isn’t afraid to kick some holy arse, and he’s not particularly choosy about the way he does it. He’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’s previous release (the excellent Crimson Skies) means it’s the latter areas which will garner the lion’s share of attention (and they seem to retain the ferocious dogfighting that was Crimson Skies’ trademark) but here’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’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’ll be the current-gen Capcom shooter that Lost Planet couldn’t quite be.

May 29, 2008