Darkstar the Interactive Movie developed by Parallax Studios, immediately leaps out with a barrage of character that sets it apart from the crowd. The Darkstar feels like a love letter written to fans of classic Sci-Fi and live action gaming of the 90s, sadly the game is also over a decade late.
Darkstar follows John O’Neil, waking from a cryo chamber to discover that some of his crew mates are dead and missing. Suffering from amnesia O’Neil after the three hundred year doze, you explore the ship attempting to discover where and why you are here. Darkstar’s focus is clear from the start, it’s trying to give the player a deep storyline, and thankfully it delivers. The game doesn’t spare much time before it’s giving you bundles of background lore about why you are here and what is going on.
The story is all given to the player through live action cinematic that flow fairly well; it aids the game at being more than a basic point and click game. The story is well laid out and paced well, however the beginning suffers from a slow pace, which can deter the average player.
Gameplay as mentioned is point and click, with players navigating themselves to set positions and given freedom to aim the camera where they want, many will enjoy this throw back to games like the Myst series. For the most part the movement controls are a hassle, as most the movement is control through context sensitive mouse clicks what your selecting or what your trying to use can be easily muddled, leading to many situations of randomly clicking to progress. This issue thankfully doesn’t prove to obstructing, however it can becomes frustrating quickly.
The rest of the gameplay you will be dealing with fairly decent puzzles. The puzzles are fairly well made, most not proving too difficult or too easy. They prove decent obstructions to break up the constant progressions of the story, however the puzzles also suffer from the lack of instructions, meaning discovering the idea of what the puzzle is about can be a challenge in itself.
The game is for the most part live action aided with masses of green screen, which causes many of the backgrounds look separate from the actors, for most gamers again this will most likely put them off, but for gamer looking for that old school feel, it makes the game really feel close the source material. These animated sequences are also used whenever you move to other positions, most of these prove slow and are repeated constantly, which slows down the pace drastically for the game and just cause moving around to become a chore at point, especially when you are unsure what to do.
The sound is where this game shines, with some of the best music I have heard in a game for a long while. From classic rock tracks to full on space opera, there is a giant amount of music with the game, all of which is given on two extra discs with over 30 different tracks. The music really aided the feel and almost made owning the game worthwhile for a rock music lover.
While the music stands out, the same can’t be said for the voice acting. For the most part voice acting comes across well, and if anything better than most, however every so often some dialogue gets delivered badly, from overly long pauses… to lack of emotion in certain situations.
A throwback to the classics like Myst, and manages a fairly good job at it, however it’s still missing more than a few refined qualities that will test the patience of many a gamer. Simple things prove an issue, like moving around, knowing what to do, and telling if you can interact with certain objects.
The gameplay with its issues doesn’t make this game stand out, so if you’re looking for something that drags you in with its gameplay this isn’t the game for you.
A throwback to late 90s Sci-fi and 90s point and clicks games in every sense. At points the game really feels like it’s been pulled out the past, and while for the core gamer this wouldn’t make the game any better, the game knows what it’s target audience is, and nails it. Not to mention a fairly deep and in grousing storyline really helps
Much of the live action can prove rough, but again it helps to go with the feel of the game, and makes it an interesting game to play. The sound track from the game however really grabs your attention and for some will make this game worth it for the music alone.
A fairly lengthy affair with about 10 hours of content to explore, bolstered by different endings, some of which earlier than other. Sadly this length is mostly from a lack of guidance and drawn out animation at points.
It’s tough to say to put it simple. The game feels like it should have been released a decade ago in some respects, but at the same time stands as game devoted to the fan base. If you like Farscape, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Andromeda or any other Sci-Fi space adventure series or live action game lover, this game might just be your next fix.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.