DarkStar One: Broken Alliance Preview

By Adam Ma on May 6, 2010, 8:50PM EDT

DarkStar One's initial launch on the PC was a bit of a shaky one, as most reviews complimented its graphics and overall gameplay, but were unsure what to make of the simple and repetitive combat.  Keeping that in mind it's definitely curious that now, four years after the games first release, it sees rebirth on the Xbox 360 as DarkStar One: Broken Alliance.  A relatively unknown title to most console owners, there's still a bit of potential for this game to be a fun ride despite its shaky past.


Set as a space simulator in a universe filled with exotic aliens, fast ships, and lots of pirates, DarkStar One puts players into the role of Kayron Jarvis.  His father murdered, Kayron inherits the ship (unsurprisingly named DarkStar One) and sets out to find his old man's killer.  Sure, the plot isn't the most inspiring thing around but there are plenty of twists and turns to keep players guessing throughout its story - unless some serious alterations have been made to the 360 version of the game.  


The cool part of DarkStar One lies in its character/ship customization, and of course the combat.  Fast paced, beautifully detailed, and pretty diverse, the games dogfights should offer plenty to those who have been starved for a good flight sim.  Also interesting is the ship customization options, which spans over 200 parts enabling players to upgrade anything from weapons to maintenance.  Combat is a significant bit of meat to DarkStar One's gameplay, and seeing how much time can be invested in crafting the perfect ship for individual needs is pretty exciting.


Of course what would blowing up other ships be without factions to worry about?  Thankfully there are quite a few options to explore on this end as well, as the game lets players express themselves through reputations.  Some make it easier to score cash per kill, while others allow a better advantage in trading, either way it's good to see that the ship serves more of a function then a personal death engine.  Reputation will also change how players are treated in other star systems, and amongst the various NPCs encountered throughout the game.


As a personal fan of flight simulators I hold a very tentative optimism for DarkStar, as many of its PC complaints of simplicity may not be an issue on a controller with limited space for buttons.  Promises of over 30 hours of gameplay are nothing to look over either, though with knowledge of how things paned out in the PC version its safe to worry about the pacing of the game.  With luck the developers will have addressed many of these issues to make a much smoother release on the Xbox 360, but for the time being DarkStar One: Broken Alliance is looking like a pretty solid game.

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